Balance shifts frequently before the final push gives Lutterworth a win
Lutterworth just got the better of Leighton Buzzard 31-22 in a topsy-turvy Midlands One East encounter.
Neither team had managed to get out of second gear so far in the season so it was difficult to know what what to expect from the game.
And it was Lutterworth, with a number of faces back from injury and unavailability, who started the better with strong forward ball carries through the centre.
This created space for scrum-half Connor Warburton to cross from close range with only two minutes played. George Ball converted to make it 7-0.
However, Buzzard were not going to be pushovers and built some phases and using big runners, they got over in similar fashion to score.
The to-and-fro continued as the home team again made their up front dominance felt again and the front five managed to shove over for George Turner to dive touch down.
Back came Buzzard and from a driving maul deep in Lutterworth’s 22 they showed power, control and patience to cross in the corner.
Lutterworth’s lapses in concentration continued to reward the visiting side with penalties.
They lost possession and territory in a first half with a high penalty count
as their ability to retain the ball continued to be poor.
Even so, the moment of the game saw Lutterworth run the ball from 60 metres with lovely linking play to allow Charlie Neale to finish in the corner and once again put the home side ahead.
The pattern continued, though, and the visitors would not lie down.
A score back just before half-time – frustrating the home team – made it three tries each and 17-17 at the break.
Head coach Steve Lamb asked for patience and accuracy in the second period with the hope the better side would prevail.
But it was Buzzard who came out the blocks quicker and capitalised on a Lutterworth offload error to go ahead for the first time.
This is how the game stayed for a large chunk of the second half as the teams exchanged attacks to no avail.
Errors cost both teams dearly and again Lamb turned to his bench and brought on some power and experience in hooker James Thomas and veteran Paul Wilford.
As Lutterworth changed their attacking tactics and turned Buzzard round with kicks they put pressure on the visitors.
With not much time on the clock, they managed to cross from a well-worked lineout move when a lovely throw and arched run from Thomas put them in front just when they needed it.
More pressure in the last few minutes from the home side sealed the game with a push over try which was again grounded by Turner to cap a well-earned victory.
They also sent the visitors home without even a losing bonus point as Ball converted the last try to make the gap nine points.
Market Harborough were not in action as Midlands Two East (South) had a blank weekend.
However, they return on Saturday with a trip to Oakham.