RUGBY: Buckingham, unpredictable as ever, overturned the form book in the semi-final of the Bucks Cup by beating Marlow 28-17 last Saturday.
The game was a scrappy affair as both sides became increasingly irritated at the mystifying decisions from the referee,which on a bitterly cold afternoon with a strong wind blowing down the pitch was enough to cope with anyway.
Buckingham kicked off with the wind at their backs and an early penalty from Andy White took them deep into Marlow territory.The mobile Buckingham pack were quick to the breakdown all game winning the majority of the ball on the ground and setting up a good platform for the backs to exploit.
After fifteen minutes they seized their opportunity to put points on the board when a break by Tom Amos was carried on by Turvey and White, the quick ball sending Zandy Neasham down the wing and over behind the posts, White making it 7-0 with the conversion.
Marlow’s counter attack was well held by a resolute Buckingham defence before a great kick by White preceded another sweeping move by the backs, James Bernard breaking the final tackle to surge clear and score.White added the extras to put Buckingham 14-0 in front with twenty-five minutes played.
Over eagerness cost Buckingham further scores with two penalties to Marlow relieving their under pressure defence.
A sniping run by White to the corner was stopped on the line before another move would have seen a try the ball being held in the centre with a two man overlap waiting.Finally the pressure paid off when Marlow were caught offside.
A long kick with the wind by White lead to a winning lineout, quick ball by Bernard safely delivered into the hands of Steve Miller, whose great angle of running took him over unopposed,White again on target to make it 21-0 to the home side after 35 minutes.
Almost on the stroke of half time, a speculative kick ahead by Marlow on an infrequent visit into the Buckingham 22 bounced badly in the corner wrong footing the defender for a fortunate try against the run of play.
It was Buckingham’s turn to face the wind as Marlow kicked off the second half, but once again the home side ran the ball back and Marlow were penalised for playing the ball on the ground.
An untidy lineout resulted in the ball running loose and Adam Whiter was first to react and score an oppotunitist try. White’s excellent conversion against the wind was just what Buckingham needed with 35 minutes still to play.
The home side continued to win ball with the front five making the hard yards count, though the heavier Marlow pack finally got a toehold in the game as Buckingham’s stubborn defence thwarted their efforts, a kick ahead by Amos and a thunderous tackle to follow typifying Buckingham’s commitment. It took the visitors a full 30 minutes before Buckingham finally cracked and Fulton scored with an excellent run through a tiring defence.
Minutes later they scored again this time adding the conversion to close the gap to 28-17.Though Marlow came close Buckingham were never going to give up this one as they drove the visitors back time after time until the final whistle.
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