By Ed Chadwick
Weather: Cool. Hard underfoot. Occasional drizzle.
Starting line up: 1. Wilkins 2. Bunce 3. Fairley 4. Bradshaw 5. Griffiths (C) 6. Deane 7. Dey 8. Mawdsley 9. Owen 10. Weatherall 11. MacDonald 12. Collingbourne 13. Chadwick 14. Morris 15. Anderson
Subs: Bellamy, Dewhurst, Goodman, Hennell, Nelson
‘Awesome’ - the single word used to describe the performance of the A&C U14’s in this match by the recently appointed Chair of Junior Rugby for Bucks, Andy Saunders, and it was!
It was a great exhibition from the A&C squad from 1-20 who played brilliantly to the game plan.
The squad all tackled well, the forwards won possession in the breakdown and kept it going through the phases to create field position and space and then released the backs who pulled some great moves to create the overlap and score the points.
It was probably the best ever performance from the squad.
The Team got off to a flying start after Ed G. caught the ball from the Buckingham KO and following a series of phases of play, the team made progress up the field which was completed with Ollie going over for a try within 2 minutes. 5-0.
From the KO, Sid caught the ball and ran 40 yards before going down heavily in the tackle and had to leave the field with a leg injury. He was replaced by Dom who came on into the second row with Ed moving to open side flanker.
The team then won a scrum from which the ball found Zac who did a dummy switch with Huey and then passed for Monty to score on the loop in the 5th minute. 10-0.
Shortly afterwards, Tommy Deane ripped the ball from maul and enabled Blake to score in the corner 15-0.
There followed more excellent play with the front 5 forwards putting in a tremendous shift; James B., Adam, Jake, Dom and Harry B all getting great body position in the ruck and tackling well, in particular following some ill discipline by A&C, when Buckingham were awarded two penalties in quick succession and got to with 5 metres of the A&C line.
The defensive performance was excellent and the pressure was relieved when Blake made a 70m dash almost to the try line before being tackled. Shortly afterwards, Isaac, following a good run, got the ball over the try line but it was held up by the Buckingham defence.
On 24 minutes following a ruck 15m from the Buckingham line, Tommy neatly offloaded for Monty to score (20-0) who then converted (22-0).
From the KO following 2 phases of play and a pass from the base of the ruck by James B, Huey released Ollie to sprint from the half way to make the score 27-0 at the break.
Within a minute of the start of second half as Buckingham cleared their lines Alfred caught the ball and passed to Huey who sprinted to score under the posts (32-0), which Monty converted (34-0).
At this point Matthew B. came on for Devan, Ethan for James B, Matthew D. for Harry B and Sam H. for Blake.
Matthew B. caught the ball from the KO and passed the ball to Alfred who ran ¾ the length of the field to score. 39-0.
Subsequent tries from Huey (converted) and Alfred made the final score 51-0 after 41 minutes.
Buckingham never gave up and continued to tackle and fight to the end.
The U14’s retained their County Champions title in real style.
It is worth noting that the squad have won the Bucks Cup this season without conceding a point, a tremendous achievement.
Scribe: Hugh Griffiths