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Leighton Buzzard were beaten by Brentwood in their latest London 1 (North) League fixture. Despite the final score, there were some positives with the scrum looking very solid and some fine attacking moments. However, the lack of reliable ball from the lineout stifled Leighton’s attempts to build pressure.

Buzzards kicked off, slightly downhill in dry and fine conditions. Almost immediately they were behind – Brentwood exploiting Buzzards’ insufficient numbers defending the blind side to score after forty-eight seconds. The successful conversion gave the home side an early 7-0 lead.

Leighton responded well to this set-back. After four minutes they chose to kick a penalty for the corner rather than for the posts. Unfortunately, the attacking lineout was lost as the ball was overthrown. Perhaps because of the home sides very tall front and middle jumpers, Buzzards used the long throw tactic throughout the game with little success. However, after ten minutes Leighton levelled– a clever reverse pass from fly-half Ollie Taylor put Leigh Draper clear for the forty one year old scrum-half to score near the posts. Oliie Taylor converted to level the scores at 7-7.

It did not take long for the home side to go back in front. After fourteen minutes Buzzard centre, Eddie Wiggins, was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. The resulting penalty was kicked to the corner and Brentwood drove over from the lineout. They added a further try during the ten-minute period of numerical advantage – with both tries converted, the home side led 21-7.

The home side was now playing with increased confidence. Leighton’s athletic second row, Callum Creber, prevented a probable further score with a brilliant steal at a Brentwood five metre lineout but ultimately the pressure told with the home side crashing over for their fourth try minutes later. After just half-an hour, Buzzards trailed 28-7.

Once again Leighton rallied – Ollie Taylor instigated a break that took Buzzards from deep in their half to the opposition twenty-two. But it was full-back Ben Beaumont who made the decisive break and then passed to supporting Eddie Wiggins to score Buzzards second try. The conversion was missed to leave the half-time score 28-12.

Leighton started the second half well – Matt Bloxham, who had a splendid game, making an early break. However, Buzzards’ handling let them down in the early part of the half – twice knocking on when under little pressure in the first four minutes. After six minutes the home side extended their lead – there was a lapse in concentration which allowed a quick tap penalty to result in an opportunist try. Another penalty conceded in defence, led to a further try six minutes later and, with both converted, Brentwood led 42-12.

With just under half-an-hour to go, the result was not in doubt, but Buzzards showed considerable spirit and determination. It took twenty minutes before the home side scored their best try of the afternoon but Leighton continued to probe with Jack Whitehouse and stand-in captain Owen Forsythe prominent in attack. Late on Jack Whitehouse could probably have scored in the corner but unselfishly chose to pass and the opportunity was lost.

Then finally, with the last play of the game, another Leighton lineout was overthrown allowing a soft try to end the match and leave the final score 54-12.

Next week Buzzards travel to league-leaders Shelford.