WINDSOR got the New Year under way with a 31-22 win against Buckingham at Home Park in the South West One East on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

The Berkshire club entertained Buckingham looking for revenge after a 13-point loss in the reverse fixture back in September.

Both were promoted from the Southern Counties North last season, Windsor as champions and Buckingham as runners-up, but the Bucks side had made the better start in South West One East.

Buckingham arrived at Home Park in sixth position in the table and Windsor in 10th place but keen to close the gap on the top half following a good end to 2019 with wins against both Wimborne and Old Patesians.

The hosts made the brighter start, but Buckingham opened the scoring with an unconverted try inside the first 10 minutes. The visitors increased the advantage further with a converted score midway through the first half.

The home crowd continued to provide support to their side but it started to feel like Windsor were going to have to do something special to break down the Buckingham defence.

Windsor reduced the arrears when reacting quickest to a dropped kick inside their opponents 22m line and, taking advantage of a lapse in concentration, Tom Bird was able to cross the whitewash 10 minutes before half-time. Jack Gaylor was successful with the conversion attempt.

Royal Borough Observer:

The score energised the home team and, despite going down to 14 men after Allen Crawshaw received a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown, they would lead following a Chris Emmett – man-of-the-match - try which was converted by Gaylor.

Windsor however were unable to maintain the advantage heading into the break as Buckingham kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to get their noses in front at 14-15.

The second half proved to be very competitive and entertaining and it was evident that the game was there to be won for both sides. The visitors looked the most likely after increasing the lead with an unconverted try midway through the half.

That seemed to spur on Windsor and they soon narrowed the gap after some brilliance from James Cullen, who followed up on his own kick to touch down. The try was converted and the hosts were just a single point behind.

The home supporters soon realised that the game was now there for the taking especially as their side were looking the stronger. Windsor got their noses in front when Gaylor booted a penalty between the posts.

Buckingham were eager to hit back straight from the restart, but Windsor were well-motivated to secure the victory and increased the lead following some pressure deep in their opponent’s half.

Following a scrum, Ben Grant-Adamson went over the line right under the posts to score the fourth and bonus point-winning try with Gaylor adding the conversion before the final whistle.

Royal Borough Observer:

The victory was a great start to the New Year and their best performance of the season which pleased not only Head Coach, Jack Pattinson and the coaching team, but the home supporters also.

The win means Windsor stand in 10th position in the league table and the chase is on to catch the sides above them. It starts with a difficult trip to third-placed Royal Wootton Bassett this Saturday.

Windsor were presented with a case of Wadworth 6X by Dave McAteer from the Berkshire RFU on Saturday having been named the Berkshire Wadworth Team of the Month for December.

The Home Park-based club revelled in a brilliant end to 2019 with wins against Wimborne and Old Patesians plus a narrow defeat at high-flying Oxford Harlequins providing the catalyst for their rise up the league table.