Buckingham beat rivals for first win of new season

James Hulston makes a break. Picture by Jake McNulty
James Hulston makes a break. Picture by Jake McNulty

Buckingham entertained long-time rivals and newly-promoted Bletchley at Maids Moreton on Saturday and bagged their first win of the season with an entertaining 29-24 victory.

In a game that was in the balance until the final whistle, Buckingham finally got home by five tries to four but will rue the missed chances to put the result beyond doubt long before.

Both sides were guilty of errors as they racked up 20 penalties between them with the visitors starting the stronger.

Buckingham counter attacked, however, and a sweeping move through the backs enabled Theo Mettenheimer to score wide out after only eight minutes.

Play swung from end-to-end with the visitors almost scoring, only for Buckingham to steal line-out ball five metres from their own try line, but Bletchley did then cross the home side’s try line to level the scores at 5-5.

James Hulston missed a penalty kick before making amends minutes later with a jinking run to score in the corner on 30 minutes. With neither able to improve on that, it was the hosts that led 10-5 at the interval..

Five minutes after the restart, Bletchley were again on level terms through their pacey right winger that left the Buckingham defence at sixes and sevens.

Buckingham hit back almost immediately, though, as the forwards won the ball close to the Bletchley line and drove over with James Temple touching down to give Buckingham a five-point lead for the third time.

More sustained pressure enabled Temple to bag his second try with the conversion by Calum Gillie finally putting Buckingham into a more comfortable 22-10 lead and seemingly on course for victory, only for the referee to lose patience with the constant infringements and yellow card a Buckingham player.

This gave Bletchley hope and straightaway the visiting pack lifted their game to bulldoze over for a converted try and put the game in the balance at 22-17.

Back came Buckingham, however, as they drove down field into the visiting 22 and the pressure paid off when Pat Ockendon touched down for an excellent try. Gillies conversation put Buckingham into a 12-point lead.

More Buckingham pressure went unrewarded and Bletchley had the final say when their quick winger burst through two ineffectual tackles on a long run before scoring under the posts.

Although the conversion narrowed the deficit to just five points, it was too little too late as Buckingham sealed their first win of the campaign.

Buckingham are away to Witney this weekend.