UNLUCKY BUZZARDS JUST MISS OUT – LEIGHTON BUZZARD 17- 21 BUGBROOKE
Buzzards recent improvement in their league form continued with a battling display, but ultimately defeat against Northamptonshire side Bugbrooke. The narrow defeat secured a losing bonus point that moves them up two places in Midlands 1 East league but their second-half domination could easily have resulted in victory.
Having won the toss, Buzzards chose to play uphill and once again fell behind early on. After only five minutes, Bugbrooke won possession on half-way, spread the ball wide right and, with good support play, scored their first try. 0-7
In the first twenty minutes Buzzards rarely got out of their half but finally after twenty-five minutes a succession of good breaks brought Leighton close to scoring. When Bugbrooke cleared their lines, Buzzards counter-attacked for George Sanders to score in the left corner – with the conversion missed, Buzzards trailed 5-7 after 28 minutes. The initiative was now with Leighton with Euan Irwin, Sam Richbell and Zak Tift all prominent in the Buzzard attacks that finally made space for Luke Stanbridge to score in the corner. Again the difficult conversion was missed, leaving Leighton 10 -7 ahead with five minutes of the half remaining.
However, the lead was short-lived – following a line-out the visitors spread the ball to their right winger to show genuine pace and score a brilliant individual try. Worse was to follow – with the final play of the half, the winger scored again – with both tries converted the half time score was 10 -21.
Now playing with the slope Buzzards began to dominate possession and territory. Whilst Bugbrooke remained dangerous from the occasional counter-attack, Buzzards looked the most likely scorers although after twenty minutes of the second half the score remained unchanged. Nick Turney came off the bench for a welcome return and bolstered the Buzzard pack which was now beginning to dominate. On numerous occasions the pack driven forward by the excellent Sam Richbell and Zak Tift, backed with the sniping of scrum half Jock Marshall on his impressive home debut, came frustratingly close. Finally Richbell’s strength drove over and with Geoff Branwhite’s conversion the score was 17-21 with nine minutes remaining.
Frustratingly and despite numerous attacks 17-21 remained the final score, leaving Buzzards only a losing bonus point for their efforts. However the team can take many positives from this performance – the commitment and team spirit shown away the previous week was, again, very much in evidence.
After a week off from league action the Buzzards next game is away at bottom side Dronfield in North Derbyshire.