Buckingham’s woes continue with late drop goal

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Following their defeat at Marlow last Saturday, Buckinghams woes continued as they failed to beat Newbury at Maids Moreton and remain rooted in the South West One East relegation zone.

Despite a week of rain, Buckingham’s pitch was in surprisingly good condition, but strong wind made life difficult for both teams as the visitors came away with a tense 20-17 victory thanks to a drop goal in the dying seconds.

Once again Buckingham started strongly and took the lead after only four minutes when the visitors were caught offside and Andy White slotted over the penalty.

Newbury soon had Buckingham on the back foot, however, and unforced errors and missed tackles were to prove their undoing as the pressure paid off with a converted try.

Buckingham eventually achieved some cohesion in their play to put the visitors under pressure, but more errors allowed Newbury to clear.

As play swung from end-to-end, Calum Gillie stripped the ball free from an attacker to avert the danger and Buckingham drove on from a scrum before the ball reached Sam Cook, who ran powerfully to score a fine try with White’s conversion bringing the scores level at half-time.

Buckingham were guilty of sloppy defending to gift Newbury a second try after barely five minutes of the restart, the conversion leaving Buckingham with it all to do.

With neither side able to break the deadlock, play centred mainly in the middle third of the pitch and, as in previous weeks, the home eight began to dictate play, grinding Newbury down on their own line with scrums and driving mauls, until a final surge carried over skipper Tom Amos. White calmly added the extras to level the scores with only minutes remaining.

Newbury made one last foray into the Buckingham half and with almost the final kick of the game, their scrum-half put over a drop goal to secure four valuable points and leave Buckingham with a solitary bonus point.

Things don’t get any easier for Buckingham this weekend as they take on runaway leaders Oxford Harlequins.