Buckingham punished by Swindon

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Buckingham missed an opportunity to record their second away win in succession when they allowed Swindon to score 18 unanswered points and turn a 19-10 deficit into a 28-19 victory.

In an error-ridden encounter, scrum followed penalty with almost monotonous regularity as both sides were unable to mount any serious threat in the opening quarter.

The visitors missed a chance to open the scoring on 20 minutes as a penalty sailed wide, and it was the home side who went ahead when a kick to the corner resulted in Swindon driving over for the first try.

Buckingham then worked their way back up to the Swindon end and Seth Williams responded with a try of his own, but the visitors’ joy was short-lived as the hosts score again to take a 10-5 lead into half time.

Buckingham started the second half at a gallop with their backs finally using the ball to good effect, and a smart break by the excellent James Bernard took him clear of the first line of defenders before his well-timed pass found James Hulston steaming up on his outside to score a try by the posts, leaving Andy White a simple conversion for a 12-10 lead after a mere four minutes.

Three minutes later a crunching hit from prop Dom Lowbridge set a delightful move in motion involving Bernard again and forwards Rob Laird and Phil Wright before Sam Clapham scampered over, White again on target to give the visitors a 19-10 lead.

Swindon’s big forwards continued to drive up the centre of the pitch and Buckingham were soon leaking penalties. Two successful kicks took Swindon to within three points before yet another penalty enabled them to run in a converted try and retake the lead with five minutes remaining.

Further Swindon penalties kept Buckingham on the back foot and their reward was a fourth try, leaving the visitors to reflect on what might have been.

The result keeps Buckingham 10th in South West One East, seven points clear of relegation trouble.

This Saturday, Buckingham face high-flying local rivals Towcester, kicking off at 2.30pm at Maids Moreton.