Bulls Put On Special Charity Matchday Show !
Banbury produced their most complete performance of the season to run out 35-5 winners against Stratford-upon-Avon. Two tries from Nick Pratt and further scores from Ed Phillips, Dan Brady and Sam Stoop saw Banbury pick up a 5-point victory.
DCS Stadium at Bodicote Park – Saturday 2nd December 2017
Match report by Alex Inch, photos by Simon Grieve
Banbury got off to the perfect start with some brilliant work from the forwards. Banbury were 5 metres from the try line but knocked the ball on. Despite Stratford having the put in at the resulting scrum, Banbury showed incredible strength to push the Stratford pack and ball backwards over the try line. Eventually the ball broke loose and Ed Phillips was on hand to dive on it for the first try of the match. Ed Phillips then converted his own try to give Banbury an early 7-0 lead.
Not to be out done by the forwards the backs got in on the act with a lovely try of their own. Sam Stoop released Matt Goode who handed off his opposite number, drew the next man before passing to Joe Mills who drew the next man before passing to Dan Brady who was now breaking down the right flank. With just the fullback to beat Dan Brady showed some great feet to step inside the final man and sprinted his way under the posts. Ed Phillips converted to make it 14-0. This proved to be the final points in the first half, but Banbury showed some brilliant defence to keep Stratford out after long periods of sustained pressure.
Sam Stoop looked like he’d scored to start the second half, but the referee indicated the last pass had been forward. Fortunately for Banbury they already had a penalty advantage and went for a scrum 5 metres out. Jimmy Manley nearly scored but Stratford’s defence held firm. The ball was recycled before Ed Phillips slipped the ball to second half substitute, Nick Pratt who was running a charging line to smash his way over from close range. Ed Phillips converted to make it 21-0.
Banbury secured their try bonus point early in the second half. Stratford kicked deep from the edge of their own 22. Dan Brady caught the ball before releasing Joe Mills who picked his way brilliantly through the Stratford defence. Joe Mills found himself one on one with the fullback and passed the ball inside to Sam Stoop who outsprinted the covering defence to score wide to the left. Ed Phillips continued his perfect day with the boot to make it 28-0.
Nick Pratt scored his second try of the game late on. Giles Saar made good ground before Ed Phillips tried to sneak his way over. Stratford managed to keep him out and rob him of his special Charity Matchday shirt in the process much to the amusement of the crowd. Banbury weren’t to be kept out long though. Nick Pratt picked up off the base of the ruck and smashed his way over under the posts. A now fully clothed Ed Phillips converted to make it 35-0.
Stratford picked up a consolation try in added time. Tom Hall picked up off the base of a ruck and ran through a gap in the Banbury defence to score wide to the left. The conversion attempt was missed to leave the scores 35-5 at the full-time whistle.
A brilliant 5-point win for Banbury in tricky wet conditions. Banbury’s on pitch performance was only matched by the brilliant fund-raising efforts throughout the day off the pitch. A day where everyone associated with Banbury Rugby Club could feel proud to be a part of it. Giles Saar was named Banbury’s Man of the Match, seemingly everywhere over the pitch, carrying well and putting a great defensive shift in. Match sponsors Jamie Briggs Removals & Storage presented the award.
Speaking to Matt Goode after the game: “We asked for an 80-minute performance and we did just that. The 81st minute we let them in, but overall, we were great for 80 minutes. We’ve really worked on that second half performance to make sure we stay focused.”
On adapting to the wet conditions: “Everybody knows Banbury Rugby like to move the ball and get it wide and play heads-up rugby but now I think we’ve adapted and added a plan b, and plan c. I’m really happy about that. We’ve worked hard in training to make sure we know what we’re doing. Not just in the 1’s but also the 2’s and its great to see they picked up a win today as well. We’ve got to take this kind of performance next week to Wimborne and show we’re not a one-dimensional team and we can adapt to anything.”
On the home support: “The supporters and the people of the club are brilliant. I’ve been part of this club for many years and they’ve always backed us through thick and thin. Today having the charity day made it that extra bit special and we really had to perform. You can hear the support out on the pitch and its like a 16th man. It makes a big difference.”
Try Scorers: Nick Pratt (2) Ed Phillips, Dan Brady and Sam Stoop.
15. Joe Mills (Sponsored by: DTC International)
14. Dan Brady
13. Jimmy Manley (Sponsored by: Godiva Insurance)
12. Matt Goode (Sponsored by: Hook Norton Crop Consultancy)
11. Freddie Cracknell (Sponsored by: F M & P Consultancy)
10. Sam Stoop (Sponsored by: H Colegrave & Son)
9. Ed Phillips (Sponsored by: P Montanaro – ITSM Consultancy)
1. Ken Key (Sponsored by: Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor)
2. Giles Saar (Sponsored by: Jamie Briggs Removals & Storage)
3. Pete Boulton (Sponsored by: BRUFC SAGA Department)
4. Kallum Dixey
5. Matt Brock
6. Jacob Mills (Sponsored by: Hire Safe Solutions)
7. Angus Johnson
8. Chris Phillips (Sponsored by: Lorne Alway)
16. Joe Winpenny
17. Nick Pratt
18. Josh Deegan (Sponsored by: Allsafe Scaffolding)