Battling Seconds run out of steam

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Northwich 3rd XV 19, Buxton 2nd XV 12

A FLURRY of second-half tries denied Buxton victory at Northwich on Saturday.

Claiming the ball from the kick-off, Buxton were off to a running start. The forwards showed scintillating form, with hard running from the outset by hooker Spreckley and loosehead prop Lomas, and the visitors dominated the opening scrum.

When Northwich were on the ball they showed running intent, channelling the ball through a powerhouse centre. Pool, at inside centre, was imperious in defence, stopping all in their tracks.

Captain Kirton-Darling ensured that crucial lineout ball was won, and the back row of Edge, Stuart-Jervis and Fenton covered the whole pitch, turning possession over with seeming ease. For all the good aspects, it was poor decision-making that let Buxton down as the half ended 0-0.

Buxton kicked-off and within seconds were on the scorecard. Northwich flung the ball wide, but Fenton plucked the ball from the air and romped home unchallenged for an 80-metre try under the posts, Campbell converted.

Buxton were reduced to 14 men when Fenton left the field injured. But from a Buxton scrum on the five-metre line, the ball found fly-half Campbell who skirted blind, drawing in two defenders, before offloading to fullback Morris who made the dash to the line, making the score 12-0.

At the hour mark Buxton began to feel the exertion and, when forced to drop to 13 men for a period, Northwich seized their opportunity.

A series of heavy tackles and a last-gasp try-saver by Morris only delayed the inevitable.

With spirits raised, the hosts exploited their two-man overlap and quick ball to get two more scores within ten minutes.

Buxton went back up to 14 and the pendulum soon swung back in their favour, and the last ten minutes saw the hosts pinned back in their 22, with Lomas leading the onslaught.

Decision-making, again, let them down and they couldn’t conjure up a score.