Spartans Suffer Banbury Backlash

Midlands 2 West (South)

Last Updated: Apr 7, 2014 03:46pm
Bodicote, Cherwell
By Ed Phillips
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Banbury came away comfortable winners from a game that, before kick-off, threatened to be a tricky encounter. Having beaten Banbury by 6 points earlier in the season, Banbury felt they had a point to prove.

The first 20 mins was frantic and both sides enjoyed spells of possession. It was Banbury who got on the score sheet first. Captain Ed Phillips made a trademark break around the fringes and was hauled down after chipping over the fullback, the Ref predicted the covering defence would have done their job, so it was a penalty rather than a penalty try. Phillips picked himself up to pop over an easy kick at the posts. 3-0.

The Bulls got possession from the re-start and made progress up the field. It was another break by the skipper that led to the first try of the game, he broke through the defence and with precision put the ball on the outside of his right boot perfectly into Josh Deegan’s path who collected the ball and ran in his first try of the game. Phillips missed the extras. 8-0.

It was another quick score from Banbury, more steady phase-play saw them make their way up field and a well worked backs move by man of the match Dan Tooth enabled Chris Phillips to dot down, to increase Banbury’s lead to 13-0. Again the skipper missed the conversation.

Spartans then replied with two try’s of their own. Banbury coughed the ball up trying to force the final pass and on both occasions Spartans finished well. This, despite Banbury’s dominance left the game poised at 13-10.

The two sides again swapped scores, Chris Phillips with an easy finish and swallow dive (pictured) to celebrate his second try. Spartans again finished their try well again having turned the ball over, with Spartans scoring with every visit to the Bulls 22, they showed how dangerous they can be. The score again with only a 3 point gap at 18-15.

Banbury spoke under the posts about retaining the ball, and this is exactly what they did as they went about putting the game beyond Spartans reach. Making easy meters with their strong runners, Spartans rand out of defenders and Chris Phillips picked up from the base of a ruck and completed a first half hat-trick, his little brother again couldn’t add the extras. 23-15.

Josh Deegan’s 2nd try resembled his first, this time Joe Mills broke through, and saw Deegan in space on the right and put boot to ball. Again Deegan gathered and beat the last man to dot down. Phillips finally added the extras making it 30-15 at half time.

Banbury again pin pointed some specific areas that they wanted to improve on, and again they did so, starting the second half where they left off in the first. The games only controversial moment came with Banbury’s first try of the half. Carl Daniels ran a good line, the ball bounced off his chest into a Spartans player, back in to the grateful arms of Daniels who dotted down. Following the final whistle the Referee was apologetic for missing the ball hitting the Spartans player which would have made it a knock on, and thought Daniels collected his initial fumble. Phillips added the extras to make it 37-15.

Banbury hooker Brett Richmond found himself in the oppositions 22 with ball in hand and space to run into. You could almost see the excitement in his face as he put his head down and charged for the line. As the ball was grounded a cheer of delight was released from the jubilant Richmond who had finally scored his first try in Bulls colours at the end of his second season with the club. Phillips slid the conversation to the right from the touch line. 42-15.

The try’s were coming thick and fast at this stage. Joe Mills added to his account for the season running under the posts to give his skipper an easy conversation. Jed Boyle then added two final scores, one of which Phillips converted to make the final score 70-15.

With the final play of the game Spartans scored their bonus point try which they deserved after they’re clinical first half finishing. The final score was 70-22 and, with other results confirmed, Earlsdon have been crowned champions and Banbury cannot be caught in second, meaning they will face a play-off game to try and seal promotion.

Dan Tooth collected the man of the match award for running the game from fly-half combined with excellent defence, at times putting in devastatingly hard tackles.

Bulls entertain Stourbrige Lions in the final regular season game, again at Bodicote Park Saturday 12th April 3pm Kick off.



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