Rugby: Bletchley have some thinking to do

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BLETCHLEY’S good work in the first half of the league season is in danger of being undone after they slipped to a fifth straight defeat at Coney Hill on Saturday.

Bletchley’s long trip to Gloucester ended in a 48-5 loss, stretching their disappointing run to six South West 1 East games without a win as the men from Manor Fields slip to 11th place in the table.

Their good early season form should still be enough to keep Bletchley in the division for another year, but with their record now showing 12 defeats from 17 league games, an excellent first half of the campaign is now in danger of being overshadowed by a poor second half.

Another away game awaits Bletchley this Saturday, and it’s an important one as they visit High Wycombe – one of the three sides below them in the table.

A win there would go a long way to securing their South West 1 East place, but defeat – to a team they hammered 50-12 back in October – is unthinkable.

Bletchley must aim to rediscover the sort of form that saw them score at will earlier in the season, something which they struggled to do away at Coney Hill where they had just a Phil Harman try to show for their efforts, and 200 mile round trip.

They were already 41-0 adrift by the time Harman capitalised on a charged down kick to score late on, before their hosts finished the match strongly, and with the final try to seal victory.

In the end the final scoreline flattered Coney Hill who took advantage of some poor tackles to take the initiative before Bletchley’s forwards had the beating of the home side’s pack in the second half, by which time it was too late.

Now Bletchley’s attention turns to the trip to Wycombe where they will get few better chances to pick up their first win on the road this season.

Win away from home was something Olney did in style as they ran in seven tries against Southern Counties North league strugglers Slough.

Olney’s 43-26 success in Berkshire keeps them fifth in the division, with an outside chance of making the play-offs thanks to tries from Richard Cowan (2), Kane Russell, James Padfield, George Stanton, Matt Shotton and also James Hawken, who added four conversions.

Next for Olney is a trip to Thatcham on Saturday, while Milton Keynes return to action at Alchester where they will be looking to maintain their own promotion push with a 12th straight league win.