OLD NORTHAMPTONIANS 66 – 8 LEIGHTON BUZZARD
150th Match report by John McDougal
Leighton Buzzard suffered their heaviest defeat of the season away at league leaders Old
Northamptonians (O.N.s), who played with a speed and efficiency rarely seen at this level.
Buzzards kicked off in dry conditions and took a three-point lead after two minutes with a
long James Brett penalty. Following this early score, a succession of penalties forced
Leighton to defend deep in their twenty-two. Despite committed defence, the pressure told
after eight minutes as O.N.s drove over from a lineout to lead 5-3. The home side extended
their lead to 12-3 five minutes later – from a Buzzard scrum five metres out, the ball
squeezed out the side and the home side were quickest to react to touch down.
Whilst most of the territory and possession was with O.N.s, there were rare moments of
Buzzard attack. Mid-way through the half, a fine break from the twenty-two by Ben Cullen,
supported by Ollie Taylor and James Brett showed attacking intent but brought no tangible
However, the home side were now imposing their style – using the full extent of a wide pitch,
their game of quick ball, effective offloading and support was difficult to defend. Despite their
dominance, there was an element of good fortune in their third try, as supporting players
were clearly offside when they failed to retreat following a kick ahead. With the conversion,
O.N.s led 19-3.
After thirty minutes Buzzards had their best chance of the half to score a try. The initial break
from Eddie Wiggins put Tom Winch clear but he was adjudged to have knocked on when the
ball appeared to come off an opposition player. O.N.s added a further try with the last play of
the half when an unlucky bounce fell kindly for the home side following a kick ahead. The
conversion made the score 26-3 at half time.
With O.N.s now playing with speed, skill and confidence, Buzzards had to defend with
commitment. Despite their considerable efforts, tries followed at regular intervals with five
scored in thirty minutes. With four of these converted the home side led 59-3.
It says much for Buzzards team spirit and resilience that, despite being well beaten, they
rallied in the final ten minutes. Good running in the backs gave position deep in the home
side’s twenty-two. A yellow card was given to the O.N.s scrum half for illegally stopping an
attack close to their line but shortly afterwards, the pack drove Matt Bloxham over the line to
score Buzzards only try. It could have been added to shortly afterwards after an excellent
break by Tom Winch who kicked over the last defender only to be late tackled.
Despite this brief period of Buzzard attack, it was O.N.s who completed their fine display with
a tenth try with the final play of the game, to leave the final score 66–8.
Next week Buzzards welcome Olney (who they beat earlier in the season) to Wright’s