YET again Long Buckby had a mixture of highs and lows in this game but ultimately came out on the wrong side of this league fixture.
Colts Patrick Bunker and Jake O’Keife made their first-team debuts and for the first 10 minutes Buckby had the territorial advantage.
Market Harborough were struggling with the referee’s interpretation of the ruck and on 11 minutes they conceded their fifth penalty. Jonny Palmer converted to give Buckby a 3-0 lead.
It got worse for Harborough on 12 minutes when their full-back faced a 10-minute rest for back chatting to the referee.
But from then on the away side’s dominance in the scrum proved decisive.
After 15 minutes Harborough chose to scrummage a penalty on the opposition’s five-metre line. As they drove over the line the number nine made the score 3-5.
After 25 minutes Buckby pinched a line-out on their own 22 and Jonny Hughes fed the ball to Tom Evans who made a great run but was penalised for holding on.
Harborough drove upfield and kicked a penalty of their own to make the score 3-8.
To make things worse, after 32 minutes, the away side number five took a ball out wide and trundled over for a try and the kick made the half-time score 3-15.
In the second half another Palmer penalty brought the score back to 6-15.
On 56 minutes an “early engage” by Buckby gave Harborough the chance to take a quick tap which ended with a try for the full back to make it 6-20.
By now the referee’s patience at the scrum had run out and all future infrigements would run the risk of three points for Harborough.
From one of these penalties Harborough kicked for the line-out and having won the ball shipped it to the outside centre who went in for a try with the kick making it 6-27.
More back chat by Harborough saw the number nine follow his team mate into a 10 minute rest.
But it did not dent the away side’s intentions as the full-back sold an outrageous dummy and scored his second try to make the score 6-34.
At this stage the home side came back to life and put together one of their most fluent spells.
Tom Evans caught a high ball and did well to stay on his feet as Matthew Gibbs drove the opposition off the ball. Buckby moved it wide and Nick Denman, Adrian Flynn, Jonny Dixon and Jake O’Keefe were instrumental in helping the ball upfield.
At the subsequent line out Buckby pinched the ball and after a couple of phases in which James Allen and Dave Beveridge drove forward number nine Jonny Palmer went over for Buckby’s consolation try.
The last five minutes saw Buckby on top and when Harborough did get a chance they paid their opposition the compliment of kicking for goal to make the final score 13-37.
Man of match was Matthew Gibbs.
Scorers: Try Jonny Palmer. Con Jonny Palmer
Penalties Jonny Palmer (2).