1st xv Match Reports 2022-2023All Match ReportsClub News



Despite controlling territory for a substantial part of the second-half, Leighton
Buzzard lost their latest league game away at Peterborough. Whilst the Buzzards
defeated their opponents early in the season, Peterborough are the form team of the
league, winning their last seven games and not losing since early December.
There were warning signs for Leighton in the first minute. Peterborough kicked off
and the ball was immediately knocked on – the resulting scrum was pushed back ten
metres and a penalty was conceded. Whilst this phase was well defended, it was five
minutes before Buzzards got out of their half.

Despite this early pressure, it was Leighton who took the lead. Following good lineout
possession and playing with a penalty advantage, fly-half Tom Winch put a grubber
kick behind the home side’s defensive line. There was more than an element of good
fortune as the bouncing ball hit the crossbar and fell to Jacob Dove to score. Tom
Winch converted to put Buzzards seven points ahead after only eight minutes.
Shortly afterwards Leighton came close to extending the lead with another chip
through, but the difficult pick-up was knocked on with the try-line unguarded.

Slowly the scrum dominance was giving the home side many attacking opportunities.
A splendid try-saving tackle by James Brett after fourteen minutes kept the home
side out but there was an inevitability about Peterborough’s first try three minutes
later. Choosing a scrum rather than a penalty, they drove over to reduce the deficit to
5-7. Shortly after Buzzards did have a chance to extend their lead – Calum Creber
pouncing on a loose ball at a lineout but he was bundled into touch just short.
The home side’s tactic of straight running the first phase before spreading the ball wide
was now stretching the Buzzard defence. In a period of eight minutes they scored
three tries; the second from their own twenty-two with excellent support work; and
with two converted, Peterborough led 24-7. Leighton cut the deficit with the last play
of the half, good ball retention through a number of phases made space for Tom
Winch to score unopposed. Winch converted his own try to leave the half-time score

The second half started poorly for Buzzards, conceding a try after two minutes. After
a period of forward-driven pressure, a further Peterborough try was scored ten
minutes later leaving Leighton trailing 34-10.

With half an hour to go, things were looking ominous but suddenly Buzzards raised
their game. Whilst the scrum remained an issue, the lineout, with Will Bennett
prominent, was working well and Tom Winch was probing in the backs. Between the
fifteenth and thirty-fifth minutes, Leighton maintained a significant territorial
advantage. Whilst they came close to scoring during this period of pressure, they
failed to cross the try line.

Finally, with almost the last play of the game, Peterborough threatened the Buzzard
line. There was a certain inevitability that the clinical efficiency and confidence they
had shown throughout the game would lead to their seventh try. The conversion
made the final score 41-14.

Next week Leighton welcome bottom side Peterborough Lions to Wrights Meadow
for the last home league game of the season.