SIX TRY BUZZARDS OVERCOME VIPERS SECOND-HALF BITE
LEIGHTON BUZZARD 38 – 15 VIPERS
Leighton Buzzard stay four points clear at the top of Midlands 2 East (South) league with their latest bonus point victory against Leicester-based Vipers. Although Buzzards scored six fine tries, this was at times a rather scrappy performance as Leighton’s concentration appeared to lapse. Credit is also due to Vipers who belied their lowly league position with a competitive and skillful second-half performance.
Buzzards kicked off downhill in dry conditions and no discernible breeze. In under two minutes , and with their first attack, Harri Sayer was about to score when the referee called play back for a crossing obstruction earlier in the move. However the home crowd did not have long to wait as a well-worked move after four minutes put strong-running winger Arran Perry under the posts. Lee Walker converted to make the score 7-0. Perry added a second try five minutes later, fending off a couple of defenders after taking a well-judged “kick-pass” from fly-half Walker, to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed to leave Buzzards 12-0 ahead.
Despite their difficult start, Vipers were becoming increasingly competitive and pulled the score back to 12-3 with a penalty after fifteen minutes, following a Buzzard offside. The following fifteen to twenty minutes were contested in mid-field – but, as last week, the Buzzard scrum was becoming dominant. Two tries towards the end of the first half put Buzzards in control and secured the four-try bonus point. Firstly Harri Sayer made the initial break and combined well with James Brett to score. Four minutes later following a turnover at the scrum, Euan Irwin made the decisive break for Sayer to score. Both tries were converted to give a commanding half-time score of 26-3.
Now playing downhill, Vipers started the second-half with renewed endeavour. After only three minutes, a good move in the backs created space for their right-winger, who breaking through a couple of attempted tackles, scored in the corner. Worse was to follow for Buzzards – a driving maul from a lineout led to another Vipers score – and,with this second try converted, Leighton were only 26-15 ahead with over half-an-hour to play.
There followed the most intensive part of the match – the visitors buoyed by their comeback and Buzzards determined not to let the lead slip. It was over halfway through the half that Leighton re-asserted control, when after a period of intense pressure, Man of the Match, Eddie Wiggins, scored Buzzards’ fifth try to make the score 31-15.
In the closing minutes Buzzards showed commendable ambition, choosing to run penalties rather than running the clock down. This spirit of adventure was rewarded with five minutes left when Danny Snowdon scored following a number of line breaks and concerted pressure. James Brett converted to make the final score 38-15.
Buzzards will be pleased with a bonus try victory and six fine tries and a good performance from the tight forwards. However they will know that at times concentration was lost and also too many penalties and turnovers were conceded.
Next week Leighton welcome Long Buckby to Wright’s Meadow.