Leighton still flying high

Jack Whitehouse
Jack Whitehouse

A dominant second half performance saw Leighton Buzzard cruise to a 35-5 victory over lowly Devizes.

The visitors ran in 28 second half points after a closely fought opening period to remain sixth in the South West 1 East table.

Donning their yellow jersies for the first time this season, Buzzards kicked off with into the wind, and up a slight slope.

However, it was the home side who started the stronger, and with the advantage of the elements, found themselves camped in Buzzards territory.

Putting pressure on their visitors they caused Leighton to give away a series of penalties, the referee being particularly strict at offences around the ruck.

Fortunately for the visitors, the Saddlebacks fly half Rory Brown was unable to take advantage.

It then came Devizes’ turn to incur the referee’s displeasure. Unfortunately visiting fly half Dan David fared no better than his counterpart in the ‘kicking stakes’.

Two more penalty kick chances for the home side also went begging.

After only 18 minutes Leighton were dealt a real blow with Number Eight Tom Byard having to leave the field with a serious leg injury.

On 29 minutes, slightly against the run of play, Leighton broke through the Devizes defence enabling centre Jack Whitehouse to score under the posts, David converting.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they had little time to enjoy their advantage as only three minutes later an attempted clearance kick from David was charged down, and Luke Stanbridge was beaten in the race to touch down.

The only moment of note as half time neared was a yellow card for Buzzards’ full back Geoff Branwhite for foul play. Half-time arrived with Leighton 7-5 in the lead.

The second half was to be a different state of affairs. From the whistle Leighton took the advantage, causing the home side to defend for all they were worth.

However, in the 47th minute number eight (in the absence of Byard) Zak Tift finished off a lightning Buzzard attack. David kicked the conversion from wide out to extend the visitor’s lead.

Leighton were now in command with tight head prop Ashley Walsh leading from the front, ably supported by his colleagues in the pack.

In the 51st minute the visitors went further ahead when winger Aaron Perry finished off some superb handling by scoring in the corner. David again added the extras.

All the play was now in home side territory and it was no surprise when in the sixty first minute Whitehouse scored his second, and his side’s bonus point securing try. David added the extras to make the score 5–28.

With 10 minutes remaining, replacement Dan Baroux completed the scoring, with David kicking the conversion, the final score was 35-5 to Leighton.

This was a good performance by Buzzards, away from home and after a long journey.

The result means they stay in sixth place in South West 1 East, still in touch with Swindon in fifth, five points in front.

They now have a week of before taking on Grove RFC on November 15.