Burntwood RUFC reached the festive break with their seventh league win on the trot to edge a point closer to league leaders Ludlow.
They were not quite at their best in a stop-start affair but still ran in eight tries to two with Luke Rookyard boosting his tally for the season with a hat trick.
He rewarded a good start by the hosts with a trademark try from a close range line out after just five minutes.
Sean Latham’s men continued to dominate field position and seven minutes later, from a maul on the 22, Brett Taylor caught the Uttoxeter guard defence napping to race unopposed to the posts for a try converted by Sam Lloyd.
On 20 minutes the backs took play close to the visitors’ line. The forwards arrived to maul the ball closer before slipping a pass down the narrow side for Aza Dunet to touch down in the clubhouse corner.
Uttoxeter got off the mark with a penalty goal from 30 metres but missed with a second attempt from a little further out approaching the half hour.
Burntwood’s bonus point try came on 32 minutes. Taylor put his side in good position with a punt down the touchline. A superb one handed take in the line out by Pat Bayliss (who score a try against Telford a week earlier which was wrongly attributed to skipper Latham) set the forwards on a long drive to five metres short of the line. The short side proved profitable again but this time it was winger Neil Holden who scored. Dunet put a fine conversion over for 24-3.
In time added on the visitors seized on a handling error by the home backs on halfway. The loose ball was scooped up for a clean run to the posts for a converted try.
There was still time for Burntwood to threaten the visitors’ line before the half time whistle following a good drive by the forwards but the move ended in a penalty against.
Four minutes into the second period Lloyd extended the lead with a penalty goal.
After 52 minutes Rookyard went in for his second try by finishing off a line out catch and drive. He then completed his hat trick with the best try of the afternoon. Taylor began it with a run from deep. Holden continued the counter attack with a good run down his wing. When the ball was moved inside Adam Black forged ahead before Rookyard touched down by the posts for Dunet to convert.
Uttoxeter may have been down but they continued to battle and it needed a good tackle by Tom O’Brien to deny them on the hour mark. He not only halted the danger but won turnover possession which led to his side’s next try.
Ben Holt took play back into the opposition half and he was there again to go through a gap after the ball had been through several pairs of hands.
With ten minutes left a penalty award was kicked to the right corner by Lloyd. Rookyard went close again before he was stopped illegally. Taylor went for the quick tap and go before the ball was moved to Lloyd who had the benefit of an overlap to score wide out.
Replacement Liam Smith saw yellow in the time remaining and within a minute Uttoxeter exploited the gap in midfield left by his absence to score a converted try under the posts.
They were close again right on the final whistle but were held up to leave the final scoreline 49-17.
Burntwood 2nds had no game following Wolverhampton 3rds’ calling the merit fixture off.
Burntwood’s next league game is at home to neighbours Cannock on January 7. On the same day the 2nds are away to Leek 2nds and the 3rds host Newcastle 3rds.