BUZZARDS HOLD ON TO SECURE READING DOUBLE
LEIGHTON BUZZARD 9 – 5 READING
Leighton Buzzard welcomed Reading to Wrights Meadow for a game dominated by the weather. With driving rain, strong wind and surface water, ball retention – let alone open running rugby- was always difficult. However having beaten the visitors earlier in the season Buzzards were confident of starting the New Year with a win even with the weather restricting their normal expansive game.
Having won the toss, Buzzards chose to play with the advantage of both the wind and the slope. Making a positive start, Leighton put Reading under immediate pressure and took an early 3- 0 lead from a Geoff Branwhite penalty after 4 minutes.
Leighton’s big pack , with the man of the match Jacob Davey prominent, was continuing to dominate and Sam Richbell was unlucky to be adjudged to have been held up when Buzzards believed they had scored. Shortly afterwards the Buzzard pack was again held up over the line as frustration grew that pressure was not turning into points.
Reading were slowly working their way back into the game and it was from a rare attack that Geoff Branwhite and Ollie Taylor broke from their 22 to threaten the Reading line. The Reading defence were penalised for killing the ball as Buzzards attempted to recycle, allowing Branwhite to extend the lead to 6-0 after half-an-hour. Despite further pressure Leighton were unable to extend the lead before half time.
With the advantage of the wind and slope now with Reading the match appeared evenly balanced but it was Buzzards who opened the second-half scoring after 8 minutes. A well-judged kick from Dan David was regained by winger Ollie Taylor and whilst the break was stopped, the referee penalised Reading allowing Geoff Branwhite to extend the lead to 9-0.
Despite conceding territory and the Reading scrum gaining momentum, the Buzzards were defending confidently. However the mood of the game changed after a moment of individual brilliance from Reading winger Chris Creig. Fielding a long Buzzard kick on half way he carved through the complete Buzzard team to score out wide. The conversion was missed but with 13 minutes left, Reading were now within one score. With the benefit of slope, wind and momentum the Buzzard defence was under huge pressure but, despite scares, it held for Leighton to secure a 9-5 victory .
The game was a credit to both sides with commitment and enterprise and played in good spirit in truly dreadful conditions.
The victory took Buzzards back up to 5th and next week travel to 6th placed Oxford Harlequins who are one point below them.