Return to winning form
A young and reshuffled Buckingham side welcomed Stow on the Wold knowing that only a win would satisfy Coach White and the home support after their last two disappointing league performances .
The weather was perfect as Stow kicked off the first half playing away from the road end. The kick was well fielded and driven up by Matt London playing at Flanker, and then fed back to fly half Kinman who used his powerful boot to clear well into the Stow 22. Such kicks proved to be a feature of the game and gave the home side a distinct advantage over the shorter more conservative Stow efforts. Hence whilst Stow won the ensuing line out the clearance kick left them still having to play out of their half. Euan Prime won the next lineout and fed it on to Will Cooper who burst around the back of the lineout into midfield to form a ruck at which Stow infringed to give away a penalty which Kinman “Sladelike” found touch within 5 metres of the Stow line. Whilst the ball was won , it was knocked on after a couple of forward drives to allow Stow to clear up to their 22. Again the lineout ,which functioned well all game, was won and the ball was worked out along the backs to Centre Oli Crompton who cut a good line to gain ground but was then penalised for not releasing the ball. Whilst Stow gained ground from the penalty kick and retained possession from the line out, they then knocked on to give the home side the put in at the first scrum of the game.
The Buckingham scrum ,which has on a number of occasions this season struggled to hold it’s ground, delighted the home spectators by showing a superiority which was maintained throughout the game, and being rewarded with a penalty. Kinman once more planting the ball well into the Stow 22.
Whilst the ball was knocked on from the lineout , the resultant scrum saw Buckingham drive the Stow pack into reverse and with the ball bobbling out scrum half Joe Chalmers snaffled up the same and wriggled to within 5 metres of the try line. Buckingham then had three forward drives to within feet of the line, before the ball released along the backs to winger Charlie Gulliver who was just kept out by the quickly drifting Stow defence. Buckingham regained the ball however from an overthrow at the line out but Stow managed to scramble the ball away from the ruck. This led to a period of intense Buckingham pressure with notable drives by the forwards in the form of Prime and Hooker Mathew Payne and with the ball then going out to centre Jamie Lee who straightened the line to be hauled down 15 metres out . Cooper driving on and then Second Row Jim Barker spotting the absence of Stow defenders at the ruck then bursting through and scoring under the posts with Kinman converting .Score Buckingham 7 Stow On The Wold 0 after 14 mins.
Buckingham exited well and whilst they managed to spoil the Stow lineout, they were penalised and Stow kicked the ensuing penalty into the Buckingham 22. This was however only a brief respite before Buckingham again , curtesy of Kinman’s boot , found themselves in the Stow 22. From a scrum 20 metres out the Buckingham Pack drove back the Stow eight to leave the ball at the feet of number 8 Prime who gained another few metres before setting it back for Chalmers to feed Kinman .Kinman learning from the previous two league games when Buckingham were caught defending far too narrowly ,spotted Stow doing the same and chipped the ball out wide to the on rushing winger Tom Warren who cantered over for a try 10metres from the touch line, Kinman converting with a fine kick. Score Buckingham 14 Stow On The Wold 0 after 22 mins.
From the kick off a brief game of kick tennis ensued , ending with the inevitable result of Kinman hitting a raking kick which bounced firmly into the Stow 22 once more. The next score coming when a fine piece of centre play by Crompton set up winger Warren to go in for his second try out wide which went unconverted.Score Buckingham 19 Stow On the Wold 0 after 25 mins.
There followed a period of play in the middle of the field with each side failing to make much headway, but then Stow were awarded a penalty from a lineout and spotting little reaction from the Buckingham defence , took a quick tap and fed it to the winger Will Marks who burst through some lack lustre Buckingham defence to score and then scrum half Dave Hill proceeded to rub salt into the wound with a fine conversion. Score Buckingham 19 Stow On The Wold 7 after 32 Mins.
This proved to be the final score of the half although the highlights were a bullocking 20 metre (no doubt extended in the bar) run by Tight head Prop Stuart Tomkinson who seemed as surprised as anyone as defenders bounced off him ,and not a little relieved , that it had come to an end within just 7 metres of the line ! The other being the scrum shortly thereafter when the Buckingham Pack literally drove over their opposition to leave two of their front row on the floor and needing attention before proceeding further.
The second half was a much more even affair , with Stow working out that hard running coupled with the powerful hand off remains an important part of the game, and manfully digging in at the Scrum.
From the Buckingham perspective it was good to see the elusive hard running of in particular Wiggy Gurney who came on at Full back along with the continued threats of Crompton Gulliver and Warren.
The next score of the game proved to be the most exciting, arising from a scrum close to the Buckingham line. Confident of winning possession , and with their coach’s voice ringing out, Buckingham decided to run the ball following a quick pick and drive by Flanker Harry Scarr.The ball was rifled out by Kinman and onto Gurney. With Compton on a dummy run and drawing in a defender it left Gurney to run round and feed winger Gulliver who raced out of the 22 with Gurney in support to receive the return pass on the Stow 10 metre line and race in to score beneath the posts. Conversion by Kinman. Score Buckingham 26 Stow On The Wold 7.after 6 mins of the second half.
Stow then seemed to up their enthusiasm for the game and after a period in the Buckingham 22 were rewarded with a try just left of the posts following a charged down kick. Converted by Hill. Score Buckingham 26 Stow On The Wold 14.after 15 mins
From the kick off the ball was cleared by Stow to Gurney who stepped and weaved through a number of players before setting up the ball to allow Kinman to find touch once more close to the Stow line. Buckingham failed to capitalise that time but minutes later found themselves in a similar position and after a couple of drives from the forwards Scarr went in to score at the corner. Try unconverted.Score Buckingham 31 Stow On The Wold 14 after 20 mins.
Buckingham continued to batter away in the last quarter of the game with Payne and London to the fore but a resolute Stow defence kept them at bay and in the last ten minutes it was Stow with individual hard running and associated had offs that got onto the front foot and were just denied a try against the post by some good work by Matt Hawker who had come back on and with Kinman being shown a yellow card for being adjudged to have deliberately knocked down a pass when Stow once more took a quick penalty.Callum Gillie was introduced by Buckingham to show his fleet of foot which was much needed as Stow once more turned up the effort .Stow were however rewarded with a try in the last move of the match following consistent pressure on the Buckingham line which led to Cooper being yellow carded for off side , making the Final Score Buckingham 31 Stow On The Wold 19.
Man of the Match Will Cooper .”