1st xv Match Reports 2016-2017

1st xv v Dronfield 22nd October 2016







dronfield away






Leighton Buzzard made the long trip to bottom side, Dronfield in Derbyshire,  full of confidence following improved recent performances. Despite a poor start the Buzzards secured the victory and bonus point with an exceptional second half performance.

For the seventh league match in a row, Skipper Euan Irwin won the toss and chose to play uphill in the first half. Once again the Buzzards started poorly, not helped by Patrick Fraser being shown a yellow card after only 52 seconds for a dangerous tackle. The resulting penalty was missed but a further penalty gave the home side the lead 3-0, after only 4 minutes.

Worse was to follow – a dropped ball in midfield after 11 minutes allowed Dronfield to score their first try, through Buzzard old boy, Alistair Hills. Whilst Geoff Branwhite pulled three points back with a penalty, four minutes later Dronfield scored their second try with a fine move out wide. With both tries converted the home side led 17-3 which they increased to 20-3 with a further penalty.

Slowly Buzzards started to establish periods of pressure and after 31 minutes Zak Tift scored Leighton’s first try after a well-worked lineout move. With the attempted touch-line conversion drifting wide the Buzzards trailed 8-20,  which remained the half time score.

Now with the benefit of the slope and the half time team talk ringing in their ears, Buzzards appeared a different side. The pack were now dominating the scrums and from a strike against the head after only 3 minutes, number 8 Sam Richbell picked up and powered over. With Branwhite’s conversion Leighton now trailed 15-20.

Most of the play was now in the Dronfield half and after 14 minutes the pressure finally told for Irwin to crash over which, with Branwhite’s conversion, gave Buzzards the lead 22-20. The lead only lasted a minute as almost straight from the kick off,  the home side converted a penalty – 22-23.

However Leighton were now in control, the forwards dominating scrums and line out and Irwin , Richbell and Tift all prominent in consistently breaking the gain line. Buzzard’s re-took the lead after 27 minutes when replacement Dan Baroux was first to react to a loose ball to dive over to secure the bonus point try. Seven minutes later captain Irwin scored a fine individual try – with Branwhite converting both tries, Leighton led 36 -23.

Leighton were now rampant- three minutes later a fine move ended with Baroux creating the overlap for full back Ollie Taylor to score Buzzards sixth try which with Branwhites’s conversion left the final score 41-23.

The bonus point win takes Leighton up to 10th in the league and next week welcome Huntingdon to Wrights Meadow. 

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