A DISAPPOINTING second-half performance cost Reading Abbey as they lost their Southern Counties North clash 23-14 at Buckingham.

The hosts were definitely the more lively side in the opening exchanges, and they took the lead after just a minute of play when outside half Max Nagy kicked a routine penalty.

Good tackling from Abbey wing Remi Norville and second row Chris Shaw halted the next home attack, but Buckingham increased their lead in the 12th minute with the first try of the afternoon.

It came from a clean line-out catch from flanker Pat Ockendon, who handed on to prop Matthew Payne. Payne burst through the Abbey cover with a 15-metre run before passing to scrum half Joe Chalmers, who crossed the line unopposed. Nagy was unable to convert from a fairly simple position. However, Buckingham moved further ahead shortly after when Nagy kicked a second penalty to put his side 11-0 up.

Yet Abbey hit back before the break as No. 8 Will Woodward ran from the back of a scrum into the home 22.

Centre Luke Burns and wing Diego de Marcilla Bahlsen carried on the attack, and after Gavin Dampies, Charlie Gingell and second row Treacle Knights all handled, Woodward was halted on the line.

The ball was recycled, and after good work from Burns and prop Ollie Charlton, fly half Rob Bryson handed on to Dampies (pictured right) who cut through to the line in typical style. De Marcilla Bahlsen added a good conversion.

Things got even better for the visitors when they moved in front after scoring again from the restart.

Again, Woodward was the inspiration, catching the ball and running 40 metres downfield. Play moved towards the left of the field, where the supporting Dampies sent Shaw over for a great try.

Once again de Marcilla Bahlsen added the extras and Abbey were in front. They could incredibly have gone even further ahead if Bryson had managed to collect his own chip cleanly five metres from the line.

However, the interval appeared to come at the right time for Buckingham, and after a sustained spell of pressure at the start of the second half, wing Craig Coxon touched down on the left, Nagy converting.

The hosts moved further ahead with what proved to be the last points of the match, replacement No. 8 Phil Wright going over for a deserved score. Nagy was wide with the conversion attempt this time.

Nagy and de Marcilla Bahlsen missed penalties, and the Abbey man again missed with a long-range effort as his side just missed out on a losing bonus point. Abbey will be looking for a better team effort when Windsor-based Drifters visit Rosehill on Saturday.