Lions Tamed By Towcestrians
Banbury II Lions suffer a seven tries to three home defeat to a strong Towcestrians II.
The full extend of the challenge facing the Banbury II Lions team in their first season in the Midlands Reserve 1 League, was highlighted in their first home league fixture of the season, against Towcestrians II team at the DCS Stadium.
Having two away defeats, the Lions were keen to give a good performance in their first home game, but they came up against a strong Towcestrians II, who had won their first two league games this season. Despite Towcester suffering an early yellow card, they were able to pin Banbury in their own half, but good defence held out a number of Towcester attacks with good tackling. Eventually, a transgression gave the visitors a penalty which was converted. A poor kick ahead handed Towcester the ball and a swift counter attack breached the Lions scramble defence, for their lock to force his way over the line, but the conversion was missed.
A good break by Banbury was ended with a last ditch tackle just short of the line, and as Banbury grew into the game another break should have led to a try but an overlap was missed. Banbury soon got on the scoreboard, as Jed Boyle intercepted a loose pass and sprinted 80 metres to touch down under the posts, with conversion by Tom Hoye, game on 7 -8. As the game neared half time, skipper Wes Hallam was yellowed carded for an offence at a ruck, and with a man down Towcesters probing finally bore fruit with some good hands giving the left winger space to scamper through, for a converted try. A lapse in concentration at a ruck allowed the visitors scrum half to pick up and run straight through the Banbury line and to score un-opposed under the posts for another converted try on the half time whistle. Half time 7 - 22.
The second half saw the Lions try to get back into the game quickly, but some loose handling led to Towcester kicking through and win a penalty five metres from the Banbury line. Again, a lack in concentration allowed the srum half to tap to himself and dive over the line, for another converted try. Towcestrians were now confirmed their dominance, and a good passing movement let to another try in the left corner, which was well converted. Skipper Hallam, tried to rally his side, as Kieran Fitzgibbon charged down the clearance kick from the restart and Wes won the chase to touch down, but the conversion was missed.
The penalty count against Banbury began to climb, allowing Towcester field position. Another quick tap penalty again saw Towcester move the ball quickly to put runners in to space and score two more good tries. Despite conceding 50 points the Lions showed the spririt by creating some late pressure and from a ruck in the middle of the Towcester half, winger Jed Boyle picked up and ran straight through to score under the post. Final score 17 - 50. Banbury's man of the match was second row Harry Iles, and D O D was skipper Wes Hallam (pictured).