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CONVINCING WIN PUSHES BUZZARDS UP THE LEAGUE TABLE

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 25 – 6 OLD LAURENTIANS

A convincing second-half performance gave Buzzards victory over Old
Laurentians, moving them up to ninth in the league table. For the second
match running Leighton scored five tries, securing a bonus point, despite on
this occasion playing the second half with fourteen men.

Buzzards kicked-off downhill but started lethargically allowing the visitors to
have the best of the opening exchanges. It was ten minutes before Buzzards
threatened the Old Laurentians line, but the final pass went forward. In the
subsequent phase, a charge-down went dead in-goal, giving the visitors the
opportunity to clear.

Old Laurentians took the lead after eighteen minutes – a promising attack had
been stopped by a tackle off the ball – whilst a yellow card was justified, there
was a case of mistaken identity as referee picked out Will Batchelor. The
resulting penalty was kicked to leave Leighton trailing 0-3.
Five minutes later Buzzards took the lead. A flowing move in the backs was
stopped just short, but the ball was recycled for veteran Euan Irwin to score in
the corner to give Leighton a 5-3 lead. This remained the score for the rest of
the half, although in the fortieth minute, debutant winger, George Rabbitt, was
shown what appeared to be a very harsh red card, apparently for a tip-tackle.

The second half started badly for Buzzards with a string of penalties – the
fourth of these converted after only three minutes- to give Old Laurentians a
narrow 5-6 lead. After this setback, Leighton, realising the penalty count was
mounting, improved both their discipline and ball retention. Only two minutes
later, an excellent box-kick from James Brett put the visitors defence under
pressure. When the ball became loose, Mike Robert helped drive captain,
Owen Forsyth over the line to make the score 10-5 establishing a lead
Leighton would not relinquish. Six minutes after his first try, Forsyth added his
second, following an excellent offload by Will Batchelor.

Buzzards were now moving the ball wider and playing with an increased
confidence and tempo with centre Eddie Wiggins increasingly influential. With
pressure on their line, it was now the visitors who were incurring the referees
displeasure, with a string of penalties and two yellow cards in quick
succession. The pressure finally told mid-way through the half, with Euan
Irwin scoring following a quick tap penalty and, shortly afterwards, Tom Winch
added a fine individual try. These scores put Leighton 25-6 ahead, which was
to remain the score to end of the match. The margin of victory could have
been greater but, unfortunately, James Brett’s recent excellent goalkicking
form deserted him, as did his luck as he hit the post twice, in missing all five
conversions.

Next week Buzzards travel to Kettering, the side immediately below them in
the league table.