Ffitch stars as Loughborough get campaign back on track
IT WAS the travellers who reigned supreme this week as the BUCS big show rolled into town for Round 7.
Four sides came and conquered enemy territory as Hartpury, Loughborough, Exeter and Cardiff Met plundered on an actionpacked Wednesday.
Loughborough stopped the rot defeating historic rivals Durham 26-10. Tom Ffitch’s slinky try was the pick of the bunch as he mangled multiple Durham ankles with hot steps to open proceedings.
Durham, still catching their breath, conceded swifty after as Tom Bitirim touched down and by the time Alex Glashan crossed, The Palatinate only had a Tom Catterick penalty to counter at half time with two Ffitch conversions making the score 19-3.
Ben Fowles gave the home side hope early in the second with Catterick converting but Will Foster soon extinguished the optimism and with the conversion Durham were beaten 26-10.
Two of this seasons surprise packages fought for supremacy in Yorkshire. Having populated the bottom of the league last year Leeds Beckett and Cardiff Met have this season shown their teeth.
Kicking machine Tom Morgan picked up a try as did his associates Luke Northmore and Ben Williams as Cardiff came back from 8-7 down at half time. Dan Leake, James Elliot and Tristan Lloyd tries salvaged a bonus point for Beckett but the spoils went to Dan Milton’s men as they moved second, level on points with fallow Northumbria with a 18-24 win.
Bath felt the wrath of an Exeter scorned after their shock loss the week before in Leeds. The men in Green savaged The Brothers who had broken their BUCS duck only five days prior.
Jack Rouse (2), James Strong James McRae (2), Felix Maddison and Mike Haines augmented their season try tallies with Ted Landray on hand to slot six conversions. Jake Allen scored for some consolation but it’s back to the drawing board for the The Blue and Gold.
Lady Bay hosted the bout of the winless with the home side left scratching. Championship impressors Hartpury have floundered thus far in their BUCS title defence but they finally found their form trumping the new boys 52-12.
Max Craven and Cecil McCarthy tries kept the home side in with a sniff but Hartpury, buoyed by their Saturday outfit’s last gasp win against London Scottish, ran in eight tries in a performance that they will hope signals a change in fortunes and silences the doubters in their defence of the BUCS booty.
Northumbria still sit top of the pile despite having what is probably an unwelcome week off. Their irresistible momentum will be cranked into gear once more next week in a North East derby versus Durham at Kingston Park.
The BUCS season is now a third of the way in and no one would have predicted the table. Last year’s whipping boys Beckett have been galvanised and it is hard to pick a winner. There is a refreshing adventure in each team’s play and thus far, the sides that try to play, prosper.