Round-up of the weekend’s games for the 1sts and Colts
Long Firsts Buckby vs Leicester Vipers (away)
Vipers kicked off with the strong wind in their favour. Buckby failed to gather the ball cleanly and appeared to gift it straight back to Vipers except that a comedy of errors on both sides saw nothing significant come of it. Vipers then took control and kicked for an excellent touch inside the Long Buckby 22. Buckby succeeded in disrupting the line out but were subsequently penalised for off side allowing Vipers to claim three easy points.
Minutes later, Buckby again infringed but the penalty was reversed after some stunningly ill-timed backchat from the Hosts. Dan McNally made no bones about bringing Buckby level at 3-3.
As the period’s midpoint approached, Vipers secured clean possession from a lineout inside their own 22 and produced very quick ball for their centre who, undeterred by the distance, headed straight off towards the posts. Now was the time for effective tackling but Buckby failed to deliver with the ball carrier breaking no fewer than three tackles before making the line. The conversion was missed and the score now stood at 8-3.
Some respite for Buckby ten minutes later with another well struck penalty to leave the visiting side trailing by just two points at 8-6.
Buckby knew that if the first half could just be closed out without further score then they were looking very well placed for the second owing to the significant wind advantage that was due. Vipers also appreciated the significance of such a small lead and turned up the wick, getting very close to Buckby’s line only to be repelled by a spirited defence. Sickeningly for Buckby, the Hosts’ perseverance eventually paid off and, in the dying seconds of the half, they scored. With a conversion to rub salt in the wounds, the halftime score now stood at 15-6.
Buckby seemed uncharacteristically down hearted at the start of the second half – a misery that was compounded by losing their own scrum. Things looked up significantly, though, when promising centre Nick Denman made a long break up the park to put winger Tom Evans over for an unconverted try. Score now 15-11.
Vipers seemed invigorated by the challenge and came back impressively with three points from a penalty. With the score now at 18-11, Buckby knew they had their work cut out but that the situation was still quite recoverable. Vipers sensed this too and executed the coup de grace with a very fine try. Unusually for Buckby, their heads seemed to drop at this and they never really re-entered the game which closed at 23-11.
Man-of-the-match: Nick Denton.
Long Buckby Colts vs Old Leamingtonians (at home)
It took a time for the home side to settle down in this friendly but they then took control, scoring their first try courtesy of prop Lambros Stephanou. This insult galvanised Leamington and ten minutes late they hit back with an excellent interception try of their own. Leamington went on to score again, leaving the half time score at 5-12.
The second half saw a more determined Buckby side and eight minutes in Toby Cowley scored an excellent try. At the midway point, Buckby edged ahead thanks to a Charlie McDermott Copper penalty. Score now 13-12.
The Buckby back line was now starting to click and David Allen took advantage of fast ball from a scrum to score in the corner. Minutes later, from a 5 metre attacking line out, the ball was moved quickly out to Jacob O’Sullivan who crashed over the line for a powerful forwards try.
Toby Cowley scored a further home side try after chasing a clearance kick, making the final score 28-12.
Man of the match: Charlie McDermott Copper.