BLETCHLEY recorded their third win of the South West 1 East season while inflicting further pain on local rivals Buckingham on Saturday.
Bletchley’s 34-19 win lifts them up to eighth in the table but Buckingham remain rooted to the foot of the table with five defeats in five.
It’s been a good start to the season for Bletchley who made the short trip west on the back of a convincing win over Olney in another local derby. But it was Buckingham who got off to fine start on Saturday and Bletchley were forced to dig deep to earn the points.
After missing an opportunity to get the first points on the board through a Phil Harman penalty, the visitors went behind as Buckingham fly-half James Hulston spotted a gap in the defensive line to touch down under the posts. He then converted for a 7-0 home lead.
It was then Buckingham’s turn to miss the posts with a penalty, but the visitors suffered another blow when the referee deemed a tackle to be too high and Bletchley were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. But Buckingham couldn’t take advantage and after 20 minutes of play it was hard to believe the score was still only 7-0.
Bletchley finally got off the mark in the 25th minute as Harman reduced the deficit with a penalty kick from 15 yards out. And five minutes later they made the most of their chance to take the lead for the first time in the match with an audacious try touched down by winger Jamie Parker.
Bletchley were awarded a penalty after an infringement by Buckingham that saw them reduced to 14 players, but with the hosts expecting Harman to take an easy three points there was no defensive line-up on the line, giving Harman the chance to throw a pass to Parker on the right wing to score. The conversion attempt was missed, but Bletchley were 8-7 ahead.
However, just two minutes later Buckingham retook the lead after a catalogue of errors from both sides turned into a try – Hulston scoring again. A hectic 40 minutes then came to an end with Harman coverting a penalty to make it 12-11 to the hosts.
The game was turned in Bletchley’s favour early in the second half as they moved straight back ahead thanks to Tim Stobbs touching down.
Dave Coleman and Ryan Cane were then both unlucky not to score, but it didn’t take the visitors long to extend their lead as Kevin Turnbull was sent free down the right wing to score. The conversion was again missed but the visitors were now 21-12 to the good.
Hulston was also single-handedly keeping Buckingham in the game and be ran home his third try to keep the hosts in contention – the conversion reducing the gap to just two points.
However, Harman kicked to put a bit more daylight between the sides, and Cane’s efforts were rewarded as he got on the scoresheet with a good try. And there was still time for Parker to extend the lead when he went over after Turnbull had been stopped just short of the line – the win securing a valuable five league points.
>> Olney fell to a fourth loss of the season as they were defeated 22-35 at Salisbury, despite scoring three tries by Robinson, Dolemore and Padfield, with Dolemore adding five points with his boot.
>> A patched-up Milton Keynes side lost 46-7 away to Beaconsfield in their Intermediate Cup match. City’s points all came from Tim Parkinson.