BUZZARD ARE MOVING ON UP

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Leighton Buzzard Rugby Club moved safely into mid-table in South West One East as they claimed their second win of the season.

Trowbridge were the visitors to Wright’s Meadow, with both teams still adjusting to life at a higher level following their promotions last season.

It was a tight game, with The Buzzards having to overcome a 10-8 half-time deficit to claim a 20-17 victory, with the yellow carding of a visiting player proving to be a crucial moment in the second period.

The win sees Leighton Buzzard move up to eighth in the table, with six teams now below them.

Buzzard and Trowbridge went into the game level in the league table and boasting similar records.

The Buzzards started brightly, taking the game to the visitors.

Having been repelled in the early exchanges they made the breakthrough in the seventh minute, Euan Irwin rounding off a neat back’s move. Fly-half Dan David was unable to add the extra points from the conversion, so it stayed 5-0.

In the 13th-minute, Trowbridge had an opportunity to reduce the arrears, when the home side were penalised, but fly-half Lloyd Davis was unable to convert the penalty kick.

However, the visitors were coming more into the game, and after 16 minutes a slick backs move created space out wide for left wing Ashley Clark to outpace the Buzzard’s defence and level the scores.

Again Davis was wide with the conversion.

The records of both sides predicted a close game and so it was proving.

However, Leighton regained the lead at 8-5 on 23 minutes, David converting a penalty after a Trowbridge transgression.

Back came the visitors and in the 29th-minute they took the lead for the first time.

Again the backs created space out wide, this time for right-wing James McLaughlanton to emulate his wing partner, crossing the whitewash wide out right.

Davis missed the conversion, and it was 10-8 to Trowbridge.

Worse was to follow for The Buzzards in the 30th minute when centre Jack Whitehouse had to leave the field with a knee injury, to be replaced by Bert Yirrell.

Leighton needed a good start to the second half, and their wishes were duly answered.

In only the second minute after the restart, catching the visitor’s defence off guard, they attacked with pace down the left flank, and some slick handling allowed flanker Ross Bevan to score the opening try of the second half. David missed the conversion to leave Buzzards 13-10 ahead.

Worse was to follow for Trowbridge on 52 minutes, when flanker Barry Coombs received a yellow card for an infringement at a ruck.

In the 59th- minute the home side took full advantage of their numerical advantage.

Following a maul in the middle of the pitch, Zak Tift broke away and showing deft handling skills released scrum-half Charlie Esdon to outpace the visitors defence to score under the posts. David added the extra points from the conversion and Buzzards were 20-10 clear.

Trowbridge regrouped, but time after time they were denied by a well-organised and tenacious home rearguard.

However, pressure told and in the final minute replacement Karl Perry crossed to reduce the arrears.

Davis added the extras to make the final score 20-17 to Leighton.

Considering the number of enforced changes through injury and unavailability which really tested the depth of the squad, this was a fine performance by The Buzzards.

Leighton are adjusting to life at this higher level and will hope to continue their good start when they travel to fourth-placed Windsor next Saturday (ko 3pm).