READING Abbey crashed to a fourth successive Southern Counties North defeat after going down 39-5 at play-off chasing Buckingham.

Abbey came off second best against their opponents on Saturday as Buckingham’s win kept rivals Marlow at bay in the battle for second spot behind leaders Windsor.

As for mid-table Abbey, their season has quickly tailed off in recent weeks after hitting a slump in form.

In their strong defence they were missing a string of first-team players last weekend and saw centre Chris Shackleford pick up a knock in the warm up which forced him out of the game.

The visitors then conceded two tries within the opening five minutes with wing Nick Sumner scoring both out wide.

Abbey began to probe with captain Will Bevan and wing Jules Greenaway creating chances they failed to take.

However, Wycombe extended their lead when flanker Euan Prime barged his way over followed by another from prop Matt Payne, with James Hulston adding the extras.

Abbey managed to cut the deficit before the break when flanker George House finished off a forwards’ drive by touching down for an unconverted try.

But it was the last time they would trouble the scoreboard as Buckingham began to regain control.

Prime went over for his second touchdown of the day to give Wycombe further breathing space then Sumner also crossed the whitewash to complete his hat-trick.

There was still time for Hulston to get in on the act with a further try for the hosts, who could have won by a bigger margin but continued to miss their conversions.

It was a harsh lesson for Abbey, though Ben Finnie shone in the line out, prop Jack Stevenson continued his impressive transition from rugby league and both Connor Limbrick and John Malivoire stood out in the backs.

Abbey return to action on April 6 when they host High Wycombe at Rosehill (2.30pm).

Abbey: Orrburns, Hart, Stevenson, Shaw, Brooker, Finnie, G House, Beckly, Bevan (c), John Malivoire, Williams, Pawlett, Greenaway, Canham, Limbrick. Subs: Postlethwaite, Munce.