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Dunlop 15 - 8 Banbury Bulls

Foggy leaves it late to puncture Dunlop's defence

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2014 05:09pm
Bodicote, Cherwell
By Bob Mitchelmore
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A try deep into injury time enabled the Bulls to snatch a last gasp victory which maintained their unbeaten start to the New Year.

A battling Dunlop side could have gained a share of the spoils but a penalty with the last kick of the match fell just short, leaving the Bulls and their supporters very relieved winners.

The heavy underfoot conditions did not favour the Bulls open style of rugby and with Dunlop's powerful runners looking to play a no frills game the Banbury defence was given a thorough examination. Weathering early pressure Banbury's first visit to the home side's 22 yielded a penalty which Alex Fogavini (pictured) converted, but Dunlop quickly equalised with a penalty of their own from Danny James.

The Bulls were then to enjoy their best period of the match when good handling by the backs created two quick tries . First Josh Deegan was put clear on the right wing and when he was stopped just short of the line the supporting David Taylor was on hand to score. Another attack saw the ball go through several pair of hands and winger Lawrence Jackson crossed for an excellent team try.

To their credit Dunlop, whose performance belied their lowly league position, were not willing to lie down and when for once the Banbury defence was found wanting the Dunlop prop, Aaron Jarvis, burst through several attempted tackles to score by the posts leaving Danny James with a simple conversion to narrow the gap to three points. Mounting further pressure deep in the Bulls 22 Dunlop took the lead on the stroke of half time with hooker, Alex Clohessy being awarded the try from a forwards drive.

The second half was a largely forgettable affair with both sides making numerous errors, and with the powerful  Dunlop runners appearing to gain the upper hand for their side it took determined defence from the Bulls to avoid falling further behind. Having kept their line intact and with the game well into injury time the Bulls mounted one last attack and managing to retain the ball through the phases Fogavini found the space to cross in the corner to regain the lead for Banbury. There was still time for Dunlop to mount an attack of their own from the kick off which eventually forced a penalty, but James's kick fell agonisingly short.

Next week the Bulls will face the toughest of tests when they entertain league leaders Earlsdon it what should prove to be a defining game of the season.

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