Isham bags a brace as Bulls charge to derby success

Dan Brady scores for Banbury Bulls at Oxford Harlequins. Photo: Simon Grieve
Dan Brady scores for Banbury Bulls at Oxford Harlequins. Photo: Simon Grieve

There’s no stopping Banbury Bulls in Wadworth 6X South West One after they stormed to their tenth win on the spin.

Bulls produced a dominating performance at county rivals Oxford Harlequins where captain Ian Isham bagged a couple of tries in Saturday’s 36-17 victory.

Bulls flew out the blocks as they looked dangerous from the start, taking an early lead after they won a penalty and kicked for the corner.

Isham found his target from the line-out before gathering the ball at the back of the rolling maul. Isham peeled off the back of the maul before beating the last man to score out wide and Ed Phillips nailed a tricky conversion.

Harlequins found themselves on the edge of the Banbury 22 and tried to get the ball out wide. But Tommy Gray intercepted the intended pass and out-sprinted the covering defence to score out wide with Phillips nailing another tricky conversion.

Bulls continued their excellent start with a wonderful try from deep following some brilliant work from the front row. Pete Boulton made a break down the right and exchanged passes with Isham before unselfishly playing in Josh Deegan who dived over in the corner.

Callum Cashman picked up yellow card for a late hit on Joe Winpenny and Keni Fisilau was fortunate not to join him after two high tackles within ten seconds of each other.

Despite being a man down, Quins picked up their first points with a try in the corner. Chris Davies gathered the ball at the back of a rolling maul and touched down in the corner but Jack Wiggins was off target with the conversion attempt.

Bulls extended their lead when Sam Stoop and Jack Briggs exchanged neat passes before releasing Brady. The winger got around the outside of his opposite defender, breaking two tackles, side-stepping the full-back before being tackled over the line.

Phillips continued his good day with the boot to make it 26-5 only for Quins to score another try just before halftime. Fotu Latu made a good run, sucking in defenders, before expertly off-loading to Fisilau who crashed over from short range.

Phillips extended Banbury’s lead after the restart with a penalty to make it 29-10 after Fisilau was penalised for a high tackle on Brady. Kallum Dixey then picked up yellow card for Bulls after he was penalised for not binding on to the scrum correctly.

Quins took full advantage of the extra man with a converted try. Wiggins threw a superb pass to Jack Todd who ran through a hole in the Banbury defence to run in untouched under the posts.

Wiggins added the extras to make it 29-17 but any hopes of a comeback were crushed in the final few minutes when Isham went over for his second try of the game. The hooker gathered the ball at the back of a rolling maul before peeling out the back and crashing his way over from short range in a near repeat of his try in the first half.

Phillips kicked another tricky conversion to make it 36-17 before kicking the ball out of touch a minute later to bring up the full-time whistle to end a bruising physical derby.