BUZZARDS OVERWHELMED AT MAIDENHEAD
MAIDENHEAD 53 – 5 LEIGHTON BUZZARD
Leighton Buzzard suffered their heaviest League defeat for almost 6 years on the artificial pitch at Maidenhead. After a couple of months of rugby played in wet and muddy conditions, Buzzards injury-hit side failed to adapt to the fast game and the uniform conditions and were well beaten by an impressive Maidenhead team. Despite the disappointment the Buzzards continued to play with spirit and commitment throughout.
The match couldn’t have started worse for Leighton. Maidenhead kicked off and having secured possession in their own 22, Buzzards immediately attempted to run the ball. Whilst there was the hint of an overlap the ball was turned over in contact and after less than a minute Maidenhead had scored under the posts (0-7). The speed and clarity that the artificial pitch provided increased the potential for turnovers – in the early stages the Maidenhead back row were rampant as Buzzard ball was regularly turned over. It took the home side only 5 minutes to increase their lead with a good move resulting in a further try out wide ( 0-12).
After this disastrous start Buzzards slowly worked their way back into the game. After a period of pressure the forwards drove over from a line out with number 8, Sam Richbell, securing the touchdown. Following a yellow card for the Maidenhead outside centre Buzzards had 10 minutes of numerical superiority and almost made it pay, with winger Ben Beaumont stopped just short of the corner.
However this pressure was short-lived as the home side showed they could also use a rolling maul to great effect scoring out wide after 34 minutes and then added a further try from the last play of the half with a slick backs move. Half time 5 -24
Buzzards started the second half with renewed commitment. However, possession was turned over and a promising position quickly became a home team attack resulting in a fifth Maidenhead try. Pressure was becoming relentless and two more unconverted tries gave Maidenhead a 5-39 lead with more than half of the second half remaining.
Once again Buzzards dug deep and created pressure of their own as they retained possession and worked through the phases. Cruelly it was from a promising Buzzard attack that a pass was intercepted for an unopposed 70 metre run for another Maidenhead try.
The Buzzard defence held firm until the final play of the game when the recently signed Maidenhead full back, who was exceptional throughout, scored a brilliant individual try to leave the final score 5-53.
It was a quiet coach that returned a disappointed Leighton side home but they played with spirit and commitment throughout. Maidenhead are clearly a much improved side- and with a game tailored to their home conditions they were a fine side thoroughly deserving their emphatic victory.
Buzzards slip to ninth in the League and next week welcome Newbury to Wright’s Meadow.