On a sweltering sunny Saturday afternoon, before the smallest crowd of the season due to the football thing, the Buffaloes were narrowly beaten by Lindley Swifts, writes MARTYN CHENEY.
The Buffaloes hit again by late drop-outs and unavailability, had to change the team around again with Connor McGill moving into the centres and Aidan Baranyi playing at stand off, and Nathan Hammond playing in the unfamiliar position of prop.
The away team played the conditions perfectly, forcing the referee to stop the clock at every opportunity, halting the Buffaloes from getting on a roll.
With the ball in hand, the Buffaloes looked the stronger team but were chasing the game, even when they didn’t need to, and this meant that they were unable to mount sustained pressure on the Swifts line.
The game started brightly for the Buffaloes when, in the third minute, Kieran Hudson scored an unconverted try after the Swifts made a mistake and were unable to take in a high ball. The ball went through several pairs of hands before reaching Hudson, who scored out wide. Four Nil to the home side.
On 16 minutes, Lindley Swifts opened their scoring account, when following two silly penalties, Dave Valentine crashed over the line with four defenders on him, with Tommy Eidson adding the conversion, giving them the lead 4-6.
Six minutes later, the Swifts were in again, when the Buffaloes lost sight of a high ball in the sun, the ball took a wicked bounce and fell into the arms of Matty Johnson, who scored an unconverted try, extending the lead to 4-10.
In the 29th the Buffaloes were over the line again, narrowing the lead, when Rob Brown crossed the line following a sweeping move. Making the score 8-10.
In the next set of six, the Buffaloes were on the attack and the set ended with a great cross field kick from Connor McGill, which the attackers were unable to gather in.
Two minutes from the break McGill went on a jinking run, leaving defenders in his wake, but lost the ball in the tackle, more than likely assisted by the defenders.
A mistake from the kick-off at the start of the second half led to Swifts’ prop, Ben Mather, collecting the ball and crashing over the line for the opening points of the second half, with Eidson adding the extras, pushing the lead out to 8-16.
In the 43rd minute Lindley committed the cardinal sin of giving the penalty away with the ball in hand. From the resulting penalty, the Buffs were on the attack, and on the fourth play, Hooker Jake Barnett scooted from Dummy Half, and slipped under the defenders, for an unconverted try. Reducing the lead to 12-16.
In the 52nd minute, the Swifts again gave away a penalty with the ball in hand, and as the penalty was given, something occurred in the ruck, and the Buffaloes centre Aidan Baranyi lashed out at a swifts player. In the resulting melee the other Baranyi came rushing over to look after his brother.
Once the referee had let the fight wear itself out, he dispatched both Baranyis to the sin-bin, along with Neil Kelly and Chris Moore from the Swifts.
Four minutes later, with lots of space to attack, Veteran Swifts Player, Richard Aka, went on a run, dancing his way through the Buffaloes defenders to score under the black dot. Eidson adding the extras, stretching the lead to 12-22.
On the three-quarter mark of the game, McGill, with lots of time to plan his moves, put in another cross-field kick, this time, Centre Hudson was able to collect the kick and cross the line unopposed for his second of the afternoon. Making the score 16-22.
In the 74th minute, standoff Eidson popped over drop goal, giving the Swifts a seven-point lead, meaning the Buffaloes had to score twice to regain the lead.
The last six minutes of regular time, plus the five minutes of additional time, were frenetic, with the Buffaloes chasing the game hard, but to no avail. Well into injury time McGill put in another cross-field kick, but this time the chasers were unable to collect the ball.
Lindley broke free from the Buffaloes defenders, but was dragged down by the man of the match Tom Langton, just short of the home teams try line, but Langton stayed on the tackled player, too long in the referees’ eyes, and Eidson kicked a penalty goal to make the score 16-25.
As the ball crossed the black dot, the referee blew for full time.
The Buffaloes are not back in action until the 28th July, in the league, when they travel to Nottingham Outlaws.
Buffaloes: 1) Peter Croft, 16) Rob Brown, 3) Aidan Baranyi, 4) Kieran Hudson, 5) Kieran Foster Matthews, 17) Connor McGill, 6) Brad Wilson ©, 15) Xavier Martin, 9) Jake Barnett, 12) Dan Baranyi, 11) Tom Langton, 10) Nathan Hammond, 14) Cameron McLachlan, Subs (All Used); 13) Charlie McMurray, 19) Craig Brown, 18) Ben Blanchard
Tries: Hudson (3, 60), Brown (29), Barnett (43).
Lindley Swifts: 1) Jamie Kelly, 2) Sash Wedderburn, 3) Matty Johnson, 4) Matty Dearnley, 5) Ben Cole, 6) Tommy Eidson, 7) Jack Hague, 8) Lee Buckley, 9) Sam McCluskey, 10) Ben Mather, 11) Issac Griffiths, 12) Dave Valentine, 13) Neil Kelly, Subs (All Used); 15) Ben Armitage, 14) Richard Aka, 16) Jordan Ledgister, 17) Chris Moore
Tries: Valentine (16), Johnson (22), Mather (41), Aka (56)
Goals: Eidson (4 from 5)
Drop Goal: Eidson
Men of the Match:
Buffaloes: Tom Langton
Lindley Swifts: Ben Mather