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Burntwood RUFC 20 Old Yardleians 3

On a day when the top four sides in the Midlands 3 West North all won, Burntwood kept up with the pacesetters with three close range tries to defeat bottom of the table Old Yardleians.

The home side failed to fire on all cylinders despite opening the game in promising fashion. It was not until the last 10 minutes that they made the game safe even though the visitors rarely threatened throughout the whole 80 minutes.

Graham Shelley’s men spent the opening half hour in opposition territory beginning with their own kick off which was fumbled by the old boys. It lead to a scrum infront of the visitors’ posts which then became a penalty for a high tackle. Matt Wood had the easy task of putting his side ahead after three minutes.

With all the play in the Old Yards half, the spectators had to wait for another 22 minutes to witness the first try of the afternoon. From a five metre scrum, skipper Shelley picked up and spun out of a tackle for the touchdown.

More good work by Shelley and his brother Lloyd earned a second penalty chance for Wood from 35 metres out but he put his kick to the right of the posts.

Old Yards finally got over the halfway line in a spell of play up to the break. They won two penalty kicks at goal – the first going wide left but the second was from infront of the posts to make it 8-3 at the turnaround.

Burntwood’s play suffered from poor handling in the 3rd quarter but the introduction of John Haire for Steve Blockley seemed to provide the impetus needed to seal the league points.

His first contribution was a strong run through the centre to set up a series of five metre scrums. After five minutes of battering at the visitors’ line, Mark Partridge finally found a gap near the left corner flag to record his side’s second try.

With the final whistle due, Burntwood were again in five metre territory and this time scrum half Ollie Whitehouse finished off a drive by his pack to score under the posts. Wood’s conversion brought a disappointing contest to a close.

Burntwood’s programme up to the Christmas break could hardly be tougher. They travel to face top of the table Tamworth this Saturday (December ) and then host joint second Veseyans on December 19.

On Sunday morning (December 13) four home games are scheduled – U16s v Uttoxeter, U15s and U13s v Burton and the U14s v Newcastle.

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