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Burntwood RUFC 53 Eccleshall RUFC 0

Graham Shelley tries to break a tackle. Pic: Joanne Gough

Graham Shelley tries to break a tackle. Pic: Joanne Gough

After keeping a clean sheet away to Bishop’s Castle a week earlier, Burntwood followed it up with another at home to league new boys Eccleshall.

However, this time they found their scoring touch, running in nine tries to stay close to Newcastle at the top of the table.

The hosts had the ideal start when the visitors knocked on at the kick off. The Burntwood pack asserted themselves at the first scrum to give Ollie Whitehouse the chance to break left. The ball was recycled and moved right for winger Luke Briggs to score in the corner inside 2 minutes
For much of the rest of the half, Burntwood were camped in the opposition half, continually probing for an opening but the Eccleshall defence covered and tackled well.

It was not until the 35th minute that the scoreline changed. Skipper Graham Shelley finished off a line out catch and drive that covered 15 metres to put his side 10 points up at the break – meagre reward for their dominance.

However, the second period was much different as the visitors’ resistance was beaten at regular intervals, beginning with a Matt Sishton try in the corner eight minutes after the restart. Full back Mitch Carless landed his first conversion of the afternoon from the touchline.

Five minutes later and another 15 metre catch and drive yielded a try for Lloyd Shelley, converted by Carless.

Shortly afterwards Ben Holt scooped a pass up off his toes to feed Craig Seedhouse who put Carless in for his first senior try although his conversion attempt hit a post and stayed out.


Ollie Whitehouse on the ball. Pic: Joanne Gough

Another four minutes passed and then good handling out to the left saw Sishton score his second try to take his side past the 30 point mark.

The fifth try of a 17 minute burst of scoring followed a sweeping move left and right before scrum half Whitehouse crossed the line for the touch down. Carless was unable to attempt the conversion as he was injured in the build-up and was replaced by Brett Taylor.

A deep kick by Holt led to the next try. An Eccleshall knock on put them under severe pressure close to their own line and after several attempts to push over, the referee, Jonathan Bird of Leicestershire, awarded a penalty try which Seedhouse converted.

To their credit, Eccleshall produced their best attack of the day right under the home posts late on but Burntwood were determined to protect their line and survived, Holt eventually clearing to halfway.

Burntwood passed the half century with two minutes left, skipper Shelley finishing off a great handling move under the posts for Seedhouse to add a straightforward conversion.

This Saturday (October 16) Burntwood welcome Worksop to The Sportsway for the Second Round of the RFU Senior Vase competition (kick off 2.30 pm). The visitors from Nottinghamshire are also bringing their second string to face Burntwood 2nds. The 3rds are TBA.

On Wednesday (October 20) Burntwood host Staffordshire U18s for their match against North Midlands, kick off 7.30pm. Admission is free for what should prove to be an entertaining contest.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.