1st xv Match Reports 2016-2017

1st xv v Newbold 17th December 2016











Leighton Buzzard were well beaten by league leaders Newbold but played with a spirit and commitment against huge opposition in their latest Midlands 1 East match.

The home side kicked off and early on showed an ominous power in their pack and from their heavy runners. However it was Buzzards who took the lead after 14 minutes through a Geoff Branwhite penalty. The lead was short-lived with Newbold scoring their first try only a minute later, which, with the conversion, gave them a 7-3 lead.

Buzzards continued to attack with limited possession and came very close to retaking the lead after 28 minutes when Euan Irwin was held up just short.  However the home pack were not to be denied, driving over from a lineout after 31 minutes to extend their lead to 12-3. The home side had now established the pattern of their play –  their big, strong running forwards were frequently taking numerous defenders to stop them, creating overlaps once the ball was recycled. This tactic brought them their third try after 36 minutes to leave the half –time score 19-3.

The second half started rather bizarrely – after 5 minutes Buzzards were penalised for offside in front of their posts. The referee was unsure who had committed the offence and so showed a yellow card to the Buzzards’ innocent Captain Irwin, effectively to take the punishment for the team.  Newbold chose to take a scrum rather than a penalty and drove over for a push-over try to extend their lead to 26-3.

Even though a man down, Leighton drove forward. Following a lineout 10 metres from the Newbold line, a well worked move allowed Ryan Fraser to score Buzzards first try, thirteen minutes into the half. The difficult touchline conversion was missed to leave Leighton trailing 26-8. Once again Newbold responded almost immediately when their prop crashed over and half way through the half scored a further , and rather more fortunate try – a dropped ball during a Buzzard attack was fly-hacked from half way to make the score 40-8.

With almost a quarter of the match left many of the home crowd were expecting the floodgates to open. However this Leighton side are made of sterner stuff and their commitment to defence in a losing cause was brave and unbending . They also managed to score the try of the afternoon – with slick hands and dummy runners, fullback Ben Beaumont was put clear to round the home side’s final line of defence to score.  The conversion was missed leaving the score 40-13 with five minutes remaining.

Buzzards defensive commitment became perhaps slighty too enthusiastic with Mike Robert being shown a yellow card for an illegal tackle – the penalty was kicked to the corner and almost inevitably the home pack drove over again to leave the final score 45-13.

This was a commanding performance by the league leaders but Leighton can be pleased to have remained competitive to the end. With other results Buzzards slipped to 12th in the league – however the other four teams in the bottom five all have to come to Leighton in the New Year.

Following a two week break Buzzards welcome Northampton Old Scouts to Wrights Meadow on Saturday 7th January.




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