Ducks down to fifth after Bassett defeat

Jim Dodds off loads the ball to Pete Gorley with Cory Neighbour in support. Picture by Mark Bannister
Jim Dodds off loads the ball to Pete Gorley with Cory Neighbour in support. Picture by Mark Bannister

Aylesbury RFC head coach Dave Larham is frustrated with his side’s inconsistency as their poor form continued with a third defeat in four on Saturday.

Having just missed out on promotion last season, the Ducks were again targeting a top two spot in this year’s Southern Counties North, but Saturday’s 16-5 defeat away at Royal Wootton Bassett leaves the Ay’s well off the pace in fifth.

Larham said afterwards: “It was a difficult away journey against a well organised team.

“We had our moments, but it’s difficult to gain any kind of advantage over the opposition if we can’t kick our penalties or win our set piece.

“Our season continues to be inconsistent and we have to put performances together that will increase our self-belief and demonstrate how good we believe we can be.

“Next week we welcome the league leaders to Ostlers Field and I will expect a positive reaction from the players to cause an upset.”

The day began badly for Aylesbury when half the team found themselves in heavy traffic en route to Bassett, which resulted in a shortened pre-match routine.

And the visitors’ lack of match preparation seemed to be evident in the early stages as Bassett quickly moved into an early lead, first through a penalty kick which was then followed by a converted try to put them 10-0 up.

Ay’s eventually settled into the game and began to get on top with consistent pressure from the Ducks culminating in Bassett conceding a string of penalties, but Ay’s most consistent points scorer James Woodfall had left his kicking boots at home as he uncharacteristically fluffed two penalty attempts.

However, from an Aylesbury scrum five metres out from the home side’s try line, the ball was sent down the short side to wing Andy Blacklock, who sprinted in to score in the corner.

Again Woodfall struggled with his kicking as he missed the conversion to send Aylesbury into half-time trailing by five points.

In the second period, the home team took control of the game and were the only side to add to their tally as two penalty kicks gave Bassett a 16-5 win.

With both sides scoring a try apiece, it was the accuracy of the kickers who made the difference on the day.

Back at Ostler’s Field, Aylesbury’s 2nd XV recorded an emphatic 32-3 win over Reading Abbey in their league game.

This weekend, Aylesbury’s first team entertain leaders Stow-on-the-Wold.