STOW Rugby Club missed out on the chance to close the gap on the top four in Southern Counties North following a 32-8 defeat at second-placed Aylesbury.

The visitors came up against a well-drilled and organised side and they were outplayed at the set-piece in Buckinghamshire.

Stow remain fifth in the table on 30 points after 10 games, seven points behind fourthplaced Milton Keynes and only three ahead of High Wycombe.

From the start, the home side dominated the scrum which put Stow under pressure, although a Nick Cafearo penalty opened the scoring.

However, from the restart, Stow were caught offside and instantly the scores were level.

Then the dominance of the Aylesbury scrum showed and a second penalty was converted.

A series of penalties followed and, after number eight Craig Chapman had been sent to the bin, a converted try as well.

Stow were holding their own in open play but were still struggling up front and another converted try before half-time put Aylesbury 20-5 ahead at the break.

The visitors were very much in the game territorially but struggled to keep the ball and silly mistakes saw them lose possession.

Aylesbury then scored their third try after a series of missed tackles, while Stow were left feeling aggrieved at a perceived lack of decisions going their way.

The hosts secured their try bonus point when they spun the ball wide from a free-kick to touch down.

The last quarter of the encounter saw Stow camped in the Aylesbury half.

Despite strong defence from the hosts, Alex Keeley cut in from full-back to score in the corner. Cafearo hit the post with the conversion.

Stow will be looking to bounce back on Saturday when they entertain league leaders Bletchley, who ran out 40-3 winners against Royal Wootton Bassett, (2.30pm).

Meanwhile, the Oddington Road club’s new changing room and shower block is expected to be up and running by Christmas.