|1st XV Report - Sat 8th March 2008 v Leighton Buzzard
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The long awaited clash between the top two sides in the league lived up to expectations as a keenly fought contest between well matched teams. Wellingborough took the spoils in the final seconds to go top of the league on points difference.
The home side started with a slight disadvantage playing against the elements and Leighton Buzzard soon got their noses in front with a penalty. They exerted further pressure for some 15 minutes with Wellingborough's defence denying them any penetration time after time. It took a great 'run around' from the visiting Fly Half behind his backs to open up the defence and go in under the posts.
Wellingborough came back and spent the next 10 minutes in Leighton Buzzards half. From a lineout and several phases of possession enough space was created for the backs to feed Joe Marston who rounded his man to score in the corner. Even in the difficult windy conditions the conversion went very close but was deemed not to have gone over to leave the score at 10-0 to the visitors at half time.
The second half was more of the same with Leighton Buzzard applying the early pressure. After 10 minutes they went further ahead with a try from a remarkable pick up by the winger off his toes from a poor pass to scramble over in the corner. There were some worried faces in the home crowd, easily the biggest of the season but the players knew there was a long way to go yet. Wellingborough used the wind to take them down field again and from having to defend several rucks Buzzard gave the inevitable penalty away. Peter Vickers duly obliged with the 3 points.
It was a fascinating contest at this stage with neither side really gaining the upper hand in either lineouts, scrums or in open play. Wellingborough's backs looked to have more pace but the drift defence of the visitors was crowding them out. Buzzard then had a good break off the back of a lineout and their back row took them 40 metres upfield. From the second phase possession their Fly Half calmly dropped a goal to take them to 18-8 ahead.
The last 10 minutes of the game then took on a different look. Wellingborough pinned the visitors in their own 22 and after a sweeping movement to the right wing and ensuing ruck they switched it to the left and Steven Gall found the room to run around onto a well timed pass and beat the cover to score. Now only 18-13 down Wellingborough smelt victory. They spent the dying minutes pounding away through ruck after ruck near the visitors line and were given a number of penalties. They used these to increase the pressure through taking lineouts and scrums. After one final scrum Peter Vickers crashed over under the posts to level the scores. The players and home spectators alike were euphoric and amidst the cacophony Peter Vickers quickly knocked over the conversion to seal the win. Both teams were applauded and cheered off the field in a fitting tribute to the quality of the game.
LMR Ltd Man of the Match: Kyle Danns