Aylesbury overwhelm Stow to get back to winning ways

Gary Horne runs in the first of his two tries. Picture: Mark Bannister Photography

Gary Horne runs in the first of his two tries. Picture: Mark Bannister Photography

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Aylesbury head coach Dave Larham described his side’s 27-3 away win at Stow-on-the-Wold as their “best team performance of the season”.

Following defeat to leaders Reading last time out, Aylesbury returned to winning ways in convincing style as they comfortably overwhelmed Stow thanks to four second half tries, which were enough to take the Ducks back up to third in the Southern Counties North.

Larham said afterwards: “This was probably our best team performance of the season so far.

“We got our planning, training, selection, tactics and replacements absolutely spot on to give our 18 players an opportunity to win a game against not only the opposition, but also the gale force winds.

“In the first half our defence and set-piece denied Stow with any real return from the wind advantage.

“On reflection, our first half performance won us the game. At half-time we changed both props to give us energy and much-needed go forward.

“We then scored four fantastic team tries. Our players were accurate, precise and demonstrated much improved game management.

“I would like to thank all our travelling supporters who made the long trip to Stow on the Wold and now we have to back up this performance by getting a home win against Thatcham this weekend.”

Saturday’s game kicked off with a ferocious wind blowing down the very exposed Stow pitch and with Aylesbury playing into the elements in the first period, they quickly found themselves pinned back inside their own half.

Ay’s lost a player to the sin bin early on as centre Nicky Mercer was penalised for not rolling away at the break down, but Stow were unable to capitalise as the subsequent penalty kick drifted wide of the posts.

Although the visitors found themselves under constant pressure for the entire first half, Stow’s only reward after 40 minutes was a 3-0 lead lead courtesy of a successful penalty attempt.

With Ay’s playing with the wind in the second half, they were now able to take the game to Stow and were soon threatening the home side’s try line.

First, James Woodfall levelled the scores as he slotted a long range penalty kick from the centre of the pitch, and this was soon followed by two tries from Gary Horne.

With Woodfall adding the conversions, Aylesbury suddenly found themselves in a comfortable 17-3 lead.

Aylesbury’s young 17-year-old outside centre Matt Dennis then took the lead to 19 points as he ran in the third try out wide.

And it was Dennis who once again found his way to the try line moments later when he touched down in the opposite corner this time to secure the bonus-point and the win for Ay’s.

Aylesbury host struggling Thatcham this weekend.