Leighton Buzzard lost their third league game in a row on Saturday as they were edged out by Newbury Blues 15-9.
Leighton’s tough recent run has seen them play, and lose to, three of the top four sides in South West 1 East, dropping to seventh place in the process.
In an evenly balanced opening 10 minutes, both sides had penalty kicks to their name as the scores were level at 3-3.
However Newbury were beginning to use the conditions to their advantage, kicking long and accurately.
Leighton conceded two more penalties with Newbury’s Trevakis doing the business to see the home side lead 9-3 at the break.
Leighton started the second half well and had a period of sustained pressure in the Newbury 22.
The scrum was increasingly powerful, consistently pushing the Newbury pack back and pressure finally told with a Dan David penalty to bring the score within three.
Buzzards dominance continued but a missed penalty after 18 second half minutes meant the chance to draw level had passed.
Encouraged by the large and vocal home crowd and seemingly motivated by going down to 14 men after a yellow card was awarded for a high tackle, Newbury kicked two further penalties to take control at 15-6.
Although the conditions were making the ball very difficult to handle, Buzzard’s bravely played their running game. Once again, and despite pressure, their only reward was a Lee Walker penalty to make the score 15-9 with seven minutes left.
Despite a frantic final few minutes neither side could make a further breakthrough as Leighton fell to their third defeat of the season.