After much promise in their warm up games, Leighton Buzzard started their Midlands 1 East league season with a disjointed performance to be well beaten at Wellingborough, going down 38-15.
On a very warm and sunny afternoon, Buzzards kicked off downhill but against a gentle breeze. It took only a minute for Buzzards to open the scoring with an Ollie Taylor penalty giving a 3-0 lead.
Almost immediately Wellingborough missed the chance to level the scores as a penalty drifted wide, but after eight minutes the home side pulled level at 3-3 with a successful penalty kick.
Much of the early part of the game was equally contested in midfield, although the Buzzard pack was scrumming well and providing good possession.
Half–way through the half, Buzzards re-took the lead with Ollie Taylor touching down in the corner to make the score 8-3.
Slowly the home side were beginning to exert pressure on the Buzzard defence, with Wellingborough’s experienced fly-half an increasingly controlling influence.
Leighton’s lead lasted only four minutes as a well-worked move put their winger under the posts.
Ten minutes later a break in midfield led to the home side’s second try. With both tries converted, Buzzards trailed 8-17 at half time.
As in the first half, the opening exchanges after the break were evenly contested in midfield, with both sides making errors and neither looking particularly threatening.
The only score of the first 30 minutes of the second period was the home side’s third try to extend their lead to 24-15.
With eight minutes remaining Buzzards finally added to their score as Owen Forsyth crashed over and Ollie Taylor converted to leave Leighton trailing 24-15. Leighton realised that any further score without reply would give them a losing bonus point.
However, it was Wellingborough who raised their game to score two late converted tries to leave the final score 38-15.
Given Leighton’s pre-season showings leading up to the start of the new campaign, it was a disappointing start to the new season, but Tom Mowbray’s side will be eager to bounce back next week when they welcome Kettering to Wrights Meadow for the first home game of the season.