1st XV - Report
Date: Saturday 3rd December 2011 - Kick Off: 14:15
Midland Division - Midlands 2 West (South)
|Newbold on Avon||33||vs||14||Banbury|
Bulls charge falters in final quarter
Newbold-on-Avon 33-14 Banbury
Banbury Bulls travelled to take on second place Newbold on Avon on Saturday hopeful of carrying their good form from the previous league victory with them. A relatively settled team took to the field with changes at second row and wing seeing Richard Jeyes and George Williamson respectively come into the team.
Banbury received the kick off with the low winter sun in their eyes, but they were not to be dazzled by the hosts’ high league position. In a scrappy opening quarter both sides looked to break through the opposition defences, but the line held firm for both teams.
As a result of the good defensive work, the opening score was to come from an unlikely source. A Banbury scrum in the middle of their own half was safely won, and scrum-half Eddie Phillips looked to find his fly-half. However the Newbold inside centre had read the play beautifully and the skipper’s pass was picked off and it was a simple run in under the posts for the home side’s opening score. With a successful conversion, Banbury found themselves 7-0 down.
Newbold were however struggling with the breakdown and conceded numerous penalties, one of which saw centre Mike Smith go for the posts, however his kick, whilst accurate, fell just short and Banbury remained seven points down. But it was the Bulls who were to look the more dangerous side as several chances were created. A good kick return by Pete Flemming saw the full-back make good ground. With supporting players on hand, winger Dan Boys was put into space inside the Newbold half and the score looked on. However a great last ditch tackle saw the Banbury man stopped just two yards short of the line and the tackler was able to get to his feet and hack the ball clear.
But Banbury were not to be denied and shortly after this, further good phase play saw the visitors attacking deep in the home side’s 22. Quick ball was fed out of a ruck, six metres from the try line and centre James Heywood took the ball at pace, scything through the defensive line whilst juggling to control the ball. He managed to grab hold of it and dot down for a Banbury try, and with Smith on target for the conversion Banbury were now level.
With no further scores, the second half kicked off with the scores level on 7-7, but Banbury were caught napping from the restart. A tidy lineout followed by some strong running and good handling by the Newbold backs saw a break down the left wing make ground into the Bulls 22, where a simple draw and pass put the supporting Newbold centre in to canter over untouched. Again the conversion was successful and Banbury were again behind 14-7.
But again the Bulls showed good commitment and skill to work back into the game and an excellent individual try from fly-half Jed Boyle was their just rewards. Boyle, bumped off the would be tackle of his opposite number and then evaded three more tacklers before just getting the ball over the line. Smith was on target with the extras and the scores were level at 14-14.
With both the home side support and team increasingly showing their frustration with the match situation as it moved into the final quarter. Things flared up on the pitch and a number of off-the-ball incidents seem to rattle the visitors and Newbold took advantage of Banbury’s lack of focus. The final ten minutes saw Newbold run away with the game with three further tries, two converted, as the Bulls seemed to wilt under the pressure. The final score of Newbold 33-14 Banbury did not do the game justice, but Banbury have only themselves to blame for taking their eye off the prize with just ten minutes to go.