Rugby round-up: Bletchley out but not down after cup exit

editorial image

BLETCHLEY’S hopes of County Cup glory came to an end on Saturday with a 39-13 away at Amersham & Chiltern.

Beating a side in the National 3 South West Division was always going to be a big ask for a Bletchley side sat mid-table in the league below, but they certainly gave their hosts a few scares before ultimately falling short.

Bletchley began the game in a positive manner and scored the first points of the afternoon after seven minutes when Phil Harman converted a penalty awarded for Amersham being caught offside.

From the restart Bletchley had good possession and with quick passing and movement they attacked the hosts, but a silly pass gave the ball away and Cam Gentles went over for the first try of the game for the hosts, although Brad Reeve was off target with the conversion.

Amersham were now enjoying most of the running and scored a second try after 16 minutes with Charlie Bond muscling through the Bletchley defence to touch down. Again the conversion was missed but the hosts were in control at 10-3.

The visitors continued to try and keep Amersham out, but their resistance broke again with half an hour on the clock when they went over for a third time, despite a valiant attempt from Reggie Njovana to prevent the try. Ross Bugden converted and suddenly Bletchley were 14 points adrift.

Things got worse just five minutes later with Reeve adding three more points with a penalty conversion, and he was back on the scoresheet again a few moments later with a try of his own that he converted to stretch the home side’s lead to 27-3.

A strong half time team talk prompted a change in Bletchley and they came out looking really up for it. However, with a 24 points deficit they were almost unlikely to cause an upset – nevertheless Harman’s second penalty cut the gap by three.

With Bletchley players having given so much in the first half, substitutions were made with Dagan Probert coming on for Dougie Webster and Ian Cope coming on for Njovana. Josh Peters was replaced by another youngster as Tom Perrin joined the forwards.

Bletchley would not let the game go and pressed Amersham. And their hard work was rewarded when Simon Pitfield took the ball in midfield and broke the Amersham line before sprinting away to score Bletchley’s first try. Harman added the conversion to make the score 27-13 with 53 minutes played.

But on the hour Amersham increased their lead further, and with the conversion successful the score moved to 34-13. The visitors then made a couple more changes with Harman replaced by youngster Dan Read and Tom Hannell also making way for Josh Sprules.

But despite the fresh legs coming on, Bletchley couldn’t add to their score and instead the final day went to Amersham with Matt Allen driving through for a try.

Having put in a massive team effort up against a team from National 3, Bletchley can take heart from the performance and visit Reading this Saturday hoping to pick up another win the in South West 1 East league.

>> Milton Keynes had the weekend off but return this Saturday with a tough trip to third placed Grove.

With six wins in seven games, City are second in Southern Counties North, four points behind Beaconsfield. They face the league leaders at Emerson Valley early in the new year, but their four games before then are likely to determine if they really have what it takes to launch a serious title challenge this season.