Buckby see off Thorney to go 14 points clear at the top

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Long Buckby moved 14 points clear at the top of the Midlands East Four (South) table as they claimed their third top-versus-second crunch clash in a row.

Due to the way the sides underneath the Bucks keep changing position, their past three fixtures have been against teams sitting second.

This week it was Thorney that were the opposition, and although they put up a stern fight, Bucks eventually won through 33-5.

Thorney had the best of the opening exchanges as with the wind at their backs, but Bucks weathered the storm and on 15 minutes they took the lead on a counter-attack through winger James Hare.

Thorney then hit the post with a penalty and were pressing hard when fly half Ryan Clarke intercepted and set up Ed Sitch to score under the posts. Clarke added the two points to make it 12-0, which is how it stayed until half-time.

Buckby now had the wind behind them and would have been expecting an easier time of it in the second half, but Thorney surprised them with a forward drive and scored a try to cut the deficit to 12-5.

The weather was to become the telling factor as it was difficult for Thorney to kick out of defence.

When on one such attempt went to Sitch, he popped thge ball off to Tim Dixon who dotted down under the posts, Clarke converting and it was 19-5.

Thorney piled on the pressure and seemed certain to score a second try, but Hare popped up with a timely interception ran the length of the pitch to score his second try.

That was game over.

In the final few minutes Luke Foster charged down a Thorney kick and Hare to grabbed the ball to race away and complete his hat trick, with Jonny Nixon adding the conversion to complete the victory.

The win was a great warm-up for Buckby ahead of their big cup semi-final against Cannock at Station Road on Saturday (ko 2.15pm).

Bad news for Bucks is they will be without leading try scorer Sitch (hamstring), prop Tom Haynes (shoulder) and possibly key back rowers Ben Walton (knee) and Andrew Frankland (head) through injury.

Match facts

Team: Tim Lewis, Tim Dixon, Tom Haynes, Fred Saunders, Sam Evans, Ben Walton, Jake Toseland, Andy Frankland, Richard Ryan, Ryan Clarke, Nick Dixon, Luke Foster, James Hare, Ed Sitch, Jonny Nixon.

Reps: Doug Burroughs, Ollie Sitch, Ross McPhillips

Scorers: Tries: James Hare (3) Tim Dixon Ed Sitch; Cons: Ryan Clarke (3) Jonny Nixon