Match report from Bucks report, Rob Nesbitt.
A rare home game for the Bucks took place at John Taylor High school, where the pitch was in fine condition, despite the heavy rain of the previous two days. Loughborough kicked off the game on a dry, yet cool day.
The early exchanges remained relatively even with play concentrated in the middle of the pitch. Then after about 4 minutes the game Jack Roddick, playing scrum-half made a great break and fed Elliot Minns who made his way into the Loughborough twenty two.
A line-out resulted from a defensive clearance and the ball was well secured and then released to the backs who moved it very nicely through the hands to Andy Bird who scored just to the right of the posts after five minutes. The conversion from Elliot Minns was successful and the signs looked good for the home team (Bucks 7-0 Loughborough).
The Bucks were guilty of not clearing out at mauls and as a consequence found possession neither quick or clean which meant there was no real flow to their game at this stage. The next score came after thirteen minutes when Jacob Waddington did great work to seize possession of the ball in a ruck, and then fed Kieran Hall who made no mistake in scoring on the left. The conversion attempt whilst very close just missed (Bucks 12-0 Loughborough).
The remainder of play in the first-half took place in Loughborough territory without any further score being added. The Bucks endeavour was clearly evident but lacked a little bit of real quality, which has been so evident in recent weeks. The half-time team talk called for exactly this whilst praising the work rate of the team as a whole.
The second-half kicked off with the Bucks once again having most of both territory and possession! Despite this it was almost ten minutes into the half when the next score came. A good break down the blind side was engineered by Eddie Nicholls at fly-half, feeding Matt Robinson, who ran strongly down the left wing and returned the favour for Nicholls to score well in the left corner. Unfortunately the difficult conversion was not successful (Bucks 17-0 Loughborough).
For the next ten minutes there was sustained pressure from the Bucks and this finally told when Jack Roddick scored on the right following a blind-side pass from Eddie Nicholls. The conversion was again unsuccessful (Bucks 22-0 Loughborough).
The pattern of play continued to be somewhat disjointed but this was mainly due to the valiant efforts of the Loughborough team in-spite of the one-sided score line. The next score came after about twenty six minutes when the frantic Loughborough defence committed an offence and the ball was given to Kieran Hall, from the resulting penalty, and he drove strongly through the visitors’ tackles to score near the posts. This time a simple conversion by Jack Roddick, was successful (Bucks 29-0 Loughborough).
The final score of the game came with three minutes remaining. Another infringement from Loughborough, this time about 10 metres out was taken quickly by Louis Sanders who set up a ruck, where the ball was successfully re-cycled and fed to the waiting backs and Will Roden scored on the left. The conversion was unsuccessful (Bucks 34-0 Loughborough).
Man-of-the-match was given to Isa Cashmore, who had been involved in the whole game – the first half for Loughborough when he made a brave and crucial tackle on Kieran Hall and the second when he showed his all-round ability and improvement he has made since joining Burton this season.
One of the most significant plus points of an otherwise laboured performance was the fact that no points were conceded and this bodes well for the exciting prospect of a midland regional cup final next Sunday against Silhillians!