Henley 25 Banbury 5
Henley RFC U15s, playing in Oxfordshire League I, picked up a well-earned bonus point in their first home league match of the season against Banbury. A full strength Henley side, with last season’s top try scorer Max Ainsworth playing for the first time this season following injury, largely dominated this encounter. An early try from Harry Derbyshire bursting through the defensive line settled the nerves. Two minutes later a second try scored as the ball went wide to the outside centre, Max Ainsworth. His scorching pace left defenders in his wake as he scored on the right. The game settled for a while with Banbury’s defence having to work hard. Banbury were constantly put under pressure when they did have the ball, with the Henley line moving up quickly in defence. A further try from Max Ainsworth out wide and Henley were in control at 15-0. Banbury creaked and had to work really hard to keep Henley out for the last 15 minutes of the first half, kicking defensively to clear their lines, with Henley close to scoring on several occasions. Banbury did create an opportunity out wide but a brilliant try saving tackle by Iwan Macrae saw their player knocked into touch.
A score by Iwan Macrae early in the second half was followed by Banbury’s best period of play as a series of penalties against Henley near their 22m line created sustained pressure. A ‘crash ball’ out wide and Banbury were through to score, 20-5. Both sides had substitutions this half but Henley continued to play attractive and committed rugby. A fantastic period of play by Henley towards the end of the match, with Louis Shankland making 20 metres before being brought down metres from the line. Quickly recycled, the ball went wide to the left wing where Charlie Borg ran the ball in to complete the scoring. Henley 25 Banbury 5.