1st xv Match Reports 2017-2018

1st xv v Old Scouts 7th April 2018

BUZZARDS SLIP TO ELEVENTH WITH DEFEAT AT SCOUTS

NORTHAMPTON OLD SCOUTS 45 – 17 LEIGHTON BUZZARD

Leighton Buzzard swapped places in the league with Northampton Old Scouts after defeat in their latest Midlands 1 East league match. Whilst Buzzards contributed to their defeat, Old Scouts played well and appear a much improved team from earlier in the season. Additionally, for much of the second half, Buzzards played expansive rugby in a justified but, ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to secure a four- try bonus point – and in doing so, contributed to the scale of the defeat.   However with results elsewhere going their way, Buzzards remain five points clear of the last relegation place and need four points from their last two games to be mathematically safe from relegation.

Old Scouts kicked off on a dry afternoon with Buzzards having the slight advantage of the cross-wind. In the first minute Scouts strong runners put the Buzzard defence under pressure but slowly Leighton worked their way into the game and it was a surprise when the home side opened the scoring after nine minutes with a converted try to lead 7-0. It took Buzzards five minutes to reply. With the Leighton lineout performing well – a penalty was kicked to the corner and the Buzzard pack drove over for captain Michael Lynch to touch down  to leave the score 7-5.

A five minute spell in the middle of the half gifted Old Scouts two tries – firstly an over-ambitious Buzzard pass deep in their territory hit an Old Scouts players head and bounced kindly for their second try. Shortly afterwards a missed tackle on a rushed defence opened up the Buzzard line. With both tries converted Old Scouts led 21-5.

Despite these setbacks, Buzzards continued to create opportunities and, with the last play of the half,  a delicate chip to the corner from Jack Whitehouse gave James Brett the chance to score in the corner. With the difficult conversion missed Buzzards trailed 21-10 at half time.

Buzzards started the second half with much more tempo to their game. In the early minutes Euan Irwin almost scored but the referee brought the play back for crossing. Following this opportunity the home side quickly scored twice – their strong runners were breaking tackles and were backed by good support. Both tries were converted to make the score 35-10, with twenty-eight minutes to play.

However, from the restart Buzzards were awarded a penalty forty metres out – Euan Irwin took a quick tap and almost made the line himself. Although stopped a metre out, the recycled ball was passed to Dan Baroux who scored by the posts. Ollie Taylor converted to make the score 35-17.

With twenty-five minutes left Buzzards needed one further try for a bonus point but, despite their efforts, the next twenty minutes were pointless. The home side added two further tries in the last three minutes as a weary Leighton side tried in vain for the extra point and in doing so gave a slightly unrepresentative feel to the final score at 45-17.

Buzzards’ fate lies in their own hands – next week they welcome Old Northamptonians to Wrights Meadow knowing a victory would confirm their level six status for the fifth successive year.