League leaders Buzzards awaiting decisions on rugby season

Top of table and one win away from Twickenham final when play suspended for coronavirus outbreak

By Zoe Ashton
Monday, 30th March 2020, 2:55 pm
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 2:56 pm
Buzzards celebrating after becoming Midlands Intermediate Cup champions earlier this month  Picture by Steve Draper
Buzzards celebrating after becoming Midlands Intermediate Cup champions earlier this month Picture by Steve Draper

Flying high at the top of the league and just one game away from a cup final at Twickenham, Buzzards can only wait and see what decisions will be made about the season.

Amid the covonavirus pandemic, the RFU last week announced the end of the 2019/20 season for all clubs below the Gallagher Premiership, but have yet to clarify details on promotion and relegation or cup competitions.

While sport isn’t high on everyone’s minds in the health crisis, the prospect of play resuming is something to look forward to through the challenging months ahead.

Leighton Buzzard RFC are seven points clear at the top of Midlands 2 East (South) with 80 points from their 18 games with just four unplayed.

Nearest rivals Belgrave are on 73 points and third-placed Leicester Forest on 67.

After such a successful season it would be a huge disappointment if Buzzards cannot be promoted and complete the cup run.

Director of Rugby Stuart Trotter explained: “The Midlands Intermediate Cup final was the biggest day in our history with our biggest crowd for many a year, over 600.

“It puts us into the national semi-finals against the northern winners with the finalists playing at Twickenham.

“There will be a review in mid April, but it would be nice to think it could be squeezed in later in the year.

“It’s really our one and only chance of playing at Twickenham, the pinnacle for any club, gaining us recognition in the Midlands and at national level.”

It has also been an outstanding season for the 2nd XV, who have a100 per cent record at the top of the Banana Bread Beer Merit Table, with of 12 wins and 48 points, 11 ahead of nearest rivals Stockwood Park, who were one of their two remaining opponents.

Buzzards Colts were also due to play in the Bedfordshire Cup final at the end of April against Bedford Athletic.

“All the teams below them in the age groups had reached at least the quarter-final stages of their cups,” said Trotter.

The Under 15s were in the Bedfordshire Cup semi-final and reached the quarter-final

of the East Midlands Cup.

The development of players through the mini and junior ranks is paying dividends, providing 17 of the 22 in the 1stXV’s big final when they beat Malvern 32-16.

And six of the club’s Under 20 players are now in the East Midlands set up.

But while all prospect of games is on hold, the club are maintaining the camaraderie through social media and exercise sessions to maintain fitness levels.

“It also gives us an opportunity to say thank you to all those who have been involved in supporting the club this season, as we have been playing every single week, everyone from cleaners and bar staff doing double shifts to the groundsman getting the pitches ready,” added Trotter.

“We hope everyone is well, staying safe and looking after themselves.”