Lions Miss Out Against Newbold
A depleted Banbury team gave a good showing this weekend against local rivals Newbold. The final score was 31-7, but that did not reflect the competitive nature of the game.
Match report by Wes Hallam.
Banbury, hampered by injury and lack of availability, took a scratch team to Newbold this weekend. Old and new faces were forced to gel rapidly throughout the game and the determination and commitment of the side was admirable.
Banbury started brightly, using field position to take control of the game for the first 20 minutes. Jack Briggs (10) kicked beautifully to keep the Newbold players pegged back and create real pressure on the Newbold lineout. Banbury, when able to control the ball, looked dangerous from any position on the park. The back 3 (Dan Brady, Luke Ajax, Alex Gandy & Jed Boyle (sub)) looked dangerous from anywhere on the park. Banbury's only issue was getting clean and secure ball out to the danger men - Newbold did a good job in slowing ball, disrupting at set piece andgenerally being a nuisance.
Although Banbury conceded two tries in the first half, they also struck back with an individual piece of brilliance from Jed Boyle. A loose pass to him went to ground around the Newbold 22, forcing him to turn. The Newbold winger came to pressure him as he collected the ball and some devastating feet from Boyle suddenly saw him spin around the defence and trot over for a try.
At half time the score was 12-7, entirely respectable given previous games at Newbold have run into near-cricket scores. However, after the break it soon became clear that the lack of depth in the Banbury squad was starting to hurt them. With last-minute stand ins (Perris) far outperforming any expectations in the front row, Banbury were forced to rotate players constantly to rest the front row. Toby CHapman stood in at front row through necessity but effectively commanded the lineouts throughout the game.
As the Banbury legs started to tire, Newbold began to break away from tackles and catch the Lions offguard. A few silly penalties and backchatting to the ref cost the Lions hard-earned ground. It was clear that Newbold were in the ascendency, but that did not stop Banbury from showing that their commitment to their team and rigourous training was more than enough to keep Newbold at bay and showcase how Banbury play.
Although the final result was not what we set out to achieve, the way the team pulled together and knuckled down in tough circumstances was admirable. Watching from the sidelines (as I was) it was clear that not one player gave anything less than their all. I could not be prouder of the effort the boys put in this weekend.
Next week we finally have a home game. Roll on Towcester!