Ducks must learn their lessons after leaders Bicester prove too strong

Sam Richardson gets the pass away. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com
Sam Richardson gets the pass away. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com

Aylesbury head coach Jon Lambden says his side must learn their lessons if they are to improve as a team after Saturday’s disappointing 20-10 away defeat at Bicester.

The Ducks made the trip to second-placed Bicester with the aim of leapfrogging their hosts with victory, however the end result instead saw the Oxfordshire side boost their own promotion hopes as they moved to the top of the Southern Counties North.

Aylesbury, meanwhile, have dropped a place to fourth, seven points adrift.

“We travelled with good confidence to Bicester,” said head coach Lambden afterwards. “The plan to play up the hill and restrict the opposition went well for 20 mins.

“The next 20 did not, conceding 20 points. This was a mixture of Bicester taking their chances well and us slipping up with handling errors, dropping off the game plan when in control and falling down in discipline.

“In the second-half, Aylesbury did get dominance in field position and possession but were not quite able to turn this into enough points. Bicester had real determination backed by line-out dominance and tight defence.

“In our journey to develop their squad and range of play, the positives are to take the lessons learned and bounce back hard for this week’s home fixture against Bletchley.”

The game was in doubt due to overnight frost and only went ahead after a late pitch inspection, and it was Bicester who dominated the first-half.

After an early penalty went wide for Aylesbury, Tom Miles found his radar and kicked the home side into a 3-0 lead and from that moment on they took control. Running in three unanswered tries, Bicester stormed into a commanding 20-0 lead at half-time.

Now with the slope in their favour, Aylesbury began the second-half well and Nicky Mercer’s penalty got them on the scoreboard before a yellow card to a Bicester man offered further encouragement.

Rather than kick for points Ay’s opted for the scrum and eventually the pressure from Aylesbury’s forwards and the extra man paid off as hooker Andy Stobbs dotted down.

Dave Stow’s conversion brought the visitors to within 10 points but while they continued to dominate, Bicester’s strong defence kept them at bay as the hosts held on.

This Saturday Aylesbury return to Ostler’s Field to host bottom of the table Bletchley.