ERRORS COSTLY FOR BEATEN BUZZARDS
LEIGHTON BUZZARD 20 – 23 PETERBOROUGH
Despite outscoring the visitors, Peterborough, by three tries to two, Leighton Buzzard narrowly lost their latest Midlands 1 East league game. The Buzzards will reflect that, without costly errors and poor final five minutes of the first half, this was a game they could, and perhaps should, have won.
Having lost the toss, Leighton kicked off uphill in damp conditions. The opening minutes were played mostly in midfield with the large Peterborough pack dominating possession without threatening the Buzzard line. However it was Buzzards who took the lead after six minutes with a Darren Braybrook penalty although Peterborough evened the score at 3-3 after ten minutes.
Leighton were slowly exercising more control – despite being under pressure at the scrum, they were retaining possession through the phases with centres Jack Whitehouse and Mike Robert finding gaps in the visitors defence. It was an excellent break from Jack Whitehouse that created the opening for Darren Braybrook to score the first try after 33 minutes. Braybrook, captaining the side as Mike Lynch was unavailable, converted his own try to put Buzzards 10-3 ahead.
The lead was only to last a couple of minutes as, with five minutes of the half remaining, the Buzzard defence, which to that point had looked solid, was carved open by the Peterborough fly-half to score under the posts. With the conversion a formality, the scores were level at 10-10. Shortly afterwards Buzzards were over-ambitious in their own 22 and conceded a penalty which gave Peterborough the lead for the first time and a halftime score of 10-13.
Leighton started the second half with renewed endeavour. Straight from the kick off, Wills Messum made a spectacular break ending with Ben Beaumont being held up just short of the corner. Peterborough responded with their own attacks as the intensity and speed of the game ratcheted up but it was the Buzzards who scored next with winger Eddie Wiggins scoring in the corner, eleven minutes into the half. The difficult conversion was missed but Buzzards led 15-13.
However the Peterborough pack continued to build pressure and were close to Leighton line when Ben Beaumont was shown a yellow card for a ruck offence. The resulting penalty made the score 15-16 with twenty minutes left. Now buoyed by the benefit of an extra man, the visitors barged over for a converted try to leave Buzzards eight points adrift at 15-23.
Back came the Buzzards and once again the backs fashioned an excellent try for winger Arran Perry to reduce the gap to 20-23 but, try as they did, Leighton could not produce another score.
Disappointed Leighton had to settle for a losing bonus point, knowing they could have more. Next week the Buzzards travel to Syston in Leicestershire.