Vital league points slipped from Burntwood’s grasp after an encouraging first half in Solihull against Edwardians.
Despite playing into the wind, the visitors held the hosts to 7-7. An early penalty put them 10-7 ahead in the second period, but Edwardians exposed gaps in their fringe defence on three occasions to pull away to a bonus point victory.
The opening ten minutes were all spent in the Burntwood half but with no scoring threats.
The visitors’ first venture into opposition territory came from a forward drive which led to a penalty. Brett Taylor tapped to skipper Ben Holt whose kick was well chased by Ian Jones to create a promising position five metres out. It was lost to an infringement which allowed Eds to clear.
However, Burntwood stole the resulting line out and drove back into the home 22 but when the backs received possession the ball was knocked on.
The home side opened the scoring on 18 minutes. A penalty attempt rebounded back into play off a post but Burntwod knocked on. The Eds’ pack drove for the line at the scrum and when flanker Dave Yardley dived in for the ball the referee awarded a penalty try which was easily converted.
Aza Dunet had the chance of a quick reply with a penalty attempt two minutes later but his kick from 35 metres was just left of the target.
From the drop out restart Eds infringed again which allowed Burntwood to kick to the right corner. Flanker Sean Brennan took possession at the tail of the line out and drove over for a try which Dunet converted to bring the scores level.
The visitors battled well for the rest of the half but much of their good work was undone by conceding penalties, only one of which resulted in a kick at goal but the ball sailed wide right.
Scrum half Taylor was influential in Burntwood’s best moments, looking to break around the fringes and prompting his forwards. His run close to half time from line out possession took play up to the home five metre line. It set up a series of forward surges for the try line which finally ended in a penalty against.
Had Burntwood scored then it might have been a different story. As it was, they turned around with the wind in their favour and just two minutes in Dunet landed a penalty goal from 25 metres out.
Promising play ended in another penalty against and four minutes later Eds moved into a lead they would not surrender. A clean break close to a maul on the visitors’ 22 led to a two on one against full back Rob Jones and the winger scored in the corner.
Dunet’s penalty attempt four minutes later was scuffed but it set up good play from the resulting drop out until his side infringed again.
Approaching the hour mark, the Eds’ forwards went on a long driving maul which was finished off with a try under the posts when the scrum half nipped through a gap and passed for a support player to scoot over.
Burntwood were given a lifeline on 66 minutes when the hosts lost a player to the sin bin for a high tackle on Lloyd Dunet. However, it was Edwardians who scored during his absence to seal the outcome.
The visitors were harshly penalised for having a man infront of Holt’s kick to the corner. Eds kicked down the line, won the line out and broke a tackle close to the driving maul to set the left winger away for the bonus point try and conversion.
Burntwood were awarded a series of penalties in the closing minutes but stout home defence denied them even the chance of a losing bonus point.
There was joy for then second XV who entertained Veseyans 2nds and came out on top by two points in a high scoring game.
There are no league or merit table fixtures arranged for this coming weekend so club fixtures are TBA. A week later Burntwood begin a run of home games against the league’s top three sides beginning with Ludlow on March 19, kick off 3pm. The 2nds travel to face Leek 2nds in a merit table fixture.