Burntwood RUFC 2nds 24 Lichfield RUFC 2nds 36

Burntwood RUFC 2nds entertained Lichfield RUFC 2nds at The Sportsway and after a fast, furious and enjoyable game, the visitors took the honours 36-24.

It looked like being a much heavier defeat for Andy Dodd’s side as Lichfield made a lightning start to the match. They went 17 points up in the opening quarter but inspired by four-try Hal Gozukucuk, the hosts battled back into contention and felt the final scoreline slightly flattered Lichfield.

Burntwood were caught cold from the kick off, conceding a line out in their own 22. Lichfield claimed possession to mount an attack which finished with a try by the posts although the conversion was missed.

The home side tried to work their way into the game but turned the ball over on halfway and their winger sped away for a converted try. He repeated the feat 10 minutes later, this time finishing off good support play and at this time home prospects were not good.

However, Burntwood regrouped under the guidance of some of the older heads and went on to enjoy the better of the play up to half time.

It needed superb defence by the visitors, sometimes right on their own line, to keep the hosts out. Eventually, Gozukucuk opened his account following a quickly taken tap penalty and Anthony Morgan converted.

Lichfield hit back with a well-taken try which was somewhat against the run of play but they always looked dangerous with pace to burn on the outside.

To their credit, Burntwood responded with a second for Gozukucuk, again from a tapped penalty to make the half time score 12-22.

Burntwood made a few changes during the break with Matt Lee and Rhys Corbally coming on for Steve Pearce and Andy Benton respectively.

Another well-taken try and conversion put Lichfield further ahead but Burntwood kept in touch, Gozukucuk completing his hat trick after a strong run by Mark Partridge. Martin Ottey converted to reduce the arrears to 10 points again.

The crucial score came after sustained pressure by the home side. Basic errors cost them 2 scores and then when they spun the ball out, the pass was intercepted resulting in a length-of –the-field try which was converted to put Lichfield clear at 36-19.

Burntwood kept their heads up and Matt Bray made a good break, supported by Ian Cooper, Partridge and Simon Edwards for that man Gozukucuk to score again.

Lichfield lost a front row player with a suspected broken arm and the contest rather petered out with uncontested scrummages but the match as a whole was appreciated by players and spectators alike and brought the season to a fine conclusion.

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