Mould Crosses for Two at Banbury
Banbury 8 Walsall 44
Full back Chris Mould produced two moments of brilliance early in the second half to eventually give his team a comfortable match winning lead at Bodicote Park. Up till then Walsall had dominated most of the match but had struggled to finish off several try scoring opportunities. The early scoring of this match came through the reliable boot of the league’s leading place kicker, Matt Wood. Birthday boy, Jono Edwards, had made two strong runs which resulted in two early penalties for Wood. This was followed by captain Steve Halbert producing a twenty five meter run which resulted in the hosts conceding another penalty. Banbury, to their credit, hit back with a well taken try by No 8 Simon Brand. He was on hand to support a powerful run by centre Peter Papenfus. Indeed, the strong running South African was an ever present threat to the Walsall defence throughout the afternoon. During this early period the visitors saw their dynamic winger Alex Greenslade forced to leave the field with a serious shoulder injury. The reorganisation saw forward Daniel Simpson having to move on to the wing and Dan Poston come on the field as a flanker. Walsall had to wait till late in the first half for their first try. It came courtesy of Edwards on the left wing. He showed some good pace as he followed up a Wood kick to gather and dive over near the corner flag. Wood put over the difficult conversion but Mike Smith cut the deficit with a twenty meter penalty a few minutes later. The half, however, finished with a fine try by the visitors. Luke Pittaway,Nick Field and Steve Halbert ran and supported each other for over fifty meters before the latter gave the final pass to Matt Wood who ran in a try from twenty meters. Wood’s conversion gave Walsall a 23 – 8 half time lead. But this was 37 – 8 after only ten minutes of the second half. This was thanks to two thirty meters jinking runs by Chris Mould. The first came after the impressive Tierney had won the ball after a strong tackle and scrum half Lloyd had delivered a quick pass to the speedy full back. Four minutes later it was hooker Jimmy Scott that was the ball carrier that covered twenty meters before being pulled down. But the ball was moved quickly and a well-timed pass by Wootton put Mould through for another telling score. The next twenty minutes was a rather lack lustre contest with Walsall in particular failing to put together any concentrated periods of attack and it was only in the closing minutes that they scored again. It was Tierney that made the initial break from about sixty meters. He found replacement Dan Poston in support. The teenage flanker showed good speed to evade two tacklers and gallop forty meters for a try. Matt Wood converted this score to give him twenty four points in the match, which included a 100% success rate with his kicks.