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Leighton Buzzard were well-beaten by an excellent Harpenden team, in their
latest London 1 (North) league match. However, there were positives for
Leighton with a battling spirit to the end, scoring good tries of their own and the
dominant performance of the forwards in the scrum.

Buzzards kicked off downhill in excellent conditions for rugby. It took the
visitors only two minutes to take the lead with their first try, following a lost ball
in midfield. Any lingering doubts about the quality of the opposition back line
were dispelled shortly thereafter when Buzzards were cut open by an excellent
move covering 70 metres. With both tries converted, Leighton were 0-14 down
after only five minutes.

It took Leighton less than ten minutes to cut the deficit with Will Batchelor
scoring in the corner following a well worked line-out move. Ewan Starling
converted from the touchline to make the score 7-14. Increasingly Buzzards
were enjoying more territory and whilst the scrum was dominant, it was difficult
to build pressure with the lineout misfiring. Harpenden’s huge front jumper, who
was on loan from Saracens Academy, was forcing Buzzards to throw long and
often inaccurately.
Despite good territory there was always a feeling that the Harpenden backs
might suddenly conjure something. So it proved with another excellent try after
thirty-three minutes to make the score 7-28. Leighton finished the half strongly
and, when the visitors pulled down a rolling maul three metres out, Buzzards
were perhaps unfortunate that the referee decided that a penalty was sufficient
Harpenden started the second half as they did the first– scoring after only two
minutes, following a dummy and then quick transference of the ball. The
conversion was missed leaving the score 7-33. However, Leighton were showing
enterprise of their own and after ten minutes scored their second try. Good
handling in the backs created space for Ellis Bisgrove, who looked dangerous all
afternoon, to score in the corner and leave the score 12-33.

Harpenden added two further tries – one unusually through their forwards
before another spectacular backs move from inside their own half put them 12-
47 ahead. But much to the appreciation of the home crowd, Buzzards raised their
game again with Tom Winch scoring in the corner. Once more Ewan Starling
converted from the touch line to make the score 19-47.

Sadly, there was not time for Leighton to score a fourth try and secure a bonus
point with the final score 19-47.

Next week the Buzzards make the long trip to Southend.