Aylesbury bounced back to winning ways this week when they completed the double over local rivals Buckingham.
Aylesbury had narrowly edged out Buckingham when the two met earlier this season, and the Ducks once again prevailed at Ostler’s Field on Saturday to remain second in the Southern Counties North.
“We were pleased with the performance and result,” said head coach Dave Larham afterwards. “Our first half display kept us in touch with Buckingham and set up a second half where we needed to change our tactics and focus on certain technical areas.
“I’ve got to give credit to the players on their ability to take on board what the coaches say and then play according to the change in tactics. There were some solid performances from Mike Callis and Gary Horne alongside Adam Moore’s leadership and drive.
“The season is entering the stage where each game presents an opportunity to maintain pressure on the leaders and create a gap between ourselves and the third and fourth placed team. All we can do is focus on our individual and team performances and ensure we are physically and mentally prepared.”
Following a disappointing slip up against Bletchley last week, Larham and co were keen to get back on track, but it was Buckingham who struck first with a penalty.
An attritional opening period, not helped by the gusting wind, was painful to watch for the large home crowd with the visitors dominant.
The game was being played mostly in the Ay’s half and eventually Buckingham crossed for a try when their winger went over in the corner to put them 8-0 ahead.
Aylesbury were fortunate not to be further adrift at half-time, however the second half saw a seemingly rejuvenated Ducks side start to take control and the visitors found themselves playing more of the game in their own half.
Aylesbury’s forwards were now getting the upper hand in the loose and a trademark driving maul from the pack saw Buckingham forced back over their try line for second row and man of the match Mike Callis to drop on the ball for the hosts’ opening try.
James Woodfall missed the conversion and then a penalty shortly afterwards, however those misses didn’t prove costly as a great move from the Aylesbury backs saw wing Sam Page diving across the try line by the corner flag.
This time Woodfall made no mistake with the tricky touch line conversion as the ball curled round perfectly in the wind to dissect the uprights and put Ay’s 12-8 ahead.
It was Woodfall who started the move which then led to Aylesbury’s third try as he broke through the defence and made a strong run from the halfway line before James Serrano off-loaded to Luke Walmsley to touch down.
The win keeps Aylesbury in second and four points behind leaders Reading Abbey.
The Ducks now enjoy a week off from league rugby before returning to Ostler’s Field on February 13 when they face Drifters.