Depleted Burntwood RUFC suffer heavy defeat at Ludlow

Burntwood RUFC travelled with a squad depleted by injuries and unavailability and paid a heavy price against promotion contenders Ludlow.

Their task was made even more difficult when an act of indiscipline cost them prop forward Dave Ward to a red card early in the second half.

The hosts, who sit second in the table, showed no mercy in exploiting their advantage, particularly full back Will Sparrow. His pace and running lines led to him creating a club record for most points in a match with six tries and ten conversions for an amazing personal haul of fifty points.

Sparrow was on the mark after just five minutes when he ran a loose Burntwood kick back for a try under the posts.

Play was confined to midfield for a spell but even that proved costly for the visitors as Rob Jones dislocated his thumb in a tackle and was replaced by Burntwood’s solitary reserve Callum Grundy.

Sparrow scored his second try on 18 minutes, running in from the ten metre line and another converted try made it 21-0 after 21 minutes.

The writing was already on the wall for Burntwood but they enjoyed an even period of play for ten minutes before another Sparrow break saw him feed his winger for the bonus point try.

Then Sparrow completed his hat trick of tries four minutes from the break. With all five first half tries being scored under the posts, the conversions were simple and the hosts led 35-0.

Ludlow added two tries and a conversion before Ward saw red for over robust play at a ruck during one of Burntwood’s rare excursions into the home 22 on 51 minutes.

The nearest the visitors came to scoring were two grubber kicks towards the corner by Brett Taylor but each time the hosts were first to the ball.

In the last quarter Ludlow rammed home their advantage with five tries, four of them converted, the only interruption being when Taylor chipped, chased and caught and almost put Luke Rookyard away.

One bright spot for Ben Holt’s side, apart from showing great team spirit against the odds, was the performance of returnee James Langford who impressed in the line out.

On the previous Friday evening Burntwood Veterans enjoyed an outing at home to Rugeley Veterans and ran out 42-7 winners. A return fixture is planned for later in the season.

On Saturday afternoon, the 2nds helped Stone out with a few players to enable the merit table fixture to take place at the Sportsway. Gareth Williams’s side edged home 29-26. Thanks to Paul Rogers, Matt Bray and Matt Sishton for switching allegiances for the afternoon.

This Saturday Burntwood welcome Newcastle (Staffs) for a league game. The third placed visitors racked up 111 points against Bloxwich last week so it promises to be another tough afternoon for the firsts. The 2nds travel in the opposite direction for a merit table game whilst the colts host Telford Hornets on Sunday afternoon.