TOWCESTRIANS 22 – 7 LEIGHTON BUZZARD
Leighton Buzzard will rue missed opportunities as they lost away to
Towcestrians in their latest Regional 2 East Midlands league game. With the
Leighton pack dominant for much of the game, Buzzards had opportunities to
win away at the early-season league leaders. Ultimately an accumulation of
small errors, a lack of discipline and a brilliant individual performance by the
Towcester left winger proved decisive.
The home team kicked off up the slope and in sunny and dry conditions.
There was an early indication of the strength of the Buzzard pack as they won
the first scrum against the head. Ominously there was also an early indication
of the Towcestrians left winger’s pace as he slipped two tackles to score the
opening try in the corner after six minutes. Seven minutes later, he scored
again, winning the race to touch down unopposed after a clever chip ahead.
With neither of these tries converted, Towcestrians led 10-0.
In between these two tries, Buzzard prop Isaac Bussue suffered a bad injury
and was unable to take any further part in the game. Despite this setback, the
scrum was still rock solid with the reorganised front row of Joe Healy, Will
Batchelor and Taylor Richardson outstanding.
Leighton were now playing with more conviction running the ball out from
defence but ball retention remained a problem. Buzzards’ cause was helped
by two Towcester yellow cards for a deliberate knock-on and then a
dangerous tip tackle after twenty-one and twenty-eight minutes respectively,
giving significant numerical superiority for a period. Captain Owen Forsythe
came close to scoring from a well-worked lineout move and, whilst it took
several phases and numerous opportunities, scrum-half James Brett finally
scored in the corner. Brett then converted his own try from the touchline to
leave Buzzards trailing 10-7 at half time.
The second half started poorly with a couple of errors resulting in pressure on
the Buzzard line. However, Leighton successfully turned the ball over but the
clearance kick found the Towcester left winger who raced in from forty metres
for his third try, leaving the home side 15-7 ahead.
Undeterred, Buzzards fought back and camped on the Towcester line with
Owen Forsythe coming close to scoring. These attacks were repelled illegally
resulting in the referee warning that a further offence would result in a yellow
card. A further penalty was awarded, and a yellow card was shown to the
Towcester captain, but Joe Healy’s frustration had boiled over and he was
shown a red card for illegal use of the boot. Therefore, the initial penalty was
overturned and a great opportunity for Leighton to pull within one point was
Playing with only 14 men for the last half-an-hour was always going to be a
huge task but Buzzards stuck to their defensive duties bravely as the game
became disjointed with several injuries. Perhaps inevitably the numerical
advantage told as Towcester’s left winger scored his fourth try to put the
home side 22-7 ahead.
Buzzards spirit remained undimmed and in the last minute attacked from their
own twenty-two and almost scored with the final play following another lineout
move. There were positives from the performance, particularly the scrum and
much of the defence, but a feeling that an opportunity had been missed.
Next week Buzzards travel to Lutterworth.