The value of having a good youth structure was illustrated at Bodicote Park where a young Banbury Bulls side charged back to winning ways.
Bulls romped to a 53-17 victory over Nuneaton Old Edwardians in Saturday’s Midlands Two West South fixture with Josh Deegan bagging a hat-trick of tries.
It was an impressive win for a young Bulls side, showing strength in depth in the squad. Bulls fielded 15 home grown players in their squad with the two Colts in the side, Tom Arnold and Harry Graham, not looking out of their depth.
Bulls had the points in the bag by the halfway point before allowing the visitors back into the game in the second half.
Bulls showed good discipline and much improved defence to earn an early penalty which skipper Eddie Phillips slotted over. A penalty try followed and the offending player sent to the sin-bin.
Phillips added the extras and soon repeated the feat after Deegan stepped inside two defenders, spun past a third and stretched over the line. Phillips added another penalty to extend Bulls’ lead to 20-0 and more penalties led to two more yellow cards.
Bulls made good use of the numerical advantage and scored a pushover try from the pack with number 8 Sam Ridgeway getting the final touch. Phillips made no mistake with the conversion before Bulls secured the bonus point try through Deegan’s second score with the skipper adding the conversion.
The best try came just before the break, slick handling in the backs and a superb inside ball by Joe Mills set up Deegan to complete his hat-trick and Phillips added the extras.
After the break it was Bulls’ discipline that let them down. That gave Nuneaton better field position and they camped in the Bulls 22, a turnover from Phillips led to a clearance kick being charged down and the visitors crossed for a deserved try.
The majority of the second half continued in the same fashion and Bulls received back-to-back yellow cards with Nuneaton earning a penalty try for a scrum collapsing under pressure near the line.
Young fly half Craig Quick missed the conversion under the posts but Nuneaton pressed with the numerical advantage and scored again with Quick adding the extras. Bulls returned to a full complement and Jed Boyle scored a fine individual try, converted by Phillips, and he was also on hand to finish off a good run by fly half John Fox.