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Leighton Buzzard was well beaten by a strong Amersham and Chiltern side in their
latest Regional 2 Thames league fixture. However, the young Buzzard side can take
credit from their second-half performance, scoring three tries and showing
considerable spirit and resilience.
Having won the toss, Buzzards chose to play with the benefit of the slight slope and
with the very strong sun behind them. Leighton was under immediate pressure and it
took the home side six minutes to score their first try. Worse was to follow; almost
immediately following the restart, Amersham and Chiltern (A & C) scored a second
try with a flowing move from their twenty-two. With both tries converted Buzzards
trailed 14-0.
Despite this poor start, Leighton did have opportunities. Midway through the half the
ball was lost forward close to the line and, shortly afterwards, nearly scored from a
line out. If Buzzards were profligate with their chances, A & C were ruthless with
theirs, adding a further converted try after twenty-two minutes.
Three minutes later, the Buzzards suffered the blow of losing fly-half Ollie Taylor for
the remainder of the game with a potential concussion. In catching a high kick, he
was tackled high and, whilst there was head contact, the referee decided that a
yellow card was sufficient sanction.
The home side continued to look dangerous, scoring a fourth try after half an hour.
Whilst tackles were missed, this was primarily due to the illusive running of the A & C
backs rather than any lack of commitment from Leighton’s defence. Towards the end
of the half Leighton seemed about to score. Felix Fiske had broken clear with only
one man to beat and veteran Dan Baroux in support, but the referee stopped play as
a fracas had broken out, twenty metres behind play. In the final minutes of the half
Buzzards again came close to scoring, firstly from a lineout and then from a Ben
Cullen break but ended the half trailing 28-0.
The first ten minutes of the second half were calamitous; in just five minutes three
converted tries were scored, firstly, one gifted from an interception, and then two fine
tries from the home side’s strong runners. Losing 49-0 with over thirty minutes to go,
Buzzards were in danger of a very heavy defeat.
Despite the scoreline, Buzzards did have periods of pressure and the scrum was
looking very solid. After twelve minutes, Will Batchelor drove close to the line, but the
offload did not go to hand, two minutes later Jacob Dove scored Leighton’s first try.
Jack Cullen converted to make the score 49-7.
Buzzards’ efforts were not helped midway through the half by a red card shown to
Will Batchelor for bad language directed at the touch judge. Shortly after A & C
added a further converted try for a 56-7 lead. But credit to Buzzards, despite the
score, the extremely hot weather and being down to fourteen men, their spirit
remained undimmed. Ben Cullen added a second try after twenty-six minutes,
converted by his brother Jack, and Felix Fiske added a third close to the end. In
between these two tries the home side added a further one of their own, leaving the
final score 63-21.
Next week Buzzards welcome Hemel Hempstead to Wright’s Meadow