Leighton Buzzard lost the opportunity for a first away win of the season with a disappointing performance away at Northampton Old Scouts in a low scoring 7-3 defeat.
In particular they were let down by numerous handling errors and it seemed sadly appropriate that the game finished with a Buzzard knock-on a metre from the Old Scouts line, when it looked as if Leighton might steal the game in the last minute.
In initial phases there were encouraging signs - the scrum was firm and continued to be dominant all afternoon and Leighton looked good in open play.
An early break by James Pratt resulted in Buzzards camped in the Old Scouts twenty-two but despite opportunities, Leighton failed to turn pressure into points.
After the promise of the first ten minutes, Buzzards failed to put phases together to build any consistent pressure, with handling errors and the lack of passing accuracy that was needed in wet conditions contributing to the malaise.
When the ball was lost, the home team fly-half frequently kicked well to consistently peg Buzzards back but Old Scouts offered little attacking threat. Additionally Buzzards’ cause was not helped by a rising penalty count as frustration metamorphosed into indiscipline.
As the second half started, the rain stopped and the wind dropped negating any advantage from the elements.
The second half started badly for Buzzards - early penalties gave Old Scouts the opportunity to kick for the corner and, almost for the first time in the game, put pressure on the Leighton line.
A dummy in midfield gave the home side a clear run to the line close to the posts. With the straightforward conversion Buzzards were 7 -0 down.
Knowing the needed to score twice to win, Jake Wheeler kicked a penalty after seventeen minutes to pull the score back to 7-3.
Much of the second half was similar to the first – Buzzards opportunities lost to poor handling and indiscipline, whilst the home side’s game management was good but offered little threat.
Finally, in the last three minutes, Buzzards managed to put some pressure by camping on the Old Scouts line. Numerous phases of play allowed many attempts to score the winning try and just when it looked as if they would, the final knock-on ended the game.
Buzzards slip to 13th in the table and welcome Kettering to Wright’s Meadow next Saturday.