Buckingham fightback falls short at Oxford Harlequins

Buckingham are seventh in South West One East with five wins from nine EMN-191114-123029002
Buckingham are seventh in South West One East with five wins from nine EMN-191114-123029002

Buckingham’s travel sickness continued on Saturday as they lost on the road again, 38-22, away to Oxford Harlequins.

Buckingham named a side with 11 players who had progressed through the junior age groups, but could only play thanks to the artificial surface at Harlequins.

The visitors spot a gap in the Oxford defence EMN-191114-123041002

The visitors spot a gap in the Oxford defence EMN-191114-123041002

Oxford were ahead after just five minutes following a penalty kick to touch, winning the lineout and driving over before adding the conversion.

Buckingham forwards responded with a great drive by Jamie Temple and Henry Sweeney’s lineout steal, but only Charlie Gulliver’s superb tackle prevented another Oxford score following a long kick.

The visitors

Kinman’s penalty reduced the deficit after Oxford infringed with hands in the ruck, and Josh Graham followed up with a powerful run, but the conditions led to several handling errors.

Buckingham staged a second-half comeback but were left with too much to do EMN-191114-123054002

Buckingham staged a second-half comeback but were left with too much to do EMN-191114-123054002

And despite resolute defence, Oxford scored three quick tries to build a 28-3 half-time advantage. 

Buckingham started the second half strongly with good pressure in the scrum, eventually leading to Gulliver picking up a loose ball at the ruck and rounding the full-back for their first try.

Kinman slotted a tough conversion.  

Oxford offended again at the restart and gave away another 10 metres for more comments to the referee.

Scarr took the lineout and a superb forwards drive allowed Seth Williams to score.

Buckingham were now dominant as penetrating runs by Gurney and Scarr piled on the pressure, and when a driving maul made 15 metres, the following scrum from was driven over from five metres and Barker scored a well-earned try. Kinman added the extras. 

With 20 minutes left, the visitors were looking for a bonus-point try and the lead, but Oxford regrouped.

Under pressure on their own line, Buckingham conceded a penalty and a yellow card. Oxford kicked the penalty and then took advantage of the extra man to score another try to seal the win.