First team v Huntingdon and Colts v Wellingborough
Long Buckby First XV vs Huntingdon (at home)
Playing against the elements the home side opened well chasing the kick-off and pinning the opposition in their 22. This quickly lead to their 1st attempt at goal but the penalty dropped wide.
Huntingdon came back strongly and pressed hard. Buckby were finding it hard to clear their lines but after 17 mins Adrian Flynn kicked well and, as the bounce beat the Huntingdon full back, Richard Ryan, playing at 13 instead of 9, chased through and after 2 fly hacks was able to dive over for the opening score. Jonny Palmer’s well placed kick added two points and the home sides tails were up.
On 22 mins a curious incident occurred where a Huntingdon player innocently bowled the referee over and, whilst the official was recovering, the away side shipped the ball out to their right wing who went in for a try close to the posts. The kick brought the scores level and it was “game on”.
With 5 mins to go to the interval Buckby had a great period of pressure but were still unable to make it pay. After half a dozen well controlled phases brought them close to the Huntingdon line it was eventually knocked on and Huntingdon ended the half clearing their lines.
The second half meant the away side were facing the elements. They encountered the same problems that Buckby had in the first 40 getting out of their own half but they were also clever at switching between kicking the ball and running the ball leaving Buckby uncertain as to how to defend. It was only through good covering tackles by Adrian Flynn, Tom Evans and Jonny Nixon that Huntingdon didn’t get their second score of the day.
As the match went into the final quarter, Michael White replaced tight head Teddy Gooney and through the likes of Tim Lewis, Ross Chesher and Dave Beveridge they began mauling the ball well and almost went under the posts until a momentary loss of control lead to a knock on and Huntingdon cleared their lines. From this clearance Huntingdon had their last tilt at a winning score as they stole the Buckby line out and broke up the park. Some great off loading brought them up to the 22 metre line before White managed to wrap up a maul and the ball was turned over for a Buckby scrum.
From the clearance kick Huntingdon were penalised for holding on and the penalty gave Buckby a line out on the opposition 22. Matthew Gibbs won the line out and the ball was mauled to within 5 metres of the Huntingdon line before Gibbs popped up again and drove over. Palmer converted to bring the final score to 14 v 7.
Man of the match: Will Howells.
Long Buckby Colts vs Wellingborough (at home) Referee’s Cup
Buckby started brightly with Oliver Sitch touching down just five minutes in after a powerful driving maul from a line out. However, Wellingborough struck straight back from the restart with a penalty bringing the half time score to 5 -3.
The second half saw Buckby again pinning Wellingborough in their own half but repeatedly thwarting Buckby’s chance to score. Wellingborough scored an 80m breakaway try taking them ahead at 5-8.
Buckby did manage to equalise with a penalty thanks to Alex Valentine taking the final to a very fair 8-8. Wellingborough, as visitors, go through.
Man-of-the-match: Charlie Mcdermott-Copper.