Buxton RUFC 3rd XV 19pts v Ashbourne 4th XV 14 pts
Buxton 3rd XV were unleashed for the third time this season against Ashbourne at Sunnyfields.
After last week’s close game, Buxton were looking to improve and gain their first win of the season.
Ashbourne kicked off with T Slater gathering on his own 10m line. He set off at pace, scything through the visitors’ lines to within a metre of scoring.
The touch judge called it out a little harshly. Nevertheless, Buxton had their tails up and they were going to be difficult to contain.
Ashbourne had elected uncontested scrummages, giving Buxton’s loose forwards more freedom to attack.
J Barber and J Slater put in some excellent work in the loose, assisted by Tom Fent at No 8.
It was the latter who opened the scoring, after linking with D Gosling at scrum half he broke through the defence to crash over after a 20 run. Debutant B Lee converted. More pressure from the front three of A Torr, C Scrimshaw and M Austin in the ruck and maul denied Ashbourne any meaningful possession.
Second row forwards G Teagle and skipper I Sanderson showed their potential in this position as they stepped in to the breech for the first time.
It was the Buxton back line however, who were to give Ashbourne a torrid time. Slick handling from Gosling gave stand-off D Green the chance to show off his skills.
He had the visitors fixed with some good attacking lines. T Slater and B Lee in the centres were inspired, playing with great confidence and handling the ball like seasoned veterans.
N Wilson and D Bourne on the wings had plenty of possession too, testament to the good ball skills on show.
A Parkes played at full back and was rock solid under the high ball returning it with interest and utilising his pace.
As Buxton pressed forwards, Scrimshaw stole the ball from an Ashbourne maul, setting up Gosling who fed Green. He beat two players to score a try in the corner. The conversion attempt just went wide.
After the break it was business as usual for Buxton. J Slater and T Fent crashed in to Ashbourne giving them little time to regroup. T Fent earned himself the man of the match award for his efforts. T Slater was replaced by J Proctor, returning after several seasons. He rolled back the years with some superb running. It was D Green who extended Buxton’s lead with a fine individual effort. His cheeky chip over the advancing defenders caught them napping; the bounce was kind as he gathered to run in a great try.
Buxton became a little complacent allowing Ashbourne the chance to gain momentum and pile over for a try.
They converted. Ashbourne felt they had the momentum now, and they registered again after several offside decisions went against Buxton. The referee showing he really did have eyes in the back of his head.
Buxton rallied, and with the tackle count rising, it was apparent there would be no more points on offer for the visitors. Buxton ended the match on the attack looking for more points.
Skipper I Sanderson said after the game: “I am immensely pleased with the effort and skill levels on display here today”
Team – A Torr, C Scrimshaw, M Austin, I Sanderson, G Teagle, J Barber, T Fent, J Slater, D Gosling, D Green, N Wilson, T Slater, B Lee, D Bourne, A Parkes,