HIGH Wycombe made it two from two at the start to the new season in Southern Counties North after a 17-11 win at Stow-on-the-Wold on Saturday.

The Bucks club travelled to the picturesque ground looking to put in another strong performance but, due to unavailability, there were several enforced changes particularly in the forwards.

What transpired was a lacklustre performance from the visitors in which they struggled to impose themselves on the game but still managed to win and stand in fifth position in the league table.

Stow troubled the scorers first after Wycombe were penalised for being offside. The penalty was in front of the posts and the home side took the three points.

The away side were once again penalised and Stow took the easy kick at goal to double their advantage.

Wycombe reduced the deficit when Matt Wardle found a hole in the defence and ghosted through the gap, sidestepping the last defender to score. The conversion kick was missed.

The visitors went ahead as some deft hands from the backs put Sibu Zulu into space inside his own half. He showed great pace to outstrip his opposite number and then fast feet to leave two Stow defenders on the ground to score a fantastic solo try under the posts. Wardle booted the conversion to take the scores to 12-6 at the break.

Wycombe increased their advantage when Wardle shot out of the line, got his fingertips to the ball and somehow managed to hold onto it. He realised, with no defence at home, he had the length of the pitch at his mercy and showed good pace to beat the covering defence and score in the corner.

The away side were immediately reduced to 14 men from the restart as Liam Dudley was shown a yellow card for hands in the ruck. This invited pressure from Stow and one of their forwards managed to score an unconverted try to reduce the arrears.

The visitors were reduced to 13 men when Wardle deliberately knocked on the ball.

Wycombe returned to a full compliment of players but were then reduced to 14 men again as Ollie Fennel-Wells was shown a yellow card, although he was not sure what the reason was from the referee.

High Wycombe return to Kingsmead Road for the visit of fourth-placed Wallingford this Saturday (3pm).

Marlow made it back-to-back bonus point wins at the start to the new season following their 41-15 victory at Reading Abbey on Saturday.

The league leaders return to Riverwoods Drive for a visit from Stow-on-the-Wold this Saturday (3pm).