South Lancashire & Cheshire League Division Three: Buxton RFC 1st XV 10, Old Parkonians RFC 1st XV 3
A GUTSY, well-structured performance saw Buxton victorious in a hard-fought, physical encounter against second-placed Parkonians.
After a sluggish start in difficult weather conditions, Buxton raised their game and dominated the fringes. Buxton carried exceptionally well through Rabbits, Meir and Davies, each time getting over the game line, and all three kept up a fore nominal work rate all afternoon. What was most impressive was Buxton’s ability, mainly through scrum-half Campbell, to organise themselves and change the point of attack to suck in the Parks defenders.
Buxton continued to maintain the lion’s share of territory and position throughout the first half. Every time Parks cleared their lines and kicked the ball deep it was returned with interest by fullback G Mellor and wings Ives and Knight. When the ball was moved out to the backs Torrence, Passey and Holliday crashed it in hard, often making half breaks. Every time the backs went into contact, DeGroot and Austin were on hand to key onto the runner and set up a maul.
After 25 minutes Parks began to leak penalties and had a forward put into the sin bin. Buxton missed a kick at goal, but still managed to pin Parks back with strong runs from Scott and Hodgson.
The pressure eventually told and Buxton drove a maul over the Parks line, with Scott going over to score a brilliant forwards try. The conversion went wide.
Parks kicked off to begin the second half and the kick was fielded in the Buxton 22 brilliantly by Scott, who beat two defenders and carried past halfway before off-loading to DeGroot, who then fed Passey. The rest of the forwards supported, and then Meir and Davies took the ball on further. This move demonstrated just how far Buxton’s continuity play has come this season.
Buxton introduced Burford, Edge and Storer, as Parks, to their credit, continued to throw everything at Buxton.
A penalty made it 5-3 with ten minutes to go, but Buxton immediately hit back from the kick-off.
Parks were awarded a line-out in their own half. Captain McCoy stepped up and caught the ball clean against the throw. Burford was asking questions of the Parks defence, and but for some last-ditch defending Buxton would have scored.
Buxton dominated the scrum, taking several balls against the head. It was from a scrum which Buxton scored the decisive try, with Edge picking from eight and off-loading in the tackle to Storer, together making 20 yards before being brought to ground. From the ensuing ruck Buxton took the ball blind through their forwards and Campbell dummied the defence to find the gap to score.