RUGBY & East Warwickshire used a friendly match against Banbury to good effect by dusting off the Christmas cobwebs and claiming a comfortable 8-4 victory.
The visitors had endured a tough first half to their season in the Midlands Premier and Szymon Oszyjczyk got their 2016 off to the winning start by scoring six goals which he will be hoping is a sign of things to come.
Jack Duerden also bagged a goal on his return and Oscar Kay scored the pick of the bunch with a superb reverse stick strike which topped off a great result.
There was to be no such joy for the second team however after they found themselves on the receiving end of a 4-0 defeat at Beeston.
The hosts took the lead in the tenth minute after a period of extended pressure and despite some good attacking link up play, Rugby lacked any real threat in front of goal.
Beeston were able to absorb the pressure well and scored to further goals on the counter and after surviving a wave of Rugby attacks in the second half, a fourth breakaway goal sealed a comfortable win for the home side.
The third team put in an excellent performance to claim a point following an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to third-placed Harborne.
Paul Ryan scored Rugby’s first and debutant D Odwell got their second with a fine reverse stick strike before Harborne pulled level with two goals of their own.
With five minutes to play Rugby thought they had scored the winner when Ryan Hibberd scored a fantastic breakaway goal, but with minutes to play Harborne scrambled in a penalty corner to break Rugby hearts.
The fourth team put in a disappointing performance away at Cannock and lost out by a single goal in the second half.
Both sides were evidently rusty following the winter break and were guilty of making too many misplaced passed. The only notable moment was some excellent goalkeeping from Sam Fletcher who kept the scoreline level heading into half-time.
There was some mild improvement from Rugby in the second half with Huskinson, Calum Mackay and David Manning all coming close.
It soon became clear that one goal would seal it and it came late on when a foul on half-way led to a quick Cannock break and although Fletcher produced a superb initial save, he was unable to keep pout the rebound.
The fifth team tasted a narrow defeat at home to Boots, while the sixth team lost 4-1 at Coalville and the club’s seventh team beat Nuneaton with 4-0.
Elsewhere in the women’s section, goals from Indie Green, Lou-Lou Danger and Hannah Allroggen helped the second team record a 3-1 win over Edgbaston, while the third team beat Sutton Coldfield 2-0.