RUGBY: No-one could have expected Saturday’s outcome as Buckingham’s young side overturned the formbook with a stunning 23-8 victory against top of the table Coney Hill.
The visitors had won all their previous eight league games scoring nearly 350 points on the way and must have looked on their first visit to Buckingham as a routine victory bearing in mind the hosts lowly league position.
Nothing could have been further from the truth however as Buckingham emerged victorious by three tries to one and confirmed their return to form.
The game started well for Coney Hill as Buckingham transgressed almost from the kick-off to give the visitors a three points’ start after only two minutes.
This early setback goaded Buckingham into life as they stormed forward with a series of attacking moves to put Coney on the back foot so that they were level after eight minutes with a penalty from Andy White.
Both sides continued to probe for an opening giving away penalties in the process, something Buckingham must eradicate if they are to progress to better things, but they took the lead after twenty minutes when Coney were penalised for not releasing and White slotted over the kick.
Coney stepped up the pressure and Buckingham conceded three penalties in a row before the referee lost patience and yellow carded their number six.
Against the odds the home side’s seven forwards refused to buckle with Hartnett and Haycock involved in a crucial strike against the head by hooker Seth Williams finally relieving the onslaught.
From then on Buckingham were in the driving seat and from a lineout on the Coney line the ball was gathered in, the resultant drive ending with a try for Adam Whiter, Andy White again successful to give Buckingham a 13-3 lead at the interval.
Smarting from this reverse Coney drove downfield and camped yards from the home tryline. Again Buckingham stood firm under at least ten minutes of continious assult,their magnificent defence never faltering, with another Williams ball against the head frustrating the Coney front row.
Captain Tom Amos had probably his best game of the season and was always at the heart of the action.
Buckingham broke up field and Coney were found wanting when Pat Ockendon instigated the move that saw Whiter score his second try fifteen minutes into into the half to give Buckingham breathing space at 18-3.
The visitors keen to show why they are top of the league made every effort to run the ball though their strong three quarter-line but Bernard and Gurney knocked them over and the moves came to nothing.
It was left to the visitors’ pack to keep them in the game with a try thirty minutes into the half to make it 18-8 but by then nearly two hundred and fifty spectators could sense something special was happening as Buckingham continued to charge forward going close on more than one occasion.
Finally White who cotrolled the game beautifully at fly-half put in a neat chip over the Coney centres and winger James Hulston picked the ball out of the air stepping inside his marker to score his tenth try of the season.
Coney Hill returned to Gloucester well beaten for the first time this season, whilest Buckingham were applauded off the field, the whole team receiving the ‘Man of The Match’ award.