BUZZARDS SLIP UP AT HOME AGAIN
LEIGHTON BUZZARD 17-34 LUTTERWORTH
Leighton Buzzard lost their latest Midlands 1 East league match against mid-table Lutterworth. As in the early season match against Lutterworth, Buzzards led but let the lead slip as, frustratingly, Leighton were unable to maintain the consistency of performance throughout the game.
The match had started well for Buzzards – playing downhill but into the wind, Harry Cootes made a splendid individual break. Drawing the last man, he passed to winger James Pratt to score in the corner to give Leighton a 5-0 lead after less than two minutes.
It took ten minutes for the visitors to reply. Choosing to run a very kickable penalty, they put a sequence of phases together to score out wide. With the conversion missed the scores were level at 5-5. Buzzards took the lead again after half-an-hour. The initial break was from Jack Whitehouse and although the Leighton captain was stopped short, Lutterworth conceded a penalty five metres from their line. Buzzards drove for the line and then recycled the ball for Jacob Murtagh to score in the corner to give Leighton a 10-5 lead.
There were a couple of decisive moments in the last couple of minutes of the half. Firstly another break by Buzzard man of the match, Harry Cootes, led to nothing – and then almost immediately the visitors attacked and drove over for an equalising score at 10-10. With this last play of the half James Brett was shown a yellow card as he illegally attempted to stop the drive.
Leighton had played the first half into a strong wind. Unluckily the wind had subsided to give no appreciable benefit and the Buzzards were now playing uphill. The half could not have started worse – Lutterworth attacked immediately, and within forty seconds, had taken the lead at 10-15 with their third try.
Leighton were still very much in the contest and had significant pressure on the visitors line after ten minutes. Despite many phases, they were unable to score and finally a wide and speculative pass was knocked on. Ultimately Lutterworth made an excellent break from their own half and with a swift interchange of passes scored under the posts to lead 10-22 after seventeen minutes. This seemed to encourage the Lutterworth backs who were now playing with speed and ambition. Further tries were added in the 28th and 32nd minutes to stretch the lead to 10-34.
With a number of injuries leading to a lack of continuity, Buzzards were failing to find the pattern to their game. Finally, in the last minute, it all clicked with an excellent try from their own half, scored by Harri Sayer and converted by Ollie Gronert to leave the final score 17-34.
With other results this weekend, the Buzzards are now twenty-five points from safety. However in the next two weeks they play Melton Mowbray and Northampton Old Scouts, the other sides in the relegation zone, so will be optimistic of adding to their points total.