Sat 23
Buckingham Academy
Buckingham find their feet

Buckingham find their feet

By Ed Gibson
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After a patchy start in their first match, Buckingham clicked as a squad to run out convincing winners against their Oxfordshire rivals

Different conditions, a front row, different result. In the sun Buckingham started well with attacking options from Cameron, Tom T, Tom W and D-T and some big hits from Tom T and D-T. Pressure showed and Banbury were forced to concede a penalty in front of the posts which Joe casually slotted, making sure that pressure wasn't wasted and points were taken.

Straight back into the attack courtesy of James and some forward pod work, a mini-break by Jack A saw a pass over the top to Ollie H who stormed to within 10m, releasing Jack P only to have the pass judged forward. Spoiling the Banbury lineout, from the scrum the ball went down the line with Jack P looping round to make the overlap. A couple more phases and then Cam put it blind to D-T to score the first try. The gameplay was going well, although the scrum and lineout maul had yet to fire, but forwards and backs were combining well in the loose. Another break through the centre by Tom T put Joe almost in the clear and the inside pass found Tom W for his first try, converted by Joe for an 18-0 lead.

Strong Buckingham defence refused to let Banbury through as their big centres kept plugging away but meeting Ollie R, Jacky P (Big Jack) and Max alongside the backs they made little ground. With Banbury down to 14 men after a penalty and ball kicking incident, Buckingham first created space on the left, which should have been a score, then on the right as quick recycling allowed Jacks A to put a long ball out to Jack P for his first, again converted by Joe. Ill discipline by Buckingham, saw them marched back by the ref and from a lineout 15m out, Banbury threw a big forward through three tacklers to put 7 on the board before half time, still with only 14 on the pitch.

Having looked pretty solid through the first half, things turned sour for Buckingham. More ill-discipline and talking back combined with a loss of shape and some poor tackling to give Banbury their second try from a quick tap close in. Their third came not long after as good possession was squandered and a cross field kick bounced nicely for the Banbury winger. The conversion brought the score to 22-19 and the game looked very different from how it had at half time. On a positive note though, the scrum was now functioning well with the new front row of Ollie R, Max and Fred slotting together.

Spurred on by the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, a trio of trys by Joe settled things down again. The second was a peach, with a big tackle from Max and ball turned over by James, slick hands from Tom N to give Joe the chance to break and with 30m to go, Nick took it on, stood up the last two defenders, broke round them and when hauled down at the line found Joe there again to score. Another ranging attack saw Goerge almost in from a chip ahead and when Banbury tried to work something from the 22, Tom N drove them into touch and put Buckingham back in charge. As finally the lineout maul started working, Buckingham eschewed the easy option and out the ball down the backline again for a try by George and a 42-19 scoreline.

Neither side prepared to give up, some combative work from the likes of Niall and Ethan helped keep the Banbury forward pods and the improvement in the scrum as Fred and Ollie R gelled in their partnership saw a take against the head. Surprise ball gave Nick the opportunity to snipe round the fringes and get into space and put Buckingham back in the Banbury 22. Another big Tom T break to 5m and more sniping from Nick close in finally saw ball recycled and D-T book ended the game with a final try for a 47-19 win.

An excellent squad effort saw nobody looking out of place and everyone contributing to a fine win. Credit to Banbury for coming back into the game in the second half and to Buckingham for the character to stop the rot and turn things round again.

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Match date

Sat 23, Sep 2017