Defeat sees Bletchley slip down

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Bletchley lost grip of top spot in Southern Counties North on Saturday as they were narrowly beaten by Alchester.

The 17-15 defeat, only their second of the season sees Aylesbury leap-frog Bletchley into top spot, but the side from Manor Fields have two games in hand over their rivals.

Alchester took an early lead with a penalty kick to goal after only one minute of play, but Bletchley replied quickly with a try through Paul Mellon four minutes later.

It took 33 minutes before there was any change to the score line as the game grew increasingly scrappy and handling errors crept into both sides. Bletchley’s second try followed quick thinking by scrum half Kev Turnbull taking a quick tap penalty to gain vital yards in Alchester’s 22. Good support from Simon Pitfield and John Kirwan enabled Kirwan to run in a try in the right corner of the pitch for 10-3.

The close-fought affair saw both teams come close to adding to the score, but it was the home side that eventually crossed the line next, 12 minutes into the second half to equalise at 10-10.

Alchester took the lead 10 minutes later as Bletchley were stretched to the limit defending their try line; the home side’s hooker scoring after finding space on his inside. The conversion took Alchester into a 17 – 10 lead.

Bletchley did work hard to narrow the gap, but it took until the 41st minute to have an impact. Captain Matt Nobes stole an Alchester lineout in their 22 and set up a rolling maul to get Bletchley on their way, with Pitfield getting the final touch over the try line. The important conversion was missed and Alchester snatched the 17–15 victory.