Leighton Buzzard asserted their dominance over local rivals Bletchley with a heavy 85-20 win to move into the top six.
Both sides were promoted to South West 1 East as champions last season, but while Leighton have adapted to life at a higher level fairly quickly, Bletchley have struggled and find themselves near the foot of the table.
There was a large, expectant crowd at Wrights Meadow supporting both teams, and they were treated to some early drama as Bletchley were reduced to 14 men.
It took Buzzards only two minutes to exploit their numerical advantage in personnel, captain Nick Turney driving over from short range to give his side the lead.
Fly half Dan David added the extras with an excellent conversion from wide out.
Bletchley’s forwards were striving manfully to gain control, and the opening phases of play saw them camped in Leighton’s half.
However, Buzzards’ backs started to display their pace and slick handling skills.
Only two minutes after taking the lead the ball was shipped along the line for full back George Adams to penetrate the visitor’s defence and increase the lead. David kicked the conversion. To make matters worse for Bletchley their open side flanker was injured in this passage of play and had to leave the field.
In the 14th minute, another quick break and flanker Tom Byard crossed for Buzzards’ third try. David kicked the conversion to make it 21-3.
At this stage Leighton had entered Bletchley territory three times and scored three times. Despite the endeavours of the Bletchley pack, Leighton’s backs were tearing holes in their defence.
A second try for Byard came in the 27th minute, securing the bonus point, and 10 minutes later number eight Ed Payne got on the score sheet – David converting, as Buzzards took a 33-3 in at half time.
Two minutes after the restart Byard scored his third try to secure his hat-trick. Unfortunately his good work was partially undone when, in the 49th minute he received a yellow card for an intentional infringement, and ten minutes ‘in the bin’.
Bletchley took advantage a minute later when their pack drove over for their opening try. The conversion was added to make the score 38-10.
Play was now stretched across the pitch and in the 55th minute Adams took advantage of the open spaces to enter the line at blistering pace for his second, and his side’s seventh try.
Back came Bletchley, and two minutes later a good backs move saw left wing and ex Leighton player David Keating score in the corner.
Buzzards replied on the hour, centre Euan Irwin crossed the try line to bring up fifty points for the home side. David converted.
In the 72nd minute, to most people’s consternation, Leighton fly half Dan David was yellow carded for dangerous play.
Only a minute later Bletchley took advantage to score their third try following a driving maul.
In the next 13 minutes Leighton scored four more tries through replacement Ed Taylor - Graham Magill kicking the conversion in David’s absence, centre Jack Whitehouse (Magill conversion), Magill scoring and converting, and Adams securing his hat trick of tries (Magill converted).
To compound a fairly miserable afternoon for the visitors, their hooker received a second yellow card, followed immediately by a red card, for an intentional ‘knock on’, to reduce their side to fourteen men for the remaining five minutes.
In the 79th minute Irwin rounded off proceedings with his second, and his side’s 13th try. The returning Dan David kicked the conversion to make the final score 85-20.
Leighton 2nds made up for a score-less result last week to beat Peterborough Lions 35-10.