TOBY Jones kicked a lastminute penalty as Shipston secured their first points of the season by edging out Banbury 20-19 in a thrilling Midlands Two West (South) clash.
It was a tense end to a hardfought game at Mayo Road, watched by a large crowd as part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Shipston took the lead when a Banbury clearance was neatly claimed by full-back James Sale who found Tom Corby and he offloaded to new signing Luke Organ to touch down in the corner for his first try for the club.
Jones missed the difficult conversion.
Organ was denied a second try soon after but the hosts extended their lead when Rance fed Matt Corby and he used his powerful frame to off-load to his brother Tom to burst through for a converted try.
Shipston’s third try came after some patient build-up play involving backs and forwards.
With a forward drive stopped five metres short, the ball went quickly wide, but was spilled in front of the posts, only for Jones to neatly collect it and dive over the line, before adding the extras himself.
Banbury eventually managed a try of their own and the visitors had cut the deficit to 17-10 at half-time as Shipston’s discipline began to slip.
The second-half saw a more dominant performance from Banbury as they began to control the line-out with their considerable height advantage. In their efforts to win the ball back, Shipston’s penalty count rose allowing the visitors to get within a single point.
With 15 minutes left, Ben Brooks was sin-binned for handling in the ruck and Banbury’s long range effort at goal was successful to give them the lead for the first time in the match.
However, fired up by the home support, Shipston were quickly back on the front foot and the visitors’ scrambled defence gave away a kickable penalty.
With the pressure on, Jones calmly slotted the ball over the posts with the final kick to win the game by the narrowest of margins.
Shipston travel to Newbold-on- Avon this Saturday.