An entertaining contest, which swung both ways, was finally decided in the final quarter when Tamworth pulled clear with three tries against Burntwood RUFC.With no league or cup fixtures for either club this was a fixture between two sides featuring a mix of 1st and 2nd team players.
It was a good test for the hosts as the visitors were champions of Midlands 3 West North last season and now play in the level above Burntwood.
The first score went to the visitors after six minutes. They worked possession out to their left winger near halfway. He chipped the ball down the touchline and was able to collect a favourable bounce to dot down in the corner for an unconverted try.
Luke Rookyard was unlucky not to reply five minutes later. He worked his way around the front of a line out close to the Tamworth line but was adjudged to have put a foot in touch.
Just three minutes later the hosts edged ahead. Ben Holt sent Neil Holden racing into the Tamworth half up to the 22. The ball was recycled and Owen Rookyard dummied his way over for a try which was well converted by Sam Lloyd.
An evenly contested period of play followed before Lloyd kicked a penalty goal on 28 minutes when the visitors were caught offside.
Tamworth went ahead again five minutes later. Their backs took play at speed deep into the home half. Good tackling denied them but when their forwards arrived the big tight head prop rumbled over the try line and the conversion made it 10-12.
The pattern was repeated three minutes later. The Tamworth three quarters set up good field position which the forwards capitalised on by putting the Burntwood scrum under pressure. The ball was moved right and then left for the prop to score his second try.
Following an injury delay, Burntwood reduced the arrears right on half time. The Rookyard brothers combined well to take play into the visitors’ 22. Slick passing saw Tom O’Brien score a well-taken try for a 15-17 scoreline at the break.
Five minutes into the second period and Burntwood retook the lead. A slick pass from Owen Rookyard and a good angle of running allowed Holt to run clean through to the posts for a try converted by Lloyd.
They went close again shortly afterwards but winger Nick Peplow was nudged into touch after being fed by Holt.
Assisted by Tamworth infringements, all the play was in the opposition half but with an hour gone the visitors broke out through their speedy back division. When the ball was passed back inside a back row player was there to cross under the posts. The conversion took Tamworth into the lead at 22-24.
When the home scrum came under pressure again on 68 minutes the Tamworth scrum half scored a fine individual try from the home ten metre line. The conversion was added for 22-31.
Two tries and a conversion in the last two minutes put a flattering slant on the final scoreline but both sides and the spectators enjoyed the entertainment on show.
The 3rd XV won their merit table fixture at home to Birmingham Barbarians 31-7.
Following two wins on the road Burntwood play their first home league fixture of the season when they welcome Clee Hill to The Sportsway for a 3pm kick off on Saturday (October 1). The 2nd XV are away to Newcastle (Staffs) 2nds.