Buckingham easily overwhelm Wallingford to keep promotion hopes alive

Pat Ockendon
Pat Ockendon

Buckingham cantered to a one-sided 33-0 win over Wallingford to keep alive their hopes of promotion in the Southern Counties North.

From kick-off the visitors’ intent was clear, some deft passing leading to Callum Gillie’s try within the first ten minutes which he was unable to convert, but a good first score on the board.

A penalty against Buckingham led to an attacking line-out to Wallingford which was smartly snatched by Buckingham’s Jamie Temple.

This competitiveness at the Wallingford line-outs coupled with some big touch kicking by Jak Cluness throughout the first half allowed the visitors to dominate despite Wallingford having possession for long periods but making very little forward progress.

Buckinghams’ superiority at the ruck proved to be one of the differences between the two sides; the high penalty count against Wallingford for continually going in at the side of the ruck costing them.

Buckingham, as usual, were able to set up some good driving mauls, not only for the try line, but also one of the midfIeld efforts leading to a sparkling 15 metre carry by the hooker Seth Williams into Wallingford’s 22.

Some slick passing hereafter took Buckingham to within a few metres of the gain line before the ball was lost forward. Up field Wallingford threatened again but with another penalty awarded against them for coming in at the side, Pat Ockendon was able to break quickly for a pass out to Jamie Lee, who stormed down the wing for a virtually unchallenged to the try line for Buckingham’s second score, converted by Gillie, and a 12-0 lead.

Wallingford continued to press but another good carry up field, this time by Toby Smith gave Buckingham good field position but no further tries ensued in this half.

The second half started well for the visitors with their line-out continuing to fire nicely and with Wallingford’s sometimes a bit awry.

Another driving maul allowed for a pop up ball which let the quick witted Toby Smith catch and carry the few metres to the line for Buckingham’s third try converted by Gillie to take the score to 19-0.

From scrummages to good off loads and long clean passes Buckingham continued to have the upper hand until another attacking line-out and drive from the Wallingford line saw the Buckingham captain Pat Ockendon safely over in the corner for the fourth and bonus-point try which again was skilfully converted by Gillie.

Phil Wright then made a good break for several metres, which led to the ball passing through safe hands to Jak Cluness for a tidy short pass to an on hand Tom Haycock to expertly stretch his considerable length to achieve the try line for Buckingham’s fifth and final try much to the delight of his team-mates.