BLETCHLEY made a dream start to their new South West 1 East League season when they ran out 35-20 winners against much fancied High Wycombe on their own patch.
The south Bucks side are considered one of the big boys at level six, but Bletchley had no time to worry about any reputations as they produced a sensational start to the new campaign, running in four superb tries and claiming a bonus point. It’s also the first time Bletchley have been Wycombe in 27 years.
However, the match ended on a sad note for Bletchley when captain Carl Miller went down with a spiral fracture in his leg and is likely to spend a couple of months out.
The hosts began well and were camped in the Bletchley half four the first four minutes before conceding a penalty, narrowly missed by the visitors. Aggressive defence then won Bletchley a second penalty when Wycombe’s flanker infringed at a ruck. Unfortunately this was also missed and the score remained 0-0.
Bletchley made the breakthrough shortly afterwards through as Chris Coussel passed to lock Dave Coleman who carried the ball forward and into the Wycombe half before offloading to centre George Harman who did well to beat two defenders and score under the posts. Flyhalf Phil Harman then calmly converted to give Bletchley a 7-0 lead.
Wycombe came straight back at Bletchley and for the first time in the game the visitors’ defence failed and with a quarter of the game gone Wycombe’s flyhalf ran through to score under the posts and then convert his own try to level the scores.
After a drop goal attempt was missed, the visitors re-took the lead with a penalty before the hard work and positive rugby from their backs started to bring further rewards, with Will Garrett running home Bletchley’s second try, again converted by Harman.
Wycombe scored a penalty, but Bletchley got straight back on the scoresheet thanks to a try from Tim Stobbs who crashed through the defence to score under the posts, again converted to make it 22-10 at half time.
The second half started with a converted Wycombe penalty before George Harman responded in kind to restore their 12 point advantage. And more were to follow as Josh Peters and Stobbs combined well for Jamie Parker to score Bletchley’s fourth try of the, game to secure a bonus point. Harman again converted and Bletchley’s lead was 32-13.
Shocked by how well Bletchley had been playing, Wycombe hit back with a converted try late on, but it was only to be a consolation as Bletchley saw the game out. However, with the match going into stoppage time disaster struck for the visitors when an accident saw Bletchley captain Miller suffer his injury.
Next up for Bletchley is another big test when they welcome Swindon to Manor Fields on Saturday – they also enjoyed an excellent start to the new season, beating Buckingham 47-45. However, it’s Witney who top the table after the first round of fixtures after thrashing Olney 34-3 in Oxfordshire.
Olney began well but only had a converted penalty from Tom Delamore to show for their efforts as the hosts ran in three first half tries to lead 21-3. Two further tries followed after the break, but despite strong performances from new recruits in Delamore at full-back, scrum half Ben Cadigan and prop Ken Jones, Olney were slow out of the block and made to pay for it. Next up they welcome Marlow.
Milton Keynes begin their new Southern Counties North League season on Saturday with a trip to Alchester. But they go into the match on the back of a narrow home defeat to Bugbrooke in their final friendly game.
City hosted games between the two clubs’ first and second string sides, with Bugbrooke winning the main event 19-17 and MK running out 55-24 winners in the other match.
Tries from Ashley Hill and Rob Matthews, with one converted by Phil Powell, put City 12-0 ahead. After the visitors responded with a converted try, Dan Walker extended MK’s lead once again, only for Bugbrooke to hit back in the second half for a narrow win.