BUCKINGHAM RUFC slipped to fifth in Southern Counties North after losing 29-27 in an absorbing encounter with league leaders Reading Abbey.
Though Buckingham scored three converted tries in the first half, continuous penalties given away proved to be their downfall as Reading remained in contention before ultimately winning the game by the narrowest of margins.
With both sides playing a similar style of expansive rugby, it proved to be a top-class, end-to-end contest that kept the large crowd entertained.
Reading were first to show their intent with quick-ball from the breakdown but Buckingham cleared their lines and accurate kicking by Andy White saw them step up the pressure.
Tom Amos drove on before Jamie Hulston made ground on the left for scrum half Sam Clapham to score on his debut.
White converted from out wide to put Buckingham seven points ahead but the visitors conceded three penalties in ten minutes and found themselves 9-7 behind after some good kicking from Joe Murphy.
Eventually Buckingham surged up the other end and regained the lead through a White penalty but it didn’t last long as Murphy kicked his fourth penalty.
However, Buckingham stormed into a half time lead with their pack causing problems as Andrew Jackson burst up field and he passed to Theo Mettenheimer and he off-loaded to James Bernard, who chipped over the defence to gather and score a superb try.
With Abbery in disarray, Buckingham went further ahead just before the break when Calpham crossed for his second try and White added the extras, which gave the visitors a 24-12 half time lead.
Both sides played with the same intensity after the restart and Reading battled their way to the Buckingham line as they scored two tries in three minutes – both by tricky scrum half Will Bevan who exploited the space.
Both tries were converted and the hosts then edged further ahead thanks to another penalty before Buckingham squandered a golden chances to score as they camped inside the Reading half for the remaining 20 minutes.
But all they had to show for their pressure was a solitary penalty to send them to a defeat that was the result of indiscipline.