Ducks ease past Stow to boost play-off chances

Sam Page scores his second try. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com
Sam Page scores his second try. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com
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Aylesbury boosted their chances of finishing in the promotion play-off spot in the Southern Counties North with Saturday’s 29-0 win over Stow-on-the-Wold.

After their disappointing trip to leaders Reading last time out, Aylesbury went into this game at Ostler’s Field focusedon securing second place for the third successive season.

And the Ducks increased their chances of that with this bonus-point victory as they scored five tries to maintain their five-point lead back to third-placed Buckingham.

“The game was definitely a tale of two halves,” said coach Dave Larham afterwards.

“But based on the need to win our remaining games we will take it. The game itself demonstrated our potential and the glaringly obvious elements of accuracy and mentality we need to develop further.

“We gave ourselves a fantastic start and scored five tries in 30 minutes. That return showed what we can achieve from a quality forward platform and accuracy and precision in the opposition 22m. The second half saw us dominate possession and territory but our over-arousal was our undoing.

“It sets us up nicely to continue to achieve the runners-up finish; as long as we get our preparations right for the remaining three games.”

Aylesbury made a perfect start on Saturday when, virtually straight from kick-off, James Woodfall powered under the posts for a try which he also converted for a 7-0 lead inside just three minutes.

Ay’s continued to apply the pressure from the restart and within five minutes of the opening score their dominant forward pack were driving over the Stow try line as prop Andy Hackett dotted down.

More of the same followed and another strong drive from the home forwards created the platform that allowed wing Sam Page to power over.

Woodfall was off target with the conversion but Aylesbury’s onslaught continued with a fourth and bonus-point try soon after as powerful running from James Serrano saw him break through the tackle of his opposite number and sprint across the try line.

This time Woodfall converted and there was no sign of Aylesbury easing up with Page again breaking free down the left to add his second of the day and put the home side 29-0 ahead on just 30 minutes.

That proved to be the final score of the match, however, as Stowe resistant further Aylesbury pressure with the home side guilty of persistent infringements at the break down which prevented them from building up a head of steam after half-time.

Nevertheless, the 29-0 victory keeps them well-placed in second spot going into the Easter break.