Vital win secured at home to Banbury
The Wanderers entertained Banbury RFC at Weston Fields on Saturday and secured a vital 45 points to 7 win.
The opening exchanges were all Banbury as they used their big forwards to drive into the heart of the Wanderers defence, 3 penalties in as many minutes coupled with a number of unforced errors saw the Wanderers fall behind to a well constructed try from Banbury.
Slowly the Wanderers clawed their way back into the game, gradually containing the Banbury forwards and securing a fair share of possession. Greg Fincher kicked intelligently for territory but, the Wanderers were not able to break down a resolute Banbury defence.
The pressure mounted as the Wanderers upped the tempo and started to retain possession; a break from Chris Griffiths was complimented by a great line from Simon James who split the defence but, with the line at his mercy the referee called play back for a forward pass.
The Wanderers had the bit between their teeth and scored two quick tries from Kieran Morris and Russ Marsland, one converted by Fincher to take the lead by 12 points to 7. Banbury were undeterred and came back strongly, missing a penalty opportunity to close the gap; with seconds left the Wanderers turned over ball on half way and surged forward in numbers. The scrambling Banbury defence was breached and Griffiths scored near to the posts, Fincher converted to give the Wanderers a 19 points to 7 lead.
The second half started with the Wanderers clearly determined to up the pace, playing with confidence following an edgy first half, the tiring Banbury defence was being stretched; a period of Wanderers pressure was superbly defended by Banbury, Ally McLaughlin twice being denied tries when the ball was dislodged from his grasp over the line! It was third time lucky, however, when McLaughlin was finally rewarded for his strong running by scoring near to the posts, Fincher converting. Three further tries from Jon Hines, James Price and Tom Richmond, two converted by Fincher, sealed a fine win for the Wanderers.