Superb Buckingham clinch the title

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Buckingham RUFC 1st XV hammered Thatcham 69-19 to win their 12th successive league match and clinch the Southern Counties North title.

Following the dismal weather last year, the warm and sunny conditions at Thatcham made for some open, flowing rugby with Buckingham producing another superb display to remain unbeaten in 2013.

The visitors were fast out of the blocks as Andy White slotted an early penalty before Sam Clapham ran in a try from Thatcham’s 10m line.

That was followed by a try for James Hulston following fine work from Callum Gillie, whose pick-up and clever kick created the score, before further tries from Steve Datchler and Phil Wright, both converted by White, put Buckingham 29-0 ahead after only 20 minutes.

Despite being pushed off the ball at the scrum by a well-drilled Thatcham pack, excellent trademark defence by Buckingham denied Thatcham from close range.

Another try by Wright, converted by White, led to the move of the game by Buckingham as slick interplay between Datchelor and Andrew Jackson saw Hulston cross for his second, again converted by White.

Further tries from Pat Ockendon and Jackson, with one conversion by White, completed an excellent first half display, with Buckingham leading 55-0.

To their credit, Thatcham fought back in the second half and reduced the arrears with an unconverted try.

Buckingham responded courtesy of a converted try from Tom Amos but again Thatcham came back through a converted try.

Wright then scored his third try of the match and 22nd of the season but Thatcham had the final say with a late try.

However, it was Buckingham celebrating promotion at full time having racked up a record-breaking points tally of 1077 points for and 280 against for the season to seal the title in emphatic style.

Buckingham won the title on 91 points, three ahead of Grove, and will now play in South West One East next season.