HIGH Wycombe got the new season in the Southern Counties North under way with a 30-17 home win against Reading Abbey on Saturday.

Pre-season went well for the Bucks-based club and, after excellent numbers at training, the first match of the new campaign was greeted with renewed optimism.

Reading had beaten High Wycombe in both meetings last season and in similar circumstances, so the home side were looking to put things right.

The hosts were unfortunate not to take the lead early on when Matt Wardle pushed a penalty kick just wide of the post.

High Wycombe took the advantage when the referee awarded a penalty try but the two sides went into the break level at 7-7.

The home side stormed into a 20-7 lead early on in the second half thanks to two drop goals from Wardle, who also added the conversion after Craig Murray touched down.

Reading battled back with a converted try, but Wardle booted a penalty before Abbey responded with one of their own to set up a tense last three minutes with the score 23-17.

High Wycombe secured the points with a try from Joff Forber, with Wardle booting the conversion.

It was a close game and Reading certainly were not helped by the number of injuries they sustained, and will feel unlucky they did not come away with a point.

It was an excellent 18-man performance from Wycombe and a well deserved victory against good opposition.

A special mention to Rob Main on his debut, who only started playing rugby eight weeks ago after his switch from American football.

High Wycombe travel to Stow-on-the Wold this Saturday (3pm).

Marlow got the new season under way with a 28-7 home win against Reading and make the trip to Reading Abbey this Saturday (3pm).