Leighton Buzzard are still without a win this season as they were beaten by Bugbrooke, going down 21-17.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Buzzard though, with a much-improved performance taking them to the brink of victory, while they picked up a bonus point to move them two places up the Midland 2 East South table.
But they made a poor start to the match against the Northamptonshire side, and soon found themselves trailing as Bugbrooke won possession from the kick off, spreading play wide and with good support, were able to score a try to take a 7-0 lead.
In the first 20 minutes, Buzzards rarely got out of their half but finally after twenty-five minutes a succession of good breaks brought Leighton close to scoring.
When Bugbrooke cleared their lines, Buzzards counter-attacked for George Sanders to score in the left corner – with the conversion missed, Buzzards trailed 5-7 after 28 minutes.
The initiative was now with Leighton with Euan Irwin, Sam Richbell and Zak Tift all prominent in the Buzzard attacks that finally made space for Luke Stanbridge to score in the corner.
Again the difficult conversion was missed, leaving Leighton 10 -7 ahead with five minutes of the half remaining.
But such has been Leighton’s run of late, their lead wouldn’t last until half time. In fact, two late tries from the visiting side would see Leighton go in 21-10 down at the interval.
Following a line-out, the visitors spread the ball to their right winger to show genuine pace and score a brilliant individual try.
Worse was to follow – with the final play of the half, the winger scored again – with both tries converted the half time score was 21-10.
Now playing with the slope Buzzards began to dominate possession and territory. Whilst Bugbrooke remained dangerous from the occasional counter-attack, Buzzards looked the most likely scorers although after twenty minutes of the second half the score remained unchanged.
Nick Turney came off the bench for a welcome return and bolstered the Buzzard pack which was now beginning to dominate. On numerous occasions the pack driven forward by the excellent Sam Richbell and Zak Tift, backed with the sniping of scrum half Jock Marshall on his impressive home debut, came frustratingly close. Finally Richbell’s strength drove over and with Geoff Branwhite’s conversion the score was 17-21 with nine minutes remaining.
Frustratingly and despite numerous attacks 17-21 remained the final score, leaving Buzzards only a losing bonus point for their efforts. However the team can take many positives from this performance – the commitment and team spirit shown away the previous week was, again, very much in evidence.
After a week off from league action, Buzzard’s next game is away at bottom side Dronfield in Derbyshire.
Meanwhile, Leighton Buzzard Colts booked a spot in the third round of the National Cup after sensational comeback saw them overturn a 17-0 deficit to beat Towcester 25-22.
A disastrous start saw Towcester run in three unanswered tries before Jacob got one back just before the break. But back came Leighton, capitalising on Towcester being reduced to 14 men after a yellow card.
And with a late Craig Stephen try, Leighton took the victory and a place in the third round.