Leighton Buzzard returned to winning ways on Saturday as they comprehensively beat bottom club Bletchley 34-3.
The old cliché of ‘it’s a game of two halves’ told the whole story for Buzzards, as a second half onslaught saw the visitors score 26 unanswered points at Manor Fields.
Buzzards went into the game against the division’s basement side having suffered back-to-back defeats, dropping to sixth in South West 1 East in the process.
Earlier this season, Buzzards had put 85 points past the hapless Bletchley, and travelled the short journey full of confidence.
Despite overnight snow, the pitch, although tacky, was fit for play. For the first half, in front of a large and vociferous travelling support, Leighton chose to play into a strong, wintry breeze.
Any hopes the visitors had of gaining an early advantage were quickly suppressed by some committed Bletchley defence.
Also, at the scrummage The Buzzard pack were being repeatedly punished by the referee, allowing the home side to clear their lines with ease.
Being denied the opportunity to build pressure up front, Leighton were forced to try a more expansive, higher risk strategy via their backs. Unfortunately this led to handling errors and more frustration.
In the 22nd minute the visitors gave away a penalty for offside at a ruck. From the resultant kick the Bletchley Fly Half opened the scoring.
Six minutes later, Buzzard were back on level terms when the home side were penalised for not releasing. Fly Half Dan David successful with the penalty kick.
Play then resorted to type, both sides ‘slugging’ it out in midfield with neither try line threatened.
However with half time beckoning Leighton broke the deadlock. In what was their best period of the half, the visitors put together quick phases play allowing the backs to release hooker Ed Payne to score in the corner. David was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt.
It meant Leighton had a narrow five point lead at the interval, going in 8-3 ahead.
With the wind at their backs, the second half saw the visitors very quickly set up camp in home territory, as the game swung in the direction of the away side.
Play was now all in the Bletchley half, and it was no surprise when, 11 minutes into the half, following sustained pressure close to the home line, skipper Nick Turney drove over.
David kicked the conversion to make the score 15-3 in Leighton’s favour.
Four minutes later, David kicked deep into the Bletchley half, and capitalising on some dithering in the home defence, winger Olly Taylor charged down the attempted clearance kick and gathered up to score in the corner. David was wide with the conversion attempt.
In the 65th minute Taylor scored his second try, securing the bonus point, when following a superb break by centre Jack Whitehouse, the winger was on hand to receive the ball and score under the posts. David added the extras.
Two minutes later, following a deliberate knock on close to the Bletchley line the referee awarded a penalty try to Leighton. David kicked the conversion to make the final score 34-3.
Next Saturday Buzzards welcome lowly, but in form, Buckingham RFC to Wrights Meadow (KO 2.30pm).