Buckingham RFC moved up to sixth in the unpredictable South West 1 after a stunning 63-17 win over Chippenham on Saturday.
Home supporters may have expected a torrid afternoon against opponents who had comfortably beaten one of the league’s strongest teams, Banbury, just the weekend before.
But instead Buckingham entertained the 100-plus spectators with a nine-try feast.
The Chippenham forwards brought size, brute force and physicality, to the game while the backs had aggression in the centres and pace and flare out wide.
The hosts responded with dogged determination, thumping tackles, and superior fitness.
Ed Kinman was in top form and opened the scoring with two penalties for a 6-0 lead within as many minutes.
The fly-half then punished yet another Chippenham infringement by poking the ball into the corner where a lineout rumble saw Tyler Green force his way over for a converted try.
The visitors appeared to have got the journey out of their system and worked the ball right up to the home 5m line until Jamie Temple’s powerful tackle and a Jamie Lee turnover ended their run.
Another Chippenham penalty put Buckingham forwards into the corner for a lineout and another try, this time from veteran hooker Seth Williams. The conversion made it 20-0.
Matt London’s crunching tackle and turnover from Temple prevented a certain Chippenham score, and frustration got the better of the visitors as a deliberate knock-on reduced them to 14 men for 10 minutes.
A set move from the resulting lineout gave man-of-the-match Pat Ockendon space to sprint through the defence to touch down under the posts. Conversion by Kinman, 27-0.
More reckless play compounded their problems as a no-arm tackle from number eight Charlie Palmer saw the visitors lose another man to the bin.
Ollie Horton then gathered a wayward clearance kick to scamper through and score, and Kinman’s conversion made it 34-0 at half-time.
Contrary to usual form, Buckingham came straight out after the break full of energy and determination, scoring two quick tries, the first from Henry Sweeny’s powerful run before bench replacement Ollie Crompton crossed (46-0).
Chippenham responded with slick handling between back and forwards and a powerful break from Joe Thomas which put speedy winger Alex Christopher away in the corner (46–5).
Kinman’s cross-field kick teed up Josh Graham to dot down in the corner before fine inter-play from Matt Bruce and Temple put the impressive Horton away for his second try. Conversion by Kinman, 58-5.
After losing tighthead prop, Craig Dumbarton to injury, Chippenham caught Buckingham napping to steal a scrum and score an unconverted try in the corner.
Buckingham appeared to have a 10-minute period of self-reflection and gave Chippenham winger Christopher, an easy chance to score his second.
But the hosts had the final word when Australian import Matt Bruce picked up a short pass from Harry Scarr to score out wide (63-17).
After a weekend off, Buckingham return to league action on February 1 against Marlborough.