1st xv Match Reports 2017-2018

1st xv v ON’s 9th December 2017



Leighton Buzzard’s poor away form continued with a disappointing performance in  their latest Midlands 1 East league match at Old Northamptonians (O.N.’s).  Prior to the match the home team were one place above Buzzards in seventh place – however the anticipated close game did not materialise as missed tackles, loss of the ball in contact and dropped passes cost Leighton dearly.

In cold but dry conditions, Buzzards kicked off with the benefit of the slope but against the cross wind. The early stages were competitive and played mostly in midfield – it took eight minutes for the home side to get into the Buzzards twenty-two but as soon as they did the Leighton defensive line was breached for the first converted try.

Whilst the majority of the play was in the Buzzard half, it took O.N.’s until the twenty-sixth minute to extend their lead. A loose Buzzard pass gave the home side a chance to break away and good supporting lines secured their second try, which with the conversion, gave them a 14-0 lead. A push-over try when Buzzards lost their own scrum five minutes later and then a penalty goal late in the half gave O.N,’s a 24-0 half time lead.

Leighton started the second half with renewed endeavour – a interception and a fifty metre break by Luke Stanbridge was stopped just short- when the ball was recycled it was knocked on to waste a fine attacking platform. Similarly an excellent break by Jack Whitehouse came to nothing as a pass was adjudged forward. In between these two attacking moments, Buzzards had a conceded a fourth try, as the ball was lost in a tackle giving the home side a clear run to the line and extend their lead to 29-0.

Leighton were now playing with more speed – renewed energy from the replacements and the tactical move of Ollie Taylor to fly-half releasing Jack Whitehouse into more space in the centre, added to the attacking threat. However just when Leighton were looking more threatening, a dropped ball gave the home team the opportunity to kick and chase the length of the pitch for a fifth try.

Despite this setback Buzzards attacked again and finally crossed the line for Leighton’s Frenchman Timothei  Vampouille to score his first league try. Ollie Taylor converted although there was time for O.N.’s to add a converted try to leave the final score 43-7.

Buzzards will reflect that four of the six tries conceded came directly from Leighton possession- two loose passes, one lost in the tackle and a scrum against the head  – a profligacy that will always cause difficulties at this level.

Coach Tom Mowbray commented “This was a very disappointing performance from us and was due to a number of things!! Things that can only be rectified on a Tuesday and Thursday, let’s hope the boys will show some resilience this week at training and show some bounce- back ability on Saturday against high flying Paviors at Wright’s Meadow.”