Buxton 1st XV 57, Prenton 1st XV 0
A FOCUSED Buxton side secured promotion with a scintillating victory over Prenton, a side who they had previously never beaten.
The Prenton defence had a torrid time early on as the Buxton backs and forwards combined well. A half gap appeared at the side of the ruck on the narrow side which enabled Campbell to crash through from ten yards out to score the opening try.
Soon after the restart, Campbell made another telling line break and a crafty pass around the Prenton defender to send G Mellor clear with one defender to beat. The elusive Mellor wrong-footed the last defender to go under the posts and then convert his own score.
The home defence stood strong, repelling all that was thrown at it. Excellent defending by Passey forced Prenton to concede a penalty, enabling Buxton to clear their lines. Burford smashed the ball up and set the platform for the team to play off.
From a Prenton clearance kick, Holliday gathered the ball and, with defenders surrounding him, put up an ‘up and under’ and gathered his own kick, but narrowly failed with the final pass to his support.
The Buxton scrum, most notably through the work of Meek, Rabbits and Davies, proved solid all afternoon and was key to Buxton gaining momentum throughout, while Storer, a constant thorn in the Prenton break down, ensured that they were not allowed any quick ball.
Prenton struggled to get out of their own half as Buxton forced a turnover, and Baldwin found himself with an opportunity from a ruck to score down the blind side.
Then Scott received the ball from 20 yards out and stormed across the line, taking several Prenton defenders with him, to score the all-important fourth try and secure the bonus point required to guarantee promotion. G Mellor converted.
Buxton rang the changes at half-time, but continued to demonstrate the same determination and guile of the first half. Summerfield took a quick tap penalty and passed to Campbell who then fed Edge coming back on the angle.
Edge broke several tackles and was held up just short of the line, only for captain McCoy to drive over for a well-deserved converted try.
G.Mellor went over again, converting his own try, after gathering a loose ball after it was spilled by the Prenton winger.
Buxton’s next score came from Torrence, who from just over the halfway line made a dinking run, handing off the Prenton fullback to score under the posts. G.Mellor converted.
Rosmand, Meir and Hodgson were grafting hard at the ruck, creating quick ball for Summerfield to feed Scott, who powered his way through several defenders and offloaded to Baldwin who used pace and power to scamper in for his second of the afternoon.
Buxton’s ninth and final try of the afternoon came from a line break first by K. Mellor and then by Holliday who was well supported by the ever-present Hodgson.
He skilfully popped the ball off the ground to J. DeGroot who broke clear and sprinted home from 30 metres out to score under the posts. G.Mellor converted.