DEEPINGS used the elements to their own advantage with a series of huge positional kicks from defence.
The new centre pairing of Ben Thomas and Nathan Maddox looked promising until both had to be replaced through injury.
Thomas’ last act before leaving the field injured was to set up Titch Ryan for their first score after a strong Buckby scrum.
Before this Deepings relied on their kicking to set up attacking line-outs to score two tries in the first 10 minutes.
Buckby came back strongly only to be penalised and sent back down the field and from another penalty line-out their powerful number six drove over after Craig Mason had been yellow carded for obstruction. This made it 19-0 until Ryan’s score just before half-time.
Turning round Buckby were rewarded with a Dan McNally penalty only for the Deepings winger to score out wide after a powerful break from their back row.
With the clock ticking, Buckby scored a good try by Jake Toseland after a break by Craig Mason and almost drove over from a maul only for the home side to pull it down. But on 30 minutes, Buckby drove over from the next line out and captain Deej Fair claimed the try.
Dan McNally completed his haul of a penalty and three conversions with a sweetly-struck kick from the touch line.
Try as they might the winning score did not happen and the points were shared. Deepings were the most satisfied and Buckby have to go home and think again.
Tries: Titch Ryan, Jake Toseland and Deej Fair.
Conversions: Dan McNally (3) Penalties: Dan McNally.
Long Buckby Seconds/Thirds 41 Rushden and Higham 22
A young Buckby side faced a bigger more experienced pack in this friendly game and initially they were on the back foot. But from a Rushden attack Dan Perkins, moving from wing to centre, intercepted and settled Buckby’s nerves as they took a 5-0 lead.
The forward battle continued and the away side’s front three had the upper hand but ill discipline gave away a penalty on Buckby’s 10-metre line.
From the ensuing line out Rushden’s number five grabbed the ball but in turn Buckby’s prop, Teddy Gooney ripped the ball away and drove over for the home side’s second try and the conversion made it 12-0.
Buckby were running everything and it was not long before Dan Perkins was on the end of a great Ben Gilbert run to take a 17-0 lead.
Rushden and Higham continued to play the ball through their forwards with a line-out drive resulting in their first try and before half-time they got their second to turn round at 17-10.
It could have been worse if it was not for a great defensive tackle by Robin Ungermuth late into the first-half.
As the second-half kicked off Buckby rang the changes determined to give all of their 24-man squad a game.
Mike Wheelan (back injury) gave way to Jamie Ashby moving from prop to hooker and Josh Burton moved up from number eight to prop as Ross Chesher came on in the back row. Richard Wood replaced George Matts and wingers Paul Gardner and Sonny Eales took over from Karl Salisbury and Joe Oliver respectively.
Shortly afterwards Josh Burton’s 70-metre run from his own 22 was off loaded for Sonny Eales debut try and this was followed by great tries from Ben Gilbert and Craig Darkes.
Rushden and Higham scored their third try from another forward drive but from the kick off Jonny Palmer set Buckby’s back line loose and was on the end of the final pass to battle his way over and score the home side’s seventh try of the day.
Chris Huffen and Rob Doxey completed the round up of Buckby’s squad and while Buckby will be disappointed that they conceded the final try of the day the 41-22 win was well deserved.
Tries: Tobias Gooney, Craig Darkes, Jonny Palmer, Dan Perkins (2), Sonny Eales, Ben Gilbert,
Cons: Jonny Palmer (2) Adam Wallinger. Man of the match was Josh Burton.