Burntwood RUFC go second after 69-point victory over Eccleshall

Burntwood RUFC move up to second in the table after running in 11 tries against Eccleshall.

Leading the list of scorers was Neil Holden who crossed the line four times.

Neil Holden goes over for a try. Pic: Joanne Gough

Neil Holden goes over for a try. Pic: Joanne Gough

Sean Latham’s side went ahead as early as the second minute. From a dominant set scrum the ball was moved wide on the visitors’ 22. Full back Tom O’Brien hit the line at pace to draw the last man and put Dan Garrity in for a well-taken try.

Eccleshall had the chance to respond 11 minutes later but a penalty attempt at goal was skewed wide of the target.

Holden scored the first of his tries three minutes later and O’Brien was the supplier again. He did well to take a pass which was behind him before feeding the flying winger. He burst a tackle and raced round behind the posts for a score which Sam Lloyd converted.

Holden was in again in the 23rd minute, benefiting from a set move off a scrum. His unstoppable run carried him through to the posts and Lloyd’s conversion made it 19-0.

Luke Rookyard is tackled. Pic: Joanne Gough

Luke Rookyard is tackled. Pic: Joanne Gough

A brief skirmish saw referee Tim Dyer send a lock forward from each side to the touchline for ten minutes. During their absence Ben Holt intercepted a pass inside his own 22 and raced the length of the pitch for the bonus point try after just 27 minutes.

It proved to be a double blow for the visitors as the defender who had chased Holt all the way back seriously injured his shoulder trying to tackle him and the match was delayed for half an hour whilst an ambulance was summoned.

Eccleshall made a determined effort from the restart and skipper Latham went to the sin bin for a high tackle. However, Lloyd turned the tide with a great break from 22 to 22 to prevent the visitors from capitalising on their numerical advantage.

Holden completed his hat trick in the 35th minute. O’Brien countered after receiving a clearance kick. He fed Brett Taylor and his neat pass inside sent the winger running strongly to the line.

Both lock forwards came back onto the field before the break and Josh Canning’s return helped his pack drive over from a line out with Luke Rookyard touching the ball down. Lloyd’s fine conversion ended the half at 36-0.

The second period began in frantic fashion but once the hosts settled down they extended their lead after 55 minutes. Sean Brennan’s line out take was driven on by Pat Bayliss before Lloyd cut inside for a try converted by Aza Dunet.

Sam Lloyd tries to wriggle out of a challenge. Pic: Joanne Gough

Sam Lloyd tries to wriggle out of a challenge. Pic: Joanne Gough

The try of the game arrived two minutes later. A handling move from deep inside their own half featured Holt, Latham and Rob Jones who timed their passes superbly prior to Brennan taking an inside pass to run in unopposed to the posts. Lloyd’s conversion posted the half century.

Five minutes later and Holden finished off another fine move involving Taylor and O’Brien in a sweeping build up. Dunet converted.

Brennan and Jones counter attacked in the lead up to the next score on 66 minutes. Swift passing along the line saw Rookyard go over near the corner for his second try of the game. Dunet added an excellent conversion.

Despite the deficit, Eccleshall showed good spirit to test the home defence in the time remaining. However, a turnover won in the final minute was kicked deep downfield. Lloyd was in pursuit and collected to go over for his second try to complete his side’s tally.

Burntwood 2nds travelled to play Stafford 2nds. They went well behind early on before getting their act together but the hosts pulled away again to win 50-19.
The 3rds were denied a merit table game due to Barton 2nds cancellation.

This Saturday Burntwood play their 6th league game away to Edwardians. The 2nds are TBA due to Newport 3rds dropping out of the merit table. The 3rds are due to face Stafford 3rds away.