Buzzards get back on form

Geoff Branwhite Pic: Steve Draper.
Geoff Branwhite Pic: Steve Draper.

Leighton Buzzard demolished High Wycombe in their latest SW 1 East season match -scoring eight tries, including three from their own half.

Despite the one-sided score board, possession and territory were evenly matched although, with the ball in hand, Buzzards were clinical in their execution.

High Wycombe were always up against is as Buzzards looked to get their stuttering season back on track, having won just one of their last five matches in the South West 1 East league - a slump which saw them drop to eighth.

Having heard the weather forecast that the strong wind would subside Leighton Skipper Euan Irwin chose to play with the benefit of the wind, but uphill, in the first half.

Both sides had their moments in the initial exchanges but slowly the home team were beginning to build pressure. It was no surprise when it finally told after 14 minutes when centre Geoff Branwhite cut back inside to score the opening try.

Branwhite converted his own try to make it 7-0.

Ten minutes later Buzzards chose a scrum rather than a kickable penalty and were rewarded with a pushover try touched down by Sam Richbell which, with another Branwhite conversion, made the score 14-0

High Wycombe continued to attack through their rolling maul and with their speedy right wing also causing moments of concern.

It was from an attack close to the Buzzard line that the ball was turned over – Leighton flanker and man of the match Tom Byard make a 50 metre break , passed to Ollie Taylor and then to Geoff Branwhite to score his second try – which converted made the half time score 21-0.

And it didn’t take long into the second half for Leighton to get the scoring started once more.

Within two minutes of the second half starting Buzzards had secured the bonus point fourth try, Tom Byard with an individual break to score under the posts -Branwhite converted to make it 28 – 0.

Leighton’s superiority was, to some extent, being nullified by conceding penalties, including four in the first ten minutes of the half.

However they always looked dangerous and whilst a Darren Braybrook effort was disallowed for a forward pass after 17 minute, Tom Byard scored shortly afterwards with a break from a scrum . The conversion was missed -33-0.

It was only eight minutes later that swift hands put replacement Luke Stanbridge clear for Leighton’s sixth try and, straight from the kick off, captain Euan Irwin made a 50 metre break and, drawing the last man, put Lee Walker in to score.

Branwhite’s conversion made the score 45-0.

Buzzards’ final try was a fine example of the pack athleticism and fitness –second row Richie Graydon made a 60 metre break and, in drawing the last man, passed for blind side flanker Ross Bevan to score under the posts.

The conversion made the score 52-0.

High Wycombe continued to attack – turning down many kickable penalties they came close to scoring a consolation try but the Buzzard defence held firm

A truly impressive performance from Buzzards – a solid and athletic pack, signs of a blossoming understanding between Sam Richbell and Tom Byard in the back row, great control from Dan David at 10 and 22 points from Geoff Branwhite.

The result sees Leighton remain eighth in the table, but the tight nature of the league means they are just three points from Maidenhead in third.

Next week Buzzards make the long trip to Swanage and Wareham.