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FINAL SCORE FAILS TO REFLECT BUZZARD EFFORT

NEWBOLD ON AVON 43 – 17 LEIGHTON BUZZARD

Leighton Buzzard lost their latest Regional 2 East Midlands league game away at
Newbold on Avon. However, Buzzards can realistically feel that the final score does
not reflect the competitiveness of their performance. Indeed with 30 minutes left, the
score was tied at 17-17 – however an injury to winger Tom Attwell, meant that
Buzzards had to play the rest of the game with fourteen men. Newbold took full
advantage of this numerical superiority scoring four tries in the last twenty-five
minutes.

Leighton kicked off and immediately there were encouraging signs with Eddie
Wiggins making a good line break. More ominous was that the scrum which was
under significant pressure, conceding two penalties in the first seven minutes.
Despite this, Buzzards were creating chances, with Euan Irwin, unusually playing at
no.8 rather than centre, particularly prominent. However, it was the home side that
took the lead after twenty minutes, initially breaking out from their own twenty-two
and, a few phases later, scoring in the corner. With the difficult conversion missed
Buzzards trailed 5-0.

This setback seemed to galvanise the Buzzard team with an extended period of
pressure on the Newbold line. After many attempts just failing to cross the line, Euan
Irwin went over in the corner, leaving the score level at 5-5. Shortly after Newbold
scored following a catch and drive from a lineout, which with a successful
conversion, put them 12-5 ahead, with ten minutes of the first half left. A brilliant try-
saving tackle shortly afterwards by Buzzard fly-half, Tom Winch prevented the lead
being extended. Leighton could easily have drawn level late in the half – winger Tom
Attwell intercepted and, with a clear run to the line, the referee called play back,
apparently for a knock-on.
The second half started badly – a clearance kick gave Newbold the opportunity to
counter-attack which, after a couple of phases, led to a try in the corner. With less
than one minute played in the half, the lead was now 17-5.

As in the first half, Buzzards fought back with a period of sustained pressure. And
once again it was the veteran Irwin, the only survivor of the last Buzzard team to play
at Newbold, six years ago, who breached the defence to score. The successful
conversion made the score 17-12. Four minutes later, Tom Winch showed real pace
to score in the corner bringing the scores level.

Shortly afterwards Buzzards thought they had taken the lead after a fine break by
Ollie Taylor but the try scoring pass was adjudged forward. Twice more, later in the
half they crossed the line but both Eddie Wiggins and Tom Winch were adjudged to
have knocked the ball on.

However, as the half progressed. the Newbold increasingly stretched the Buzzard
defence which remained committed, with Jacob Dove outstanding. Pressure close to
the line from the home side’s dominant pack brought two tries in the middle of the
half which were added to late on with a fine individual score from a Newbold centre
and then a try with the final play of the match. With three of these tries converted the
final score was 43-17.

Next week, Buzzards welcome Northampton Old Scouts to Wright’s Meadow.