Rugby round-up: Long trip brings no reward for Bletchley

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BLETCHLEY’S 200 mile round trip to Salisbury brought a handsome defeat, making Saturday’s home game against Coney Hill even more important.

After a superb win against Cheltenham seven days earlier, Bletchley made the trip to Wiltshire in good spirits, but returned home with a disappointing 41-5 defeat.

It took just four minutes for the home side to open their account as winger Luke Tunabuna went through to score and Rory Davies converted.

Bletchley survived a lengthy period of pressure after that, but Salisbury added a second try when James Key went over in the right hand corner with 24 minutes on the clock, with Davies’ conversion missed.

He made amends with a penalty a few minutes later though to stretch the home side’s lead out to 15 points. Bletchley got close to the Salisbury try line for the first time late in the first half, but despite Phil Harman’s best efforts there was no end product and no more scoring before the break.

Good work from Will Garrett and Matt Nobes led to a penalty chance for Harman early in the second half, but after his kick fell short, Salisbury broke down the other end and scored from a rolling maul, with Davies converting.

Bletchley’s heads could have dropped, but they still had some fight left in them – epitomised by Tom Grant who stole the ball and set up a good play which saw Paul Sherriff go over the visitors.

A delayed pass by Garrett as he drew the last home defender allowed Sherriff to exploit the gap and Bletchley were on the scoreboard, although the conversion from Harman was off target.

However, Salisbury were determined to secure a big win and they secured a bonus point victory with a fourth try from Simon Quick to make it 27-5.

And going into the closing stages there was still time for two more converted tries as Sean Barwick and Tom Emmett got on the scoresheet, giving Salisbury their third victory in four matches and Bletchley their third defeat from four.

Next up for Bletchley is a home game against Coney Hill, who make the trip to Manor Fields with three wins from their opening four games this season.

>> Bletchley Ladies secured a 14-5 win over Hampstead Heath 2nds in their first ever London North 3 league outing.

They demonstrated their determination with an opening try from Laura Nash in the first minute of play, converted by Yolanda Potter for a 7-0 lead. But that was all they had to show for their first half efforts and Hampstead Heath replied with a try from Ruth Burns to make it 7-5 at the break.

The second half didn’t start too well as Kelly Craig went down injured, but a Helen Bateman try and Potter conversion saw Bletchley move further ahead.

Hampstead Heath kept Bletchley under pressure towards the end of the game, but they held firm to keep them out and secure a memorable first league win.

>> Milton Keynes return to Southern Counties North League action on Saturday when they visit Slough looking for their first win of the season.

Defeats to Olney and Reading Abbey have dented City’s promotion hopes and they go into the game already nine points adrift of Buckingham at the top.

>> Olney suffered a 14-12 home defeat to Aylesbury in the first round of the Bucks Cup, with all 26 points coming in an action packed first half.

The hosts scored two tries to race into an early lead, but Aylesbury fought back to go ahead by half time, and despite Olney’s resilient second half display, they couldn’t force their way back into it.

Olney have earned two wins from two at the start of their Southern Counties North league season, but face a difficult trip to Reading Abbey on Saturday.