Boro swoop to opening day win over Buzzard
By Matt Armstrong
Week 1 - First game of the season....
So a new season and a familiar foe in Leighton Buzzard were welcomed to Cut Throat Lane. Some familiar faces lined up for Boro but three players made their league debut, all three had come through the mini-juniors section at the club and started in the pack, Alex Bean started in the second row, Kieran Loveridge at prop and Connor Gordon on the flank.
Buzzard kicked off and were rewarded for some early pressure with a penalty shot at goal which was put between the sticks (Boro 0v3 LB), Boro soon responded with an attack of their own after retaining possession through a number of phases, this was also rewarded with a penalty but the penalty shot was missed. Boro were soon on the attack again and it wasn't long before another penalty was awarded and this time Pete Vickers stepped up to put the ball between the upright (Boro 3v3 LB). Buzzard then attacked but some strong defence from Boro held Buzzard at bay, however, a series of penalties saw Boro unable to get a foothold on the game. A strong cover tackle out wide by Kieran Checkley saw another Buzzard attack thwarted, this was only a brief respite as Buzzard were rewarded with a try out wide in the corner (Boro 3v8 LB) on the 20 min mark.
Boro looked quite nervous and seemed to invite pressure on themselves from their own mistakes and struggled to find any rhythm but a couple of errors from Buzzard saw Boro kick the ball into the corner. The lineout was won by the forwards and they trundled towards the line, however, momentum was lost saw the ball was spun wide and a move involving Harry Bryan and Pete Vickers saw the ball switched to Kieran Checkley who raced in for a try, which was converted by Pete Vickers to give Boro the lead (Boro 10v8 LB). Buzzard soon responded with an attack of their own and broke free of the defence and it took a cover tackle back from Harry Bryan and some strong defence from Tom Mair to stop any momentum, unfortunately Tom Mair was injured in the process and was replaced with Eddie Johnson at full back. The scrum was turned over and Boro were allowed to clear their lines.
With the half drawing to a close Boro were awarded another penalty which was put deep into the Buzzard 22. Chris Shipman soared in the lineout after a pinpoint arrow from Matt Ellson and the ball was sent to the backs, Pete Vickers made a half break towards the try line and this was followed by a strong carry from Andy Fordham, eventually Dan Sims crashed the ball over to extend Boro's lead and again the try was converted (Boro 17v8 LB).
Wellingborough 17 v 8 Leighton Buzzard
The half started off with both teams making mistakes and the opening minutes were peppered with a number of knock ons. Buzzard seemed to get into their rhythm quicker and it took a strong covering tackle from Andy Fordham and then some great ruck work from Ben Morton-Bright and Callum Ward to wrestle the ball back for Boro. As the half progressed Boro started to get on top and made their way into Buzzard 22, a couple of half breaks from Andy Seaton saw Boro draw closer to the try line, the scrum half on his next half break managed to thread the ball through to an onrushing Dan Sims to extend Boro's lead, the try was converted by Pete Vickers (Boro 24v8 LB). Boro now had the momentum and another wide attack saw a high tackle on Callum Ward, the kick was put into the corner and the forwards tried to drive the ball over the line but some strong Buzzard defence saw them clear their lines.
The next period of the game turned scrappy as Buzzard started to throw everything at Boro to get back into the game, the Boro players meanwhile had started to become complacent which resulted in a number of silly errors and penalties being conceded. This meant that Buzzard could build momentum, initially the Boro defence held strong with Ben Morton-Bright and Matt Ellson ensuring that Buzzard were unable to get over the tryline. However, the poor discipline continued and Buzzard took full advantage and scored a try which was converted bringing them back within a couple of scores (Boro 24v15 LB).
This seemed to wake Boro from their slumber and a scrum in the middle of the pitch saw a large blindside, this was exploited as Chris Shipman picked up from the base to release Andy Seaton who drew in the defence feeding it to Kieran Checkley to score the bonus try which was again converted by Pete Vickers (Boro 31v15 LB). There was still time for one more score, this time a pinpoint crossfield kick from Pete Vickers was caught by Kieran Checkley who completed his hat-trick by dotting down under the posts (Boro 38v15 LB).
Wellingborough 38 v 15 Leighton Buzzard
After a nervous opening Boro managed a good bonus point win to start off their league campaign, the three debutants acquitted themselves well in a tough encounter. Next week Boro travel to Lutterworth looking to win again!!