In-form Ducks go top on return to action

James Woodfall scores Ay's second try. Picture: Mark Bannister Photography
James Woodfall scores Ay's second try. Picture: Mark Bannister Photography

Aylesbury showed no signs of rustiness when they returned from a week’s break and picked up from where they left off with a sixth successive victory in Southern Counties North.

After losing their opening game of the season, the Ducks had won four on the bounce going into last weekend, when all teams had a week off due to the World Cup final, and they continued that excellent form with a 20-10 victory away at Drifters that takes them top of the table.

The opening minutes of the game saw Aylesbury seemingly take control and continually threaten the home side’s try line, but it was to be Drifters who got the first points on the board.

After weathering the opening onslaught from Aylesbury, the home side’s forwards drove the ball over the try line and with the touch line conversion going between the posts, Drifters had the early 7-0 advantage.

However, the home side’s lead was short-lived as Ay’s were soon back into the Drifter’s half and a clever kick through sent the ball bouncing towards the Drifters line.

The Drifters number 10 chased back but failed to gather the ball cleanly and it was Aylesbury’s young centre Matt Dennis who sprinted across the line to dive on the ball for his maiden try in an Aylesbury first team shirt,

With James Woodfall slotting the conversion, it was all square at seven points apiece.

The rest of the first half turned into a kicking contest between the two sides with Aylesbury’s James Woodfall making no mistake with two penalties while the Drifters 10 added three points from his only opportunity with the boot.

That left the game was in the balance at half-time with Aylesbury leading 13-10, and that remained the case for much of the second period as both sides failed to capitalise on several scoring chances.

But that all changed with less than 10 minutes remaining when the game was decided by a moment of brilliance from Woodfall.

Making a break from halfway, he chipped the ball over the heads of the defending Drifters players and then gathered the ball cleanly to sprint in under the posts.

He added the conversion to put Ay’s 10 points ahead at 20-10.

The game was not over just yet, though, and Aylesbury found themselves having to see out the final minutes of the game with only 14 men following second row Dan Davis’ sin binning for obstruction.

The visitors held on to their lead, however, and Aylesbury were able to record their fifth win on the trot.

This result now puts Aylesbury at the top of the league although third-placed Reading Abbey, who the Ducks will play at Ostler’s Field in two week’s time, have a game in hand.

This Saturday Aylesbury are on the road again when they travel for a top-of-the-table clash against fellow Bucks side Marlow, who currently sit second.