Buckingham RFC finally broke their away duck win on Saturday, but were made to work hard for it by bottom side Salisbury.
Following the narrow loss to league leaders Royal Wootton Bassett, Buckingham travelled expecting their first away win of the season.
After a tentative opening, Buckingham went ahead with Gurney’s fifth-minute penalty.
Salisbury responded quickly with a clever cross-field kick towards the corner which winger Pottage collected out wide and dotted down under the posts for an easy conversion.
The visitors came back strongly and forced two penalties, resulting in a Buckingham lineout on the Salisbury 5m line.
With the lineout secured, a pushover try for Williams and Gurney conversion put Buckingham back in front.
Salisbury were playing much better than their league position suggested and pushing Buckingham off the ball in the scrum.
But Sumner’s moment of magic five minutes before the break helped the visitors extend their lead.
His run from his own 22 up to halfway, and great interplay between forwards and backs enabled Charlie Gulliver to cross for a wonderful team try, converted by Gurney to make it 17-7 at half-time.
For the first 20 minutes of the second half, Salisbury dominated possession and camped in Buckingham’s half, forcing mistakes, with persistent offsides at the ruck, lost lineouts, and missed penalty kicks to touch.
A second penalty for not being 10 metres gave the hosts a simple kick to reduce the deficit to 10-17.
After 63 minutes Buckingham’s first excursion into Salisbury’s half since the break saw the hosts infringe at a ruck.
Buckingham kicked the penalty into touch in the Salisbury 22 where a great catch and drive from the lineout led to Barker crossing to increase the lead to 22-10.
Salisbury hit back and finally crossed Buckingham’s line, only to be denied a try for a forward pass.
After losing a lineout deep in Salisbury territory, Buckingham were forced back to their own 22.
Home full-back Clayson danced through three missed tackles for a converted try with the last play of the game to make the final score 22-17 and earn a deserved losing bonus point.
Buckingham will rue the missed chance of a try bonus, but will feel lucky to have held on for the win.