Burntwood RUFC 16 Bloxwich RUFC 3

Two first half tries by Burntwood were the highlights of a disappointing contest which generally matched the dreary weather conditions it was played in.

The second half in particular was a succession of errors and turnovers by both sides.

The visitors were ahead after seven minutes with a penalty as the hosts, fielding a much-changed line-up, made a slow start to the game.

This prompted Burntwood into action and they gradually worked their way into Bloxwich territory. They were helped by the award of a series of penalties, the last of which Matt Wood kicked to level the scores.

Craig Goodall scores a try for Burntwood RUFC

Craig Goodall scores a try for Burntwood RUFC. Pic: Joanne Gough

However, Wood then put his side in trouble,having a clearance kick charged down just outside his own 22. Lloyd Shelley chased back to save any further embarrassment.

The first piece of quality rugby produced the first try after 23 minutes. The forwards drove well and then the backs combined to free Matt Sishton down the right wing. When he was tackled close to the line, Craig Goodall followed up to touch down in the corner.

Shortly afterwards, Burntwood went close again in the same corner. They were awarded a scrum and from a set move with Sishton coming in  from the blind side wing he was hauled down just short of the line. Quick ruck ball allowed Wood to go in unopposed to make it 13-3.

Burntwood’s line out was functioning well at this time with the Shelley brothers and Tom Restall providing a good supply of ball. However, it was Bloxwich who went closest to scoring before the break after an infringement at a line out close to their own line.

It needed a solid tackle by Wood on the visitors’ No 8 to deny a try and then a double movement cost a second try-scoring opportunity for them.

Liam Lloyd on the run. Pic: Joanne Gough

Liam Lloyd on the run. Pic: Joanne Gough

Bloxwich threatened again early in the second period. Their outside centre almost weaved his way across field to the left corner but eventually they infringed and Wood cleared to halfway.

This set the tone for a largely forgettable second half as the play of both sides suffered in the drizzly conditions. It was not until the 68th minute that either try line was threatened.

Burntwood disrupted a Bloxwich scrum which allowed Lloyd Shelley to break and link with Goodall. He fed Dan Garrity who chipped to the corner but the position was lost.

With five minutes left, Wood scored the only points of the half with a penalty given for a scrum offence – a good strike from 40 metres. Burntwood saw out time in the visitors’ 22 courtesy of two good touch-finders by Craig Seedhouse.

Burntwood have five league games left to play, four of them away from home beginning with Old Yardleians this Saturday (March 27).

The Veterans meanwhile have an overnight stop in Hampshire after playing New Milton for the Norman Trophy.

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