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Leighton Buzzard had to settle for a losing bonus point as their late second-half comeback fell
agonisingly short of victory in their latest league encounter. There was frustration that, whilst they
showed ability and were competitive against one of the league’s top sides, they lacked consistency,
with an apparent lack of confidence leading to poor decision-making.

Northampton Old Scouts kicked off with the benefit of the slope. Buzzards started brightly with
breaks from Ollie Taylor and then a combined Tom Winch / Will Bennett effort in the first five
minutes. However, slowly Old Scouts gained territorial control and looked increasingly threatening,
taking the lead, driving over from close range to lead 0-5, after fourteen minutes.
Following this setback, Leighton had a period of significant pressure, with Will Bennett almost
scoring after a lineout move. Buzzards had several opportunities during this period thwarted by
knock-ons or poor handling. They also had an easy chance to reduce the lead from a penalty in front
of the posts but chose to tap rather than take the points.

Despite this significant period of pressure, it was Old Scouts who scored next – poor tackling
allowing a try in the corner after thirty-two minutes. Six minutes later, the visitors’ forwards drove
over once again. With both these tries converted, Buzzards trailed 0-19 at half time.

Now playing downhill, Buzzards started brightly. Ben Cullen, impressed on his debut as a half-time
replacement with a good break and chip ahead. Now playing with an increased tempo, opportunities
were arising, and Felix Fiske touched down in the corner after twelve minutes. Ewan Starling
converted from the touchline to make the score 7-19. Leighton did have a chance to reduce the
deficit four minutes later, but Starling’s penalty attempt hit the post.

Midway through the half Eddie Wiggins was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Due to
dissent, the referee marched Leighton back ten metres making the penalty attempt more
straightforward and extending the deficit to 7-22. Despite being down to fourteen men for a ten
minute period, Buzzards seemed intent on trying to run the ball out of defence. Somewhat
inevitably the ball was turned over for Old Scouts to score their fourth try to lead 7-27.

Suddenly and with only ten minutes left, Leighton raised their game. A break by Eddie Wiggins and
Ryan Eaton came close to scoring. Callum Creber and James Brett also threatened the line before the
ball was passed out for Tom Winch to score under the posts. Realising time was short , Ollie Taylor
took a quick drop kick conversion making the score 14-27. Straight from the kick off, Jacob Dove
broke clear and when tackled just short, offloaded for Winch to score his second try in two minutes.
Once again, Taylor dropped kicked the conversion to leave the score 21-27 and Buzzards knowing
that another converted try would give them the lead. It was not to be as Old Scouts played out the
last five minutes without further score.

Next week Leighton travel to Rugby-based Old Laurentians, knowing they need an eighty minute rather than just a second half performance

Not the current 1st xv!!!