SECOND HALF REVIVAL SHOWS PROMISE
LUTTERWORTH 33 – 10 LEIGHTON BUZZARD
Leighton Buzzard lost their latest Regional 2 East Midlands league game
away at Lutterworth. After a poor first half, Buzzards improved considerably
after the break. Whilst this was too late to take anything from the game, it did
show both quality of the players and potential for future matches.
Leighton kicked off and almost immediately centre Euan Irwin made a break
to give Buzzards the first attacking opportunity of the match. Unfortunately,
this was to prove a false dawn, as Buzzards offered little attacking threat
during the remainder of the half. With the Leighton pack unable to reliably
secure their own ball at both the scrum and lineout, and a high penalty count,
they found themselves camped in their own half for long periods.
As early as the twelfth minute but after a succession of scrum penalties, prop
Kieran Turney was shown a yellow card. Now with a man down, it was almost
inevitable that the pressure would tell and after eighteen minutes, Lutterworth
scored their first try although there appeared to be an obvious knock-on in the
build-up. With the conversion missed, the home side led 5-0.
A last-ditch try-saving tackle by Euan Irwin prevented the lead being extended
shortly afterwards but, without the ball, play was almost entirely in the
Buzzard half. Lutterworth eventually emphasised the dominance of their pack
with a push-over try after twenty-nine minutes and then drove over from a
lineout late in the half. With both these tries converted, Buzzards trailed 19-0
Coach Phil Llewellyn’s half time talk seemed to instill confidence and ambition
as Buzzards started well. Attacking intent had taken Buzzards close to the
Lutterworth line after only five minutes, and a well-worked lineout move
resulted in Will Batchelor scoring in the corner. The difficult conversion was
missed, leaving Buzzards trailing 19-5.
Shortly afterwards, Jack Whitehouse broke from inside his own half – when
the move was illegally halted, Buzzards chose to kick for goal, but James
Brett’s penalty drifted wide. Shortly afterwards Whitehouse was again
involved again in an attack, initiated by Tom Winch. This ended with Buzzards
being held up over the line but they attacked again from the resulting goal line
Midway through the half James Brett was shown a yellow card for a deliberate
knock-on. Shortly afterwards a mazy individual run from a Luttterworth centre
was stopped just short of the line by an excellent Eddie Wiggins’ tackle, but
the ball was popped up for the Lutterworth fly-half to touch down. He
converted his own try for a 26-5 home lead. Lutterworth added a further try
following a lineout drive to lead 33-5.
However, Buzzards were still trying to attack and a good break by winger
Jacob Dove led to the opportunity for veteran centre, Euan Irwin, to score with
almost the last play of the game to make the final score 33-10.
Next week Buzzards will hope to take their second-half improvement into
their home match versus Market Harborough at Wrights Meadow.