BUCKINGHAM’S four-game unbeaten run came to an end at the weekend when they were narrowly beaten 21-17 in the first game played at Alchester Rugby Club’s new ground.
The Oxfordshire side have now won all of their first three games to move up to third in Southern Counties North, two points and one place ahead of Buckingham.
It was Alchester who began the stronger of the two teams with a converted try inside six minutes.
Buckingham responded well but were prevented from an almost certain try by referee decisions on two occasions.
However, the visitors did mange to reduce the arrears courtesy of Andy White’s penalty before Steve Miller and Sam Cook both went close to scoring.
Injuries and yellow cards resulted in 10 minutes of stoppage time in the first half and Alchester took full advantage to take a 14-3 lead into half time.
The match remained a ferocious encounter in the second period with plenty of hard hits and scoring opportunities.
A second yellow card for Buckingham allowed Alchester to put on the pressure and it told immediately as a neat sequence of moves led to a third converted try.
At 21-3 down and with less than 20 minutes left, Buckingham seemed out of it but a try by Jamie Hulston – converted by White – gave them a glimmer of hope.
As the game approached the closing stages,White played in Miller, who burst through to touch down and bring the deficit to four points.
But it was too little too late for Buckingham as Alchester ran out deserved winners.