Struggling Buckingham slump to fourth straight defeat

James Hulston
James Hulston

Buckingham were once again left to rue what might have been as they let victory slip through their grasp in a 21-10 defeat at home to Newbury.

The hosts dominated the first half but were unable to turn possession into points as they missed another chance to improve on their lowly league position in South West One East.

Buckingham could not have made a better start when they attacked from kick-off and, after good work by the pack, Toby Smith scored with only three minutes gone.

The Newbury response was swift, though, as the visitors worked their way into Buckingham territory and were on the scoreboard four minutes later with a penalty as Buckingham were adjudged to have played the ball on the floor.

The home side continued to have the better of both territory and possession but failed to make good use of the ball to press home their advantage.

Inevitably, Newbury then seized on sloppy defending to score a converted try and take a 10-5 lead into half-time despite being second best for much of the opening period.

After the break, Buckingham continued to look the sharper team with the large but pedestrian Newbury pack mostly second best.

However, with 10 minutes of the second half gone, Buckingham were caught offside and the visitors kicked the three points to lead 13-5.

Back came Buckingham 10 minutes later when Calum Gillie’s speed took clear of the scrum into the heart of the Newbury defence. As he was hauled down, he offloaded to James Hulston on his shoulder, who out-ran his pursuers to score an excellent try.

With the game well controlled by referee Sarah Toll, Newbury again benefited from a Buckingham transgression and went further ahead with another penalty before the visitors enjoyed their best period of the game and, with five minutes left, scored an unconverted try corner.

Buckingham did get back to the other end but all to no avail and Newbury ended with the points as the home side were once again left to rue missed chances.

Buckingham, who remain second from bottom, host Southern Counties North side Aylesbury in the Bucks Cup this Saturday.