Burntwood RUFC beaten at Tamworth

After a tough run of fixtures, Burntwood RUFC will welcome the Christmas break.

They have little to show for four games on the road against promotion contenders in two different leagues and will enjoy the time off to lick their wounds and come back stronger.

The latest result came as no surprise given that Tamworth are top of the table. The win for them was their tenth on the trot, their only loss coming on the opening day of the season.

The hosts made the ideal start with a try after just two minutes. The Tamworth centre cut a good line through the middle to make the line although the score wasn’t converted.

With a buoyant home side and the wind against them, the visitors were on the back foot for all of the half. A penalty goal attempt went wide of the posts but the subsequent 22 drop out went direct into touch to keep the pressure on after 12 minutes.

From the home scrum, the ball was moved right and back left towards the posts with their forwards rumbling round the corner. It needed a steal by Dave Yardley to halt the move. It also cost a home player a yellow card but it had little effect on the flow of play.

In fact, whilst the player was sidelined, Tamworth went further ahead. A penalty award was kicked to the corner. Possession was spread wide and a slick pass saw the No 14 go in for a converted try on 17 minutes.

With all the play deep inside the visitors’ half, Burntwood did well to deny the hosts for the next 20 minutes. Then on 36 minutes Tamworth scrummaged close the try line. The first attempt at a pushover was resisted. A second attempt was held but the ball was moved to the left winger down the short side for a score in the corner.

Ben Holt’s side needed to prevent any further score before the break to stay in the contest but a prolonged period of stoppage time brought Tamworth their bonus point try. A fumble at a line out saw the hosts gain possession and move the ball wide for another try in the left corner.

Facing a 22 point deficit, Burntwood tried to run the ball out of their own half from the kick off to the second period. However, their efforts were hindered by errors which kept play in their own half.

After 51 minutes referee Shaun Godfrey awarded the hosts a penalty try for pulling down a rolling maul which was set up from a line out catch and drive.

A rare attack by Burntwood four minutes later saw Lloyd Dunet, on first team debut, make good ground from a kick return to finally take play deep into the home half. Sniping runs by Brett Taylor and Ian Jones earned a penalty award which Holt chipped to the corner but the line out was scrappy and the danger was cleared.

Play was confined to midfield until the last ten minutes at which point the home forwards worked their way steadily upfield before finally crossing the line from a rolling maul.

The Tamworth forwards staged a repeat performance five minutes later and then right on full time with Burntwood in the home 22, the left winger broke clear to run three quarters of the length of the field to complete the scoring.

Burntwood’s next league game is at home to Bloxwich, currently bottom of the league, on January 9. This Saturday, club members have the chance to work off the Christmas Day excesses with the Club Captain’s Boxing Day Ramble – a stroll around Chasewater from the clubhouse and back for more refreshment and food. Meet at the clubhouse at 10.30am. Friends, relatives and pets welcome.

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