NLD Plate First Round
Long Eaton 17, Buxton 16
BUXTON Rugby Club’s new-look 1st XV travelled to Long Eaton on Saturday for their first competitive outing of the season in the first round of the NLD Plate.
Their Midland Four East opponents were always going to pose Buxton’s embryonic side some challenges, and the visitors trailed 7-0 midway into the first half.
Buxton responded twice through the boot of Greg Mellor to close the deficit to just one point heading into the second half.
Buxton made several changes before and after the break, using the new player interchange rules to take a look at some further combinations, and they took the lead with a try from out wide by new centre Joe Brown. Mellor missed the conversion as Buxton led 11-7.
Long Eaton narrowed the scoreline following a penalty award, and then scored a converted try under the posts to take a 17-11 lead.
Alex Holiday went over next for Buxton after some determined running, but Mellor missed the conversion to leave the visitors trailing by one point with five minutes to play.
Buxton almost sneaked victory with the final kick of the game but a penalty from just inside the Long Eaton half drifted wide to give the hosts a hard-fought victory.