Andy White held his nerve to kick the winning conversion and give Buckingham a dramatic 25-23 victory against Marlow after a riveting encounter in South West One East.
Both teams lived up to their reputation for a fast, open style of rugby, but Buckingham made to a terrible start, allowing the visitors backs to carve through them for a seven point advantage with less than two minutes on the clock
However, the home side mounted a sustained attack of their own and James Bernard’s try, converted by White, levelled the scores.
Play swung from end to end, keeping the crowd on their toes, but Marlow were on target with a penalty for offside as the half hour mark loomed only for Buckingham to fashion another excellent try from a dominent scrum wide out on the right ending with Henry Colver sauntering over to celebrate his return after three seasons with National League Two side Chinnor, and Buckingham infront 12-10. By this time skipper Tom Amos had retired injured and worse was to follow with White and Rob Laird both sin-binned in quick succession. Marlow seized the opportunity to score their second try on the stroke of half time to lead 15-12.
The visitors made a fast start when play resumed, surging into the Buckingham 22 but the 13-men held the line well and broke out to catch Marlow offside at their end of the pitch, giving White the chance to bring the scores level again.
Buckingham were now at full strength but Marlow struck a telling blow as, after a period of pressure, their third try opened the gap to 20-15.
Back came Buckingham in this pulsating contest and Marlow transgressed for White to kick the penalty and claw closer at 20-18. Still the game ebbed and flowed as good attacks with both sides eager to run from deep with ball inhand were thwarted by equally good defensive tackles. After a dangerous tip tackle on a Buckingham back had gone unpunished, Buckingham’s drive was repulsed by Marlow who put in a long kick to the corner from a penalty of their own.Though Buckingham did clear their lines, two further penalties by the visitors produced another three points from the latter and the gap widened to 23-18 with ten minutes left to play.
Once more Buckingham lifted themselves with a 20-metre drive almost to the Marlow line, only to be penalised once again. However, there was to be no repeat of another losing bonus point as they came again with another ferocious drive which enabled Phil Wright to power his way over and level the scores. Andy White kept his nerve to kick the winning conversion to the relief of the home support, who held their breath as the final injury time minutes ticked away.
This Saturday, the team travel to Newbury Blues with the coach leaving the club at 11:15.