Lions Return To Winning Ways !
Banbury Lions secured their first league win this weekend against Old Halesonians near Stourbridge. After weeks of frustratingly close results the Lions managed to secure an impressive 37-17 win over their rivals at the foot of the table.
Match report by Wes Hallam.
The game started brightly, with Banbury looking to assert dominance. The pitch did not lend itself to flowing rugby and for several minutes the game was reduced to a bruising encounter within the forwards. Niall Morrow (No. 8) carried well and put in several bruising hits early on. Banbury, with a new addition at fly-half, were content to keep the scoreboard ticking over. James Blake happily stepped up to slot several penalties throughout the game and used his impressive boot to keep the Hales pinned back.
Banbury scored some lovely tries during the game. Callum O'Shea wriggled his way over the line after some good hands put him into space, but Banbury's stand out try came after a turnover at scrum time on the halfway line. The ball squeezed out the back of the scrum, recovered by Wes Hallam on the back row. A lovely set of offloads and support lines involving Oscar Gudge, James Page and Jed Boyle down the 15m channel ended with Hallam diving over for a try.
Banbury failed to keep a clean sheet. Immediately after the start of the second half there was a risk that the game could be lost. Hales scored two tries in quick succession and echoes of previous games came back to haunt Banbury.
They had been in front before and lost it all by the final whistle, but this time the focus came back instantly. Banbury managed to close out the game and score more tries from Jed Boyls and Oscar Gudge to deliver a very well deserved win.
Things are looking up for the Lions. Next week they entertain Syston at Bodicote Park in a must-win fixture.