1st xv Match reports 2018 - 2019

1st xv v Oundle 3rd November 2018





Leighton Buzzard’s latest defeat showed once again the difference between the top sides and the bottom three in the Midlands 1 East league. This week’s visitors, Oundle, arrived full of confidence following their defeat of league leaders Kettering in their previous game.


However, it was Buzzards who took an early lead. Having chosen to play with the benefit of a strong breeze, they took play to inside the Oundle twenty-two. From an attacking line-out Mike Lynch and Jacob Murtagh successfully undertook a well-worked move to allow Murtagh to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed to leave Buzzards 5-0 ahead after just six minutes.


Oundle bounced back with two tries in the next 15 minutes:- firstly their big pack drove over and then the backs put together a fine move from inside their half. The contrast of the type of these two tries clearly illustrated the challenge Leighton were facing. With both converted, the score was 5-14.


Buzzards were still competitive with breaks by captain Jack Whitehouse giving encouragement. Leighton were hampered by an injury to scrum-half, Graham Magill, causing a reorganisation after half-an-hour  but they cut the lead to 8-14 with an Ollie Taylor penalty after thirty-three minutes.


Late in the half Buzzards had the opportunity to kick the ball dead for half-time. Perhaps unaware that it was the last play of the half, they attempted expansive rugby from deep in their half. With the ball turned over, Oundle scored again to leave the half-time score 8-19.


With a rousing team talk Buzzards started the second half with renewed endeavour. However it took Oundle just three minutes to add to their tally with another fine try following slick handling in the backs. The conversion plus a penalty five minutes later made the score 8-29.


Gradually the big Oundle pack was exerting increased control  – three tries in six second half minutes came from good ball retention and relentless pressure took the score to

8-48. With the second period only half way through, a heavy defeat could potentially have become a rout.


As it happened and playing only for pride, the Buzzards played some of their best rugby, retaining the ball through phases without ever seriously threatening the Oundle line. Unfortunately, despite this increased effort, Oundle scored their eighth try with the final play of the game to leave the score 8-53.


Next week Buzzards play away at Biggleswade in the Beds Cup before resuming league rugby with the long trip to high-flying Nottinghamshire team, Paviors.