MATT Goode lauded his players after Banbury won the Oxfordshire Cup for a fourth year in a row.

Tries from winger Dan Brady (2) and No 8 Ed Berridge saw Bulls overcome Chinnor’s 2nd XV – the Falcons – 20-5 at Iffley Road on Thursday night.

Despite the scoreline, Bulls were made to dig deep and spent the final 20 minutes inside their own half to preserve the lead.

The victory helped Banbury become the fifth team to win the cup four years in a row, following in the footsteps of Oxford, Henley, Oxford Harlequins and Chinnor.

It was also the perfect send-off for fly-half Sam Stoop and prop Joe Winpenny, who marked their final games before retirement with silverware.

Head coach Goode was thrilled to see his side deliver again.

He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling – it’s amazing.

“I would never have dreamt it as a youngster watching the old Banbury lot down at Henley and places like that, so it’s an amazing feeling.

“We have a great bunch of lads and I’m absolutely overwhelmed for the boys and the club.”

Only Henley have won the competition five years in a row and Bulls’ desire to be county champions is showing no sign of wavering.

Goode said: “When you’ve won it, you want to keep it, and we’ll never tire of it.

“The county cup is a special thing and we want to win it – that’s our statement.”

Falcons were pinned back in a frenetic opening ten minutes, but posed a threat on the counter.

Only a fine tackle from Banbury’s Berridge prevented Oscar Heath from racing through, before an unlucky bounce denied Evan Davies the chance to sprint to the line from his own half after outpacing Stoop.

However, Bulls sent out a strong message that it would take something special to prise the cup from their grip with two Brady tries in the space of three minutes.

Berridge’s fine one-handed offload sent the winger, who started despite a broken bone in his hand, racing over on 17 minutes.

Oxford Mail:

  • Ed Berridge brilliantly offloads to Dan Brady for Banbury's first try Picture: Simon Grieve

Banbury were straight back on the attack after the restart and, after the ball was worked quickly across the pitch, Brady crossed for his second.

Ed Phillips, who hit the left post with his first conversion attempt, added the extras to make it 12-0.

Falcons were not to be deterred, though, and reduced the deficit on 25 minutes when Brad Harewood dived over for an unconverted try.

But Banbury quickly made it 15-5 when Phillips slotted over a penalty.

Falcons continued to dig deep and dominated the last ten minutes of the half, but they were crucially unable to make their pressure count.

Bulls were lifted by their defensive effort at the end of the first period and stretched their lead to 20-5 on 53 minutes when Berridge benefitted from a driving maul.

Chinnor, seven-time winners of this competition, desperately needed to find a way back into the game, but handling errors proved costly while Banbury defended manfully.

Among those putting their body on the line was Berridge, who was awarded the Ron Grimshaw Memorial Trophy for his display.

He said: “It’s great to get man of the match, it’s the cherry on the top of the cake, but the best bit was winning the cup final.

"It’s my first season with Banbury and the lads have welcomed me so well.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Ed Berridge is presented with the Ron Grimshaw Memorial Trophy by the Oxford Mail’s Jack Johnson Picture: Simon Grieve