Larham hails spirit as Ducks go second

Aylesbury's 17-year-old full-back Sam Page scores the bonus point try on his debut. Picture by Mark Bannister
Aylesbury's 17-year-old full-back Sam Page scores the bonus point try on his debut. Picture by Mark Bannister

Aylesbury RFC head coach Dave Larham hailed his side’s spirit and character after they came from 10-0 down to beat Beaconsfield 22-13 and extend their unbeaten home run to 16 games.

The Ducks recovered from a slow start and scored four tries to clinch a fourth consecutive bonus-point victory that takes them up to second in a congested Southern Counties North table.

Larham said afterwards: “This was a hard-fought win that demonstrated character, spirit and composure.

“We started slowly and found ourselves 10-0 behind due to us trying to force things and not playing in the right areas of the pitch. Once our forwards got on top, we moved up the gears and scored some fantastic team tries.

“The day was capped superbly by 17-year-old full-back Sam Page scoring our bonus-point try on his debut and in front of our mini and junior players who had been invited to support the 1st XV.”

Aylesbury went into the game looking to build on their recent good form that has catapulted them back into promotion contention, but things began badly when Beaconsfield crossed for an early converted try.

The visitors then added a penalty to take a lead 10-0 as Ay’s were punished for some early ill-discipline.

Aylesbury responded well, however, and they were soon pressuring the Beaconsfield try line as their forwards proved dominant in the scrum, which led to the home side’s opening try.

From a scrum deep in the Beaconsfield half, Ay’s scrum-half Adam Moore sent the ball down the short side to wing Mal Deay, who beat his opposite and went over in the corner.

The conversion was missed but Aylesbury went into half-time on level terms after Andy Blacklock crossed in the opposite corner for a second try.

The second period was largely dominated by the home side, who continued to cause Beaconsfield problems in the scrum with flanker Liam Moloney touching down for a third try.

This time James Woodfall added the extras and although Beaconsfield slotted over a penalty moments later, Aylesbury all but sealed victory with a fourth and final try thanks to some fine play from the backs, who moved the ball rapidly across the pitch for Man of the Match Sam Page to beat the defence and go over in the corner for a debut try.

The conversion from Woodfall went narrowly wide but the 22-13 scoreline was good enough for Aylesbury to extend their unbeaten home run to 16 matches and go second in the table.

With no fixture this weekend, the Ducks return to action with a crucial match away at in-form Bicester next Saturday.

Larham added: “We now have a one-week break and need to re-stock and get key players D’Almeida, Gorley, Horne and Burgess fit for selection.

“All games are big when you want to finish in the promotion places, but our next game could ultimately decide our season.”