Larham bemoans opening day bad luck

Aylesbury captain Gary Horne hands off a Thatcham player in their 34-24 home defeat     Photo: Mark Bannister
Aylesbury captain Gary Horne hands off a Thatcham player in their 34-24 home defeat Photo: Mark Bannister

Dave Larham bemoaned his side’s bad luck as Aylesbury started the new season with an undeserved defeat at home to Thatcham on Saturday.

The Ducks boss had called on his players to ‘sharpen up and cut out the errors’ ahead of the 2013/14 season curtain raiser.

And his players certainly listened as they put in a committed performance, the only thing lacking being the rub of the green according to Larham.

“The result certainly did not reflect our performance, domination of the scrum or ambition to play flowing rugby,” Larham said.

“We just didn’t get the bounce of the ball or any luck when we needed it.

“I feel for the players because they really committed to this performance, but ultimately we have to make our own luck and turn possession in to points.

“So, we have to regroup and prepare for the visit of Alchester (Saturday, 3pm, at Ostler’s Field).

“I expect to see improvements in our basic execution over the coming weeks so that we are as competitive as possible and start to achieve our potential on a consistent basis.”

The game did not start well for Ay’s who were playing in their gold and white change strip to avoid a clash with Thatcham’s dark blue colours.

They found themselves 
17-0 down after 20 minutes after two converted tries and a successful penalty kick from Thatcham.

Ay’s had their chances, though, with Thatcham conceding three penalties in their own half but the usually reliable James Woodfall was having an off day with the boot and was unable to convert these chances into points.

However, with time running out in the first half, Woodfall made amends by crossing the try line for Ay’s first points of the afternoon, and the teams went into half time with the score 5-17.

The second half saw Ay’s getting back into the game with two tries from second row Jim Dodds both of which Woodfall converted to give Ay’s a 19-17 lead.

Following injuries to two of Thatcham’s front row players, the game went to uncontested scrums which then negated Aylesbury’s hitherto dominance in the scrum.

Thatcham struck back with two converted tries to take them back in front with a 19-31 lead.

Ay’s Kriss Hardman narrowed the gap after brushing off three Thatcham players to score Ay’s fourth try by the corner flag. Woodfall missed with the tricky conversion from out wide but Ay’s were now within 7 points with the score at 24-31.

With time running out Ay’s were at least looking to be able to console themselves with a losing bonus point to add to the four-try bonus point but a last minute penalty in front of their own posts gifted Thatcham an easy three points (24-34).