Youthful Burntwood 2nd side come out on top against Walsall

Burntwood 2nds enjoyed their moment in the limelight following the first team’s cancelled trip to Mansfield.

A youthful line-up revelled in the perfect playing conditions at The Sportsway against spirited opposition from Walsall.

The hosts went ahead in the fifth minute after working their way into their opponents’ 22. A quickly taken tapped penalty saw Adam Black squeeze over in the right corner for the first of his side’s eight tries.

Black repeated the feat nine minutes later, benefiting from another tapped penalty close to the line. This time it was close enough to the posts for Tom O’Brien to convert.

Black then turned provider after 26 minutes. A Walsall handling error enabled winger Ben Tranter to race into the opposition half of the field. When the forwards arrived, Black slipped a neat pass out of the back door to Tranter who finished off the move he had begun.

Brad Holmes lost possession of the ball when he was put away down the left touchline by O’Brien.

However, the fourth try arrived before the break. An attack covering 50 metres seemed to have ended with a handling error but Billy Fisher scooped up the loose ball to go on a diagonal run to dummy his way over to establish a 22-0 half time lead.

Tranter opened the second period with a good run from his own 10 metre line to the Walsall 22 but it needed a fine cover tackle by Sean Brennan to deny a breakaway try for the visitors.

A thumping tackle by James Langford on the Walsall 10 metre line after 49 minutes almost earned him a try. He gathered the loose ball and headed for the try line only to be brought down just short.

However, he popped the ball up to O’Brien who went in for the score.

Four minutes later Fisher made it a brace of tries for himself when he finished off a good attack over halfway by outstripping the cover defence for a try by the posts. O’Brien converted.

Holmes made up for his earlier miss by forcing his way through a gap and running in from 15 metres for a 39-0 lead.

Close to the hour, Walsall got off the mark with a try under the posts from close quarter play. The conversion was a formality.

Gareth Williams finished off a sweeping move involving Tranter and Black after 77 minutes and O’Brien’s conversion completed his side’s tally.

Walsall had the last word with a pushover try and the failed conversion attempt was the final act of an enjoyable contest.

On the previous day, Burntwood Veterans welcomed Barton-under-Needwood and Gnosall for one of the Friday Night floodlit events designed by Staffordshire Rugby Union to provide social rugby for returning players and those unable to play on Saturday afternoons. A good turnout provided plenty of entertainment for the spectators.

This Saturday Burntwood return to league action with the visit of Eccleshall. The 2nds travel to Stafford 2nds and the 3rds host Barton-under-Needwood 2nds – all kick offs 3pm.

On November 5, prior to Burntwood’s match with Handsworth, the club holds the first of its Patrons’ Lunches starting at 12.30pm.