Brave Buzzards lead for an hour but Chingford too strong in the end
Norwich next visitors to Wright's Meadow on Saturday
PICTURES BY STEVE DRAPER
Leighton Buzzard lost their third London 1 North league game in a row, this time 21-6 away at Chingford – but as in all the previous defeats the Buzzards were unable to hold on to the lead, writes John McDougal.
Taking the lead after ten minutes, Leighton held the advantage for over an hour, before a large Chingford team finally made their physicality pay.
Immediately, the home side were on the attack, with their scrum dominating the set-piece. But Buzzards defended bravely and, when the chance, came they counterattacked with speed deep into Chingford territory.
When Buzzard possession was illegally halted, Ewan Starling converted the penalty to give Buzzards a 3-0 lead after an earlier attempt had drifted just wide.
Again, the Buzzard line was put under pressure, and it was testament to Leighton’s commitment in defence that their try line was not breached. Slowly as the half developed, Buzzards were gaining more territory and the scrum, whilst still under pressure, was more stable.
Although both sides were showing attacking intent, albeit with contrasting styles, it was the two sides defence that dominated.
Finally, at the end of the half Ben Beaumont was obstructed as he chased his own kick and Ewan Starling converted the penalty to give Buzzards 6-0 lead at half-time.
Much of the second period was played in midfield. Chingford were determined to use their huge pack, although Buzzards stood firm, with no. 8 Callum Strachan prominent in matching their physicality.
When in possession, Buzzards would kick for space or try to move the ball wide to utilise the speed of the back three of Ben Beaumont, Tom Winch and Ellis Bisgrove.
Finally, from a quickly taken penalty Chingford took the lead 7-6, with just over 15 minutes left and soon extended it to 14-6 after putting together a good move to score in the corner.
The game was now opening up and Buzzards came close to scoring after a break by Tom Winch.
However, and similar to the previous week, the ball was lost in an over-ambitious attack from deep defence, allowing Chingford to add a third try, with the final play of the match.
This left the final score 21-6, which did not reflect Buzzards’ contribution to a game they led for 63 minutes.
Leighton can be proud of their spirit, commitment and defence from this match but they need to turn this into points when they welcome bottom-side Norwich to Wright’s Meadow on Saturday.
A scratch Buzzards 2nds side studded with old warriors and brilliant young talent beat Stockwood Park 2nds 55-10, with tries for Euan Irwin (2), Ryan Eaton (2), Gary Low, Jack Cullen, Jake Wheeler, Jacob Dove, and Wayne Chapman.
Wheeler added three conversions with two for man of the match Ollie Taylor.