Emphatic victory helps Leighton to banish second half blues in try spree

editorial image

Leighton Buzzard reclaimed sixth spot in the league after a 44-3 thumping of lowly Maidenhead at Wrights Meadow on Saturday.

After back-to-back defeats when they threw away half time leads, Leighton made no mistakes against Maidenhead with a superb second half performance.

But it was the visitors who started the brighter, fly half Steven Moir pulling all the strings and kicking adroitly. Both sides exchanged missed penalty kick attempts in the opening minutes.

However in the fifteenth minute, slightly against the run of play, it was the Buzzards that opened the scoring.

Breaking away from inside their own half the backs released Centre Euan Irwin to break the defensive line and score under the posts. Full back Geoff Branwhite kicked the conversion.

The game was evenly contested, with Moir finding the wind more than troublesome, as he failed with another penalty kick.

The home side capitalised in the thirty fifth minute when a feint and change of direction by Centre Jack Whitehouse totally foxed the visiting defence enabling him to release Branwhite to cross the line. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

Despite both sides giving their all, the half closed with no further additions to the scoreboard and The Buzzards leading 12-0.

An all pervading sense of déjà vu spread across the ground - the Wrights Meadow faithful shook heads ruefully, as they recalled recent encounters with Grove and Witney where their favourites had been leading at the interval only to leave with no cigars.

From the outset of the second period Leighton adjusted their game plan to cope with the strong wind into which they battled.

Keeping the ball at close quarters, and with the back row performing wonders at the breakdown, Leighton denied their opponents any ball, and inch by inch they gained territory.

After only five minutes of the half forward pressure told. From a move close to the 
Maidenhead line, second row Zak Tift worked his way through to set up a maul from which Skipper Nick Turney crashed over.

The conversion attempt was missed. Moir reduced the arrears in the 51st minute with a successful penalty kick.

Four minutes later the home side extended their lead. A slick backs move ended with Branwhite entering the line and crossing for his second, and the Bonus Point securing try. The successful conversion attempt took the score to 24-3.

Even a missed penalty by Branwhite in the 65th minute could not halt Leighton’s progress, as a minute later Turney scored his second try as he crashed over from close quarters.

Although there was no noticeable decline in the wind at their backs, it was obviously by-passing Maidenhead’s sails as Whitehouse broke away to score his second and his side’s sixth try in the 71st minute.

Unsuccessful with the conversion attempt, Branwhite made amends four minutes later extending the lead with a penalty kick.

With a minute remaining Hooker Greg Falcon decided it was his turn to get onto the score sheet. Taking a circuitous, but nonetheless successful route, he outfoxed the visitor’s defence to score under the posts. Branwhite was successful with the conversion attempt to leave the final score 44-3.