Leighton Buzzard’s difficult start to 2015 continued on Saturday with a narrow, but heartening 27-21 home defeat at the hands of Windsor.
Having beaten second place Towcester in their first game of the year, Buzzards have now been beaten back-to-back, after losing out to Newbury last week too, seeing them drop down to seventh in the South West 1 East table.
Having been narrowly beaten on their visit to Berkshire earlier in the season, Buzzards were out for revenge.
Despite earlier fears that the game might be in jeopardy due to the frost, come kick off time, the pitch was in perfect condition.
The home side took the lead on nine minutes. Fly half Dan David punishing the visitors by converting a penalty kick given for offside at a ruck.
Five minutes later Windsor equalised when The Buzzards were penalised for not releasing at a ruck. Fly Half Neil Baggett with the successful penalty kick.
Play was now more open and after seventeen minutes Leighton regained the lead when winger George Adams capitalised on a dropped pass by kicking ahead and outpacing the visitor’s defence to gather up and touch down. David kicked the conversion.
The home side were now playing with confidence and after twenty minutes they extended their lead, Centre Euan Irwin bursting through to touch down. David missed the conversion attempt.
Again the game was played out in centre field with neither side threatening. However, with only four minutes remaining, Windsor spread the ball wide for Full Back John Hilton to show what was to come later in the game by outpacing the home defence to reduce the arrears. Baggett missed the conversion attempt.
On the stroke of half-time the visitors were penalised for not releasing, David converting the penalty kick to give The Buzzards a lead at the interval by 18 – 8.
After five minutes of the second half Windsor were right back in the game. From a Leighton Buzzard scrummage deep in their own twenty two, the visitors managed to secure the ball, and break with astonishing pace, Hilton again showing what a danger he could be by scoring under the posts. Bagget added the extras.
Five minutes later Windsor were in front. Again breaking from their own half and bursting through a plethora of missed tackles, they were able to feed Hilton who secured his hat trick. Baggett was successful with the conversion.
In the fifty seventh minute the visitors were once again penalised for not releasing. David’s kick was successful to bring Buzzards back within one point. Indeed six minutes later the home playmaker had the opportunity to restore the lead for the home side, but was wide with the penalty kick attempt.
At this stage, due to some dogged Windsor defence, missed opportunities and mistakes, Leighton were unable to take the play into visiting territory.
With three minutes remaining, Windsor Scrum Half Rhys Davies put the result beyond doubt by bursting through the home defence to make the final score 27 – 21 in the visitors favour.
This defeat for The Buzzards and a win for Trowbridge at Maidenhead meant the two teams swapped places in the league table, the Bedfordshire side now down to seventh.
Buzzards now have a week off to recharge their batteries for when they return to action at lowly Bletchley on January 31 (Kick Off 2.25pm)
Leighton’s U13s were on the wrong end of a 63-10 thumping at the hands of neighbours Bedford.
Fraser stepped forward to prop alongside Craig and Harry, with Angus and Eddy (Captain) in 2nd row and George at the no.8 position. With Julian at scrum half, the backs comprised Max P, Ciaran, Max G, Ollie, Padraig and Albert at full back.
Buzzards made a poor start and, despite good tackling by Eddy, Angus and George, Bedford were soon scoring tries. The Buzzard forwards performed well against a heavier pack in the scrums. When Eddy was moved to bolster the backs, there were good attacking runs by him and Albert but Bedford had a solid defensive line.
At 38-0, with 10 minutes to play, Buzzards suddenly stepped up a gear and there was a period of evenly matched play. In the Bedford 22, from an excellent scrum, Ollie made a penetrating run, passing to Max G in support who was stopped on the line.
From another scrum, the ball went along the the line to Albert who made a jiggling run around the Bedford backs, passing to Ollie who proved unstoppable, diving in to score in the corner.
Julian became very active chasing down kicks and loose play by Bedford but was often unsupported. Both Eddy and George were injured but continued playing. Ciaran was rucking well and from a breakdown on the far right, the ball was passed along the line to Max G who was too strong for the Bedford defence, scoring in the left corner.
There was then a good phase of attacking and defensive play, Angus, Ciaran, Max G, George and Julian were tackling well and all the Buzzard players were in and around the rucks. However Bedford continued to find the gaps, notching up the score. Julian continued to chase down the Bedford players, finding Ollie or Craig in support, but could not capitalise.
Julian was named Player of the Day for his tackling, kicking and general nuisance play.