Leighton Buzzard’s tough season continued on Saturday after a heavy 50-5 defeat to league leaders Kettering.
They suffered their fifth defeat in six matches to sit 13th in the table against the promotion favourites.
Whilst the opening minutes were contested in midfield, the visitors quickly showed their cutting edge, scoring the first try after five minutes.
With the conversion successful, Kettering led 7-0. Fly-half Jake Wheeler, attempted to cut the lead with a long penalty attempt– the kick had the length despite the wind but drifted wide.
With their limited possession Buzzards looked good with ball in hand but the scrum was under increasing pressure.
There was a sense of inevitability when, after twenty minutes, Kettering scored their second try to double their lead.
The visitors’ backs now turned on the style scoring three further tries in the next eleven minutes to lead 33-0.
At this stage a rout seemed on the cards, but brave commitment in defence, with the experienced Ross Bevan to the fore, stemmed the tide.
Additionally Buzzards were threatening the Kettering line – firstly Graham Magill and then Adam Stacey made breaks but were tackled short.
Twice in quick succession the forward almost drove over but both times were penalised for holding on, leaving the half-time score 33-0.
Now with the benefit of the wind, Leighton started the second half in a determined mood.
However, it was the visitors who extended the lead to 40- 0 with a try after six minutes.
The next 20 minutes was scoreless – whilst Kettering had the majority of the possession, there were encouraging signs- 20-year-old Kieran Turney had come off the bench to shore-up the scrum and Harrison Sayer looked threatening in the centre.
With 12 minutes left Kettering scored their seventh try to extend the lead to 45 points.
However this time Buzzards struck back - a well-worked move from a lineout between Mike Lynch and Jacob Murtagh gave Murtagh the opportunity to score in the corner.
The difficult conversion was missed to leave the score 45-5.
In the final ten minutes Kettering added a further try but the Buzzard effort remained committed to the end to leave the score 50-5.
Kettering are a fine side and, whilst well beaten, a young and inexperienced Buzzard team played with spirit and commitment and will have learned from the experience.
Next week Leighton welcome Oadby Wyggestonians to Wright’s Meadow.