Leighton Buzzard leap-frogged Trowbridge into fifth place in South West 1 East with a 38-7 win over Buckingham on Saturday.
Trowbridge’s narrow 11-10 defeat at the hands of Reading gave Buzzards the edge in the battle for fifth, as they reclaimed the spot having lost it a few weeks earlier.
For the second week running, it would take until the second half for the Buzzards to put all the pieces of their jigsaw together to defeat a dogged visiting side.
However it took only two minutes for Leighton to open their account, No 8 Tom Byard slicing through the visitor’s defence to cross the try line. Fly half Dan David kicked the conversion.
If Leighton were hoping for an easy afternoon, Buckingham soon gave them cause to think otherwise.
With spirited defence and running they started to work their way into the game..
As the half progressed the home side became more and more frustrated with their inability to penetrate the visitor’s defence.
Both sides missed scoring opportunities from penalty kicks.
Leighton were reduced to 14 men when Peter White was shown a yellow card, giving Buckingham the chance to pull level with a try on the right hand side. With the extras kicked, the visitors were level at 7-7.
Just before the break though, tempers flared with both sides brawling on and off the field.
The referee waited for things to die down before giving a Buckingham player his matching orders, while Leighton’s Ed Radcliffe was shown yellow.
For the second half, Leighton now had the slope in their favour.
With choice words from Coaches Turney and Micans ringing in their ears it took only two minutes of the new period to regain the lead, Hooker Ed Payne crossing the try line. David was wide with the conversion attempt.
Four minutes later, starting in his own half, Byard sped through the visitor’s defence to set up White who scored under the posts.
David kicked the conversion to make the score 19 -7.
Restored to a full complement with the recall of Ratcliffe, Leighton were now in the ascendancy, and in the 51st minute Centre Euan Irwin rounded off some good team work to score the fourth, Bonus Point securing try.
Moments later Irwin was on hand once again to score his second try. This time David added the extras.
Leighton now bolstered their ranks further as South African new boy Lee Gardner came on as replacement for Richie Graydon.
The pressure was now telling on the visitors as injuries further depleted their number.
In the 70th minute Winger Luke Stanbridge finished off a fine Buzzard’s backs move for the sixth try. David converted to make the score 38-7 to the home side.
With eight minutes remaining, the referee, concerned as to player safety due to the amount of injuries to the Buckingham side, called the captain’s together.
To avoid the possibility of further injuries being inflicted, Leighton skipper Nick Turney agreed to the match being curtailed, the home side running out winners by 38-7, seeing them reclaim fifth spot.