Aylesbury’s promotion chances were dealt a potentially fatal flow at the weekend when they lost 17-10 away at local rivals Buckingham.
The Ducks went into Saturday’s game sitting third in the Southern Counties North but the defeat, their fifth this season, drops them to fifth with Buckingham up to fourth.
“It was a disappointing match for us,” said head coach Jon Lambden. “Generally we gained good possession and were dominant at the scrum and pretty solid at the line-out, effecting some good drives.
“Where it fell down was getting good territory and more visits to the opposition 22. Partly we did not connect properly between backs and forwards and partly failed to take on the good kicking opportunities that were created.
“The league is still open and we look forward to pushing on with our challenges at the next home game.”
Playing up the slop first-half, Aylesbury made the brighter start to Saturday’s encounter but it was Buckingham who held firm before scoring first as Seth Williams ran in a try close to the posts, leaving fly-half Ed Kinman with a simple conversion.
And not long later, the home side crossed the whitewash again, this time through winger Nobby Clarke who exploited a gap in the Aylesbury defence to crash over for a try again converted by Kinman.
Aylesbury’s forwards were proving dominant, though, and it was a strong forward drive that saw Cory Neighbour dot down for the visitors’ first score, with Dave Stow knocking over the extra two points.
Dave Stow added the conversion to close the gap to 14-7.
But the first-half belonged to Buckingham as Kinman made no mistake with a penalty attempt to extend their lead to 17-7 at the interval.
Despite having the advantage of playing down the slope in the second-half, Aylesbury could not breach the home defence and cross the try line.
However, the pressure was forcing Buckingham to concede penalties, giving Aylesbury opportunities to narrow the scores, but whilst Stow’s first penalty effort was successful, his second attempt missed the target and with no further scores, Buckingham were able to celebrate an important win over their rivals.
This Saturday, the Ducks return to Ostler’s Field and the comfort of their artificial surface where they host 11th-placed Gosford All Blacks.