Aylesbury Rugby Club are still waiting for their first win of the new season after throwing away a 13-0 lead to lose 29-20 in their opening home match against Alchester on Saturday.
United’s injury-hit team featured Arlesey Town captain Derek Brown (on a month-long loan) at centre back, and new forward Louis Austin coming off the bench for his debut.
Ays were denied an early opening score as both sides defences were on top in the early exchanges.
Ays opened the scoring when they were awarded a long range penalty and Woodfall made no mistake to put them 3-0 up. Alchester were guilty of not rolling away in the tackle and the referee’s patience ran out and as prop was sin binned. Woodfall again slotted home the penalty and pushed Ays into a 6-0 lead.
Ays took further advantage of the sin binning and a flowing move saw the ball moved the length of the pitch to end up into debutant winger Pete Kemp’s hands and for him to round the defence and score wide out.
Woodfall converted for 13-0 but the key moment came with half-time drawing near as Alchester scored a converted try to give themselves hope.
Ays kicked off the second half with coach Collings asking his side to step up their efforts in the first 10 minutes, but the opposite happened.
From being well in control of the match before the break, Ays were to see their lead eaten up and surpassed.
The referee awarded Ays a scrum and they compounded an error-laden period of play by knocking on and giving Alchester an attacking scrum from which they scored and converted (13-14).
Kriss Hardman was sin binned for hands in a ruck and Alchester kicked a penalty to extend their lead to 13-17.
During the sin binning Alchester ran the ball from deep and increased their advantage to 13-22. However, things got even worse as they ran in a second try in the sin bin period and extended that to 13-29 meaning the sin binning had cost Ays 17 points.
The hosts never give up, though, Hardman atoning for his earlier sin binning by crashing over for a try that was converted for 20-29.
Time was running out and Ays were battling hard for at least a losing bonus point but Woodfall’s late penalty sailed wide.
Aylesbury travel to Olney for a Bucks Shield match on Saturday.