Tamworth RUFC 17 Burntwood RUFC 10

Burntwood were slow out of the blocks in this game and never managed to recover after conceding two converted tries in the opening quarter.

Tamworth went ahead after just three minutes. Neat passing down the three quarters created an overlap for the first seven pointer. Ten minutes later the home forwards were scrummaging close to the visitors’ line and they were awarded a penalty try following a series of collapsed scrums.

It took 27 minutes for Graham Shelley’s men to mount their first meaningful attack. A good break by Matt Wood found Lloyd Shelley up in support. He exchanged passes with Matt Bray to take play into the home 22.

They temporarily lost Dave Peplow with a blood injury but his replacement, veteran Paul Rogers, made the most of his brief first half appearance.

Following a Burntwood scrum deep in the home 22, Rogers was the third player to drive for the line and he forced his way over at the base of the right hand post. Wood converted and the comeback seemed on.

The visitors had the better territory and possession for the rest of the half but their only chance of points came from a long range penalty attempt by Wood which fell short.

Things continued to go for Burntwood after the restart. They won a turnover at the kick off and when Tamworth infringed Wood slotted the penalty. Then the hosts lost prop forward Sandhu to the sin bin for repeated infringements.

However, Tamworth managed the time well during his absence, kicking to the corners to keep Burntwood well away from danger. Infact, they almost extended their lead, going close to a try in the left corner before Peplow and Ashley Stanton led a break out to halfway.

As the action reached the last 10 minutes, good play by replacement Rogers and Pete Reynolds allowed Wood to chip through to the corner but the resulting line out was lost. Tamworth turned the ball over and broke downfield.

They almost sealed their win with a try but a handling error saved Burntwood. It proved only a temporary respite. With two minutes left, a penalty for a late tackle was well-struck between the posts leaving Burntwood needing a converted try to draw level.

They were making good progress into the home half but when they infringed, all Tamworth had to do was kick the ball out of play to end the game.

Burntwood begin the second half of their league season with the visit of table-topping Veseyans to The Sportsway this Saturday (December 19).

On December 26 Burntwood hold their annual Captain’s Ramble. Members and guests meet at the clubhouse at 10.15 am, have a leisurely stroll around Chasewater and return to the clubhouse for food and refreshments.

The day after (December 27) there is Laurence’s Magic Circus for all the family beginning at 2pm and then in the evening there is the club’s Alternative New Year celebration till midnight featuring music from the 60s to the 80s. More details available at the clubhouse or ring 01543 676651.