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Brilliant Bulls Go Top!

Nuneaton Old Edwardians 22 - 39 Banbury 1st XV

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2014 04:54pm
Bodicote, Cherwell
By Simon Grieve
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Banbury’s great form continued on Saturday 1st March, with a bonus point win away from home at Nuneaton Old Edwardians, which has seen the Bulls top the table for the first time this season, albeit with sides below them having games in hand.

It was a sunny and still day at Weddington Road which allowed both sides to play without worrying about the elements for the first time since the turn of the year.

It was Old Ed’s who made the better start, after an early Bulls attack, Old Ed’s made easy metres up the field through two penalties. Kicking into the visitors 22, they caught and set up a driving maul from which Banbury could not stop, and Old Ed’s hooker Tom Simpson had his hands on the ball as the maul crossed the line, and the extras were added by Old Ed’s Skipper and Fly-half Tom Short. 7-0.

Banbury looked good with ball in hand and forced a penalty from Old Ed’s under the posts which Foggi duly slotted. 7-3. Banbury had another penalty in Old’s 22, which Foggi this time, pushed past the far post, leaving the score at 7—3, but the ball sailed straight onto Jed Boyle’s wind screen, smashing it and left it needing a replacement, 1-0 Foggi!

The first 20 minutes resembled a basketball match, Old Ed’s got their hands on the ball, and a great line from the Old Ed’s full back saw him break through to gain field position. Full Back, Tim Whitehouse got his hands on the ball again and score in the corner, Short missed the conversion, 12-3.

Old Eds had a penalty right in front 35 metres out, Skipper Short took the 3 points, 15-3 to Old Ed’s. Banbury found their feet just before the break, spotting an overlap on the left, Joe Mills and Jed Boyle combine well to make the break and Carl Daniels was on hand to finish off the well taken try, Foggi missed the kick to goal meaning Bulls went into the break 15-8 down but this try gave them the momentum going into the 2nd half.

Early in the 2nd half Banbury had another penalty under the post and Foggi Made it 15-11. When Banbury infringed they were not only punished by the Referee but also the Old Ed’s forward pack, who again set up another driving maul which lead to another try in the corner, this time for Number 8 Paul Rees. Short converted putting Old Ed’s 22-8 up and leaving Banbury with a big job on!

Banbury needed to get on the front foot and take control of the game, Banbury Skipper took a quick tap and made a 60 meter break only to be caught 7 meters from the line. This sparked Banbury into life, Ed Phillips pounced on an over thrown line out ball from Old Ed’s, the ball was spread wide and Boyle finished in the corner for his first try of the afternoon, Foggi converted, 22-18.

The game was now being tightly faughtt but you could sense Banbury were getting the upper hand. Ed Phillips made a break and chipped over the winger who was yellow carded for not using his arms in the tackle, rather than a late tackle as the unhappy Old Ed’s crowd misinterpreted. Banbury defiantly took the upper hand for the last 12 minutes running in 3 try’s. The first was more slick play from Banbury which saw Boyle score and Foggi add the extras, 22-25.

Jed Boyle scored again to complete his hat-trick as he dribbled the ball in from 35 metres out to score under the sticks, Foggi converted to make it 22-32. The final try came in the last play of the game, Foggi had options outside him but was determined to get a try for himself and stepped back inside 2 or 3 defenders to dot down, he gave himself cramp in the process meaning skipper Phillips stepped up to slot the 2 points. Final score 22-39, comfortable in the end, but Old Eds were better than the score line suggested.

Banbury take on Old Cov’s at Bodicote Park on Saturday 8th March 3pm KO, will they make it 9 in a row?

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