AYLESBURY Rugby Club battled back to winning ways with a tough 16-5 victory on their travels to Marlborough on Saturday.
After a recent run of poor defeats, Ay’s travelled to Marlborough to face the team they had beaten 97-0 earlier in the season. But with a lengthy injury list the match proved a different prospect to the first game.
Aylesbury kicked off with the slope and the wind in their favour and made immediate use of the conditions when they stretched the Marlborough defence for Jonny Burgess to smash the ball over the line for the first score with only two minutes on the clock.
With the slope and wind against them, Marlborough played most of the next 30 minutes in the Ay’s half, but although dominating were unable to threaten the visitors’ line.
After 20 minutes Aylesbury changed their game plan and put in a long kick to gain territory. The resulting maul saw Marlborough creep offside and Ays converted the resulting penalty to take the score to 0-8. Ten minutes later Ay’s repeated the same play by kicking long and Marlborough duly repeated their offside offence to concede the penalty and make the half-time score 11-0.
After the break, Ay’s had to play into the wind and keep Marlborough at bay. The home side kicked off and a clean catch by Kriss Hardman secured good possession for Ay’s who then battled their way up the pitch gaining valuable yards.
From a ruck just outside Marlborough’s 22 yard line, fly half Matthew Webster received the ball and spotted a gap and cut back breaking the tackle. With 20 metres to go Webster put his head down for the line and outpaced the defence to score Ay’s second try of the match.
Aylesbury’s hunger for more almost cost them as the ball was lost and the Marlborough wing ran the ball through the visitors’ defence. However, Billy Empson pulled off the tackle of the match to bring down the winger two yards from the line.
Up to this point the Ays pack had been dominant but changes and perhaps tired legs saw Marlborough gain ascendancy and the number eight picked up and crashed over to get Marlborough on the score board.
Aylesbury chairman Dean Gray said: “It was a tough game and very different from earlier in the year. We were always in front but we had to work for it.”