LEIGHTON BUZZARD XV 57– 15 CHESS VALLEY
Leighton Buzzard convincingly won their first home game of 2024 against a committed Chess Valley team. With both sides keen to run the ball and twelve tries scored, this was an entertaining game – and whilst the visitors were well beaten, they played their part with their youthful backs showing pace, and determination shown throughout the team.
In cold and dry conditions with little or no wind, Chess Valley kicked off uphill. Buzzards started strongly and three of their more experienced players , Wills Messum, Ollie Taylor and Owen Forsythe, all scoring tries in the first nine minutes. With Ollie Taylor converting two, Leighton led 19-0.
Despite these early setbacks, the visitors became more competitive. Whilst their pack struggled against the more experience Buzzard scrum, they used their limited possession well and showed they had geniune pace in their backs. Midway though the half and after a period of pressure on the Buzzard line, Chess Valley scored in the corner. With the difficult conversion missed, the visitors trailed 19-5.
Leighton finished the half with two late tries – the first from Jacob Davies, who had an excellent game in the centre, and a second for Ollie Taylor. Taylor converted both to leave the half-time score 33-5.
The second half was more competitive. Whilst an early unconverted try by Marcus Makinson had extended Leighton’s lead to 38-5, Chess Valley were having their best part of the game and scored the next two tries in quick succession. With the visitors small squad suffering a couple of injuries, Buzzards kindly lent a couple of players, who played a part in the Chess Valley tries. Firstly Dan Baroux gave the try-scoring pass and a couple of minutes later veteran, Steve “Ace” McDade (who was somewhat bizarrely playing on the wing), scored in the corner. Both conversions were missed making the score 38-15.
It was only in the last few minutes that Buzzards added to their score as the visitors tired, with Ollie Taylor and Wills Messum adding to their individual try tallies and a derserved final try for Ben Bryan, who had an excellent game throughout. Ollie Taylor converted two of these late tries to take his personal tally to 27 points and leave the final score 57-15.