Horsham 6-3 Banbury: Hockey team returns to form

JPCT S13480549x HOCKEY: Men's 1sts v Banbury I at BBH-photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT S13480549x HOCKEY: Men's 1sts v Banbury I at BBH-photo by Steve Cobb

A ‘top class’ performance from Horsham’s men saw them return to winning ways with a convincing 6-3 victory over Banbury on Saturday.

Twice hosts Horsham had to come from behind as two goals apiece from skipper Duncan Howarth and Jack Dean, plus strikes from John Burroughs and Mark Humphreys ended a frustrating run of just one point from their four previous games.

A delighted Howarth said: “It was a top class performance, one that showcased our potential, and one that I hope will be a catalyst for the rest of the season.

“It’s given us a lot of confidence, and if we can continue scoring, we know we have a very good chance of winning more games with the best defence in the league to back us up.”

For the first time in a month, Horsham hosted a home game that wasn’t played in heavy rain.

It was an eagerly anticipated tie against a Banbury side that had occupied a top three position in the league for much of the season.

The game started brightly, with both teams threatening, but despite the home team having the majority of the early possession, it was Banbury who took the lead.

Undeterred, Horsham began to show some of the hockey they are capable of and quick work in front of the Banbury goalkeeper saw Howarth slot home for the hosts.

Banbury got a very fortunate second, when the unfortunate Dave Leadbitter turned home a speculative cross from a Banbury attack.

Clearly not deserved, this appeared to spur Horsham on and they put together a string of attacks that resulted in goals for Dean and a second for Howarth.

With a one-goal advantage at half-time, an early Banbury attack saw a dubious penalty corner awarded from which the away team converted and draw the scores back level.

At this point, it would have been easy to let Banbury back into the game and let them seize the momentum.

This was not to be though, as after a period of Horsham possession, a ‘purple patch’ yielded three goals scored in the space of ten minutes; a penalty corner from Burroughs, a penalty stroke from Humphreys and a second of the game from Jack Dean.

Despite Banbury’s efforts in the final minutes, Horsham defended well as a team and closed the game out.

This Saturday Horsham travel to Oxford Hawks II looking for another three points.