Eton Manor 38 Leighton Buzzard 19
Leighton Buzzard made the long trek to East London for the latest round in the London 1 North League campaign against top-three team Eton Manor.
Buzzards started the stronger with a break for Tom Winch getting on the board first after direct running took him through the home defence to touch down. He added the conversion to make it 0-7.
The home side was not put off this and fought back into the game putting two converted tries on the scoreboard to take the lead 14-7. The home side were starting to assert some dominance in the scrum and was adapting to the conditions better than the visiting Buzzards. Just before the break, they added another try to go in 21-7 up.
As both teams returned from the changing rooms the conditions worsened and most of the spectators retreated to the shelter beside the clubhouse. Eton Manor added to their points just after the halftime break to get their four-try bonus point. This was quickly followed by a try from the home stand-off who broke through a tackle to score wide of the posts. Both conversions were missed making it 31-7 with 30 minutes of the half to play.
At this point, Buzzards could have given up, but they stepped up their game and the defence got stronger as the remaining game progressed There were more errors coming in from both sides and players were slipping over on the RFU funded 3g pitch which was making play dangerous. The referee even getting into the act when he forced a stoppage as the physios had to come on to treat him for an injury.
The Buzzards scrum was starting to take control with a number of penalties awarded as the home team had to give away penalties at scrum time. After one penalty Buzzards kicked for a lineout, winning the ball from the line Buzzards attacked deep into the home team territory with Tom Winch breaking the defensive line supported by Jack Whitehouse. Good support play by the Buzzards allowed Dan Chalmers to cross the line.
Eton Manor were not finished and despite the weather and added another try in the corner after Leighton ran out of tacklers out wide.
Two penalties against the home team allowed Buzzards to gain territory into the Eton 22meter area. However, Buzzards could not keep hold of the very slippery ball and knocked on giving the home side a scrum. Buzzard’s forwards were not finished and put the home scrum under pressure, which was followed up by the backs to force the Eton Manor standoff into an error as he dropped the ball. Jack Whitehouse stole the lost ball to score by the posts, making the final score 38-19.
The young Buzzards can take many positives from the result against a strong Eton Manor team. Next week is a rest week for the league but Buzzards are next in action on the 16th of October at home to old friends Harpenden.