South Lancashire & Cheshire League Division Three: Buxton 1st XV 34, Holmes Chapel 1st XV 9
A HARD-EARNED victory over Holmes Chapel on Saturday saw Buxton leapfrog their opponents into second place and a potential promotion position.
Saturday’s opponents at Sunnyfields, Holmes Chapel, had inflicted on Buxton their worst defeat of the season when the team’s last met, so revenge was certainly sweet for the hosts.
Buxton were forced to withstand some early pressure, quashing any attempts at the line, but an offside infringement at the ruck gifted them a three-point lead.
Buxton began gaining ground repeatedly, inching ever closer to an elusive score. It eventually arrived via P. Storer, taking several defenders with him as he crossed the line.
Chapel restarted well and Buxton had to defend against some good phase play, limiting the visitors to another three points.
Buxton again responded well, and from the ensuing restart worked their way up the pitch and caused Chapel to infringe, the referee proceeding to play the advantage.
P. Campbell, seeing that no try-scoring opportunity was on, got into position to hit a sweetly-struck drop goal to make it 8-6 at half-time.
Buxton began the second half well with scything runs upfield courtesy of the back-three of G. Ives, A. Holliday and G. Mellor.
They were a constant threat and supported well by the omnipresent man of the match J. Degroot, who with great work in contact set-up a platform for the backs to work off, and they produced an inspired piece of play that sent A Burford over for a converted try.
The tide began to turn slowly though as Buxton gave away penalties and lost two players temporarily to ill-discipline.
However Chapel only managed to score another three points as I. Scott defended brilliantly.
Buxton then went on to score another try through G. Mellor from good work up the wing, and last week’s hat-trick hero Holliday went on to score his 15th of the season.
Buxton continued to dominate up front with all the forwards working well together to keep Buxton in Chapel’s half under the direction of T. Sommerfield, who incidentally set S. Hodgson up for what could be a contender for try of the season after a jinking run from 20 metres out, which ran the clock down enough for the referee to call time after the conversion.