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DOMINANT SCRUM PROVIDES PLATFORM FOR BEN CULLEN’S FOUR TRY PERFORMANCE

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 48 – 10 TOWCESTRIANS

Leighton Buzzard secured their biggest win of the league season, scoring eight tries
to defeat Towcestrians. The Buzzard scrum completely dominated their opponents –
providing quality ball for the backs – including 17-year-old winger, Ben Cullen, who
scored four tries.

With captain Owen Forsyth injured, stand-in skipper Eddie Wiggins, won the toss and
chose to play downhill with the benefit of the wind. Buzzards made a dream start-
securing possession from the first scrum, fly-half Tom Winch carved open the
defence and passed to his supporting half-back partner, James Brett, to score the
first try. Less than two minutes had been played. Winch was also involved in the
second try three minutes later, providing space for Ben Cullen to show his pace as
he scored in the corner. Cullen added his second try six minutes later – with one
successful conversion from Ollie Taylor, Leighton led 17-0 after only ten minutes.
Buzzards almost added a fourth try midway through the half as James Brett
grounded the ball, but the try was disallowed for a double movement.

After their poor start, Towcestrians were now beginning to gain territory, mostly
through the straight running of their bigger forwards. The sense of a change of
momentum was palpable, particularly as injuries, including to captain Eddie Wiggins,
resulted in significant reorganisation to the Leighton team. In less than half an hour,
all three Buzzard replacements were required with no backup available in case of
further injuries. The last ten minutes of the half were more evenly balanced as the
visitors scored two tries – the home supporters’ fears of a Towcester revival were
eased as, between these two tries, Jacob Dove carved through their defence from
the halfway line to score a fine individual try. With Ollie Taylor’s conversion, the half-time score was 24-10.

The second half started with a catalogue of errors from Leighton – misdirected kicks,
poor decision-making and knock-ons disrupting any sense of continuity. However,
the scrum was still dominant, with the front row of Joe Healy, Will Batchelor and Ben
Dumpleton rock solid. Such was the platform they provided that Buzzards chose to
scrummage rather than take penalties for much of the half.

Slowly the pressure on the visitor’s defence built up – after a succession of penalties
a yellow card was shown, reducing Towcester to fourteen men. Shortly after, George
Rabbitt scored his first Buzzard try on his second appearance, which, with Ollie
Taylor’s conversion extended the lead to 31-10. Two minutes later, a drive-by Wills
Messum, who was now increasingly prominent in the lineout and open play, provided
the opportunity for Will Batchelor to score Buzzards’ sixth try.

There remained time for Ben Cullen to complete a memorable day for him by scoring
two late tries, the first from a Tom Winch break and the second running almost the
whole length of the pitch following a Wills Messum interception and well-judged pass.
Ollie Taylor’s conversion was the final act of the match, making the score 48-10.
Next week Buzzards travel to Peterborough.