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Banbury 1st XV 30 - 10 Malvern 1st XV

Misfiring Banbury Lose to In-Form Banbury

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2015 07:23pm
Bodicote, Cherwell
By Peter Woods
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After the previous week’s antics it was a relief to meet a side that wanted to play rugby, although far better on the day than a Malvern team which was rather disjointed. Malvern made a bright start to go deep into the home half only to knock on at the crucial point. After winning a scrum, the mobile Banbury number eight Ridgway was on hand to score a try as they cut through a lacklustre Malvern central defence, skipper Phillips adding the conversion. Malvern put in a couple of attacks, winning a penalty on the Banbury 22 line, but the effort was wasted as they transgressed at the line out. The North Oxfordshire side continued to put pressure on the Malvern defence, their strong runners punching through the centre and only some good defence kept them out. However, they conceded penalties in doing so, and Phillips punished them three times to take the score at half time to 16-0 in favour of Banbury. 

After some stern words from Malvern Director of Rugby Dave Irish at the break, Malvern started the second half more positively, driving Banbury back and attacking their line, the reward being a penalty try as the home defence panicked a bit. Ben King converted and gave Malvern some hope. Another attack saw Malvern again in the home 22 area, but the attack fizzled out as they were held up. Banbury turned defence into attack and a kick and chase saw speedy winger Boyle win the race to score a try, Phillips adding the extra two. Malvern’s injury hoodoo then struck again as captain Luke Milton and winger George Roberts both left the field in quick succession. Charles Rambridge went on as a front row replacement and lasted barely 5 minutes before sustaining an ankle injury, and with two more Malvern players down, Banbury took advantage of their superior numbers to score and convert once more. However, Malvern showed some spirit and fought back, Richard Fleming using his power to go through Banbury’s middle, chipping the ball ahead and comfortably winning the race to ground the ball and give King a conversion to add some respectability to the score line.

Dave Irish was disappointed with his team’s showing on the day. “In the first half we didn’t really look as if we wanted to be there” he said “despite the fact that we had beaten them comfortably at Spring Lane. To be fair, they were a different side today, much more disciplined and clinical and the better side won. We now have a break next week to work on tactics and give the injured some recovery time before meeting a much-improved Droitwich side at home on the 31st January.”

Photo: File pic

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