RUGBY UNION: Kerr’s delight as Banbury battle into county final

Josh Deegan

Josh Deegan

First published in Rugby

OXFORDSHIRE CUP

BANBURY Bulls head coach James Kerr praised his players’ supreme effort after they defeated Henley 2nd 24-19 in the semi-finals at Bodicote Park last night.

Henley, whose second team are also known as the Bulls, led 19-18 at half-time, but Banbury edged it with two penalties from Eddie Phillips.

Centre Jimmy Manley and wing Josh Deegan scored Banbury’s tries. Fly half Alex Fogavini converted Manley’s effort and two penalties.

Midlands 2 West South leaders Banbury will play either Oxford Harlequins or Witney, who clash tomorrow, in the final.

Kerr said: “I am so proud of every one of them. It was an unbelievable performance.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the boys.

“It’s proving an amazing season for us. That’s ten wins in a row in league and cup matches.”

South West 1 East leaders Quins have named a full-strength squad for their home clash with Witney.

Fly half Zac Norris is rested after suffering a knee injury last week.

Ralph Jones returns at scrum half, Spencer Goggins switches to the wing, and Jack Robinson goes to full back, with Will Hilton at fly half.

“The league is obviously is the priority, but to reach the county final, would top off what has been a fantastic season,” said head of rugby Steve Chadbone.

“We know Witney will be up for it, and we’ll be up for it as well.”

Witney, whose seven-match winning run was halted at Towcestrians on Saturday, will be without skipper Jez Hicks (shoulder).

Manager Francis Grant said: “We’re playing with great confidence at present and will give it a go.”

TOMORROW’S SEMI-FINAL LINE-UPS

Oxford Harlequins (v Witney, home): Robinson, Tickle, Lee, Fisilau, Goggins, Hilton, Jones, Marshall, Edney, Boulton, Brown (capt), Purchase, Battson, Tupou. Reps: Si Chadbone, Barlow, Neal, Johnstone, Etheridge.

Witney (v Oxford Harlequins, away): Clarke, Fisk, J Lamb, H Lamb, Strutt, Landray, G Campbell, Burke, A Copperwheat, Richens, Mortimer, Bennett, C Cam-pbell, Empson, Rowles. Reps: Harris, Richardson, Monks, Lennards, Hyde, Craig, Spencer.

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