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Wednesbury RUFC 0 Burntwood RUFC 16

Burntwood RUFC kept a clean sheet for the third league match in a row to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

They dominated territorially for over an hour but it took a late Hal Gozukucuk try to deny the hosts the chance of a bonus point.

Burntwood’s early pressure via a series of scrums and penalty awards in the home 22 was finally rewarded with an easy penalty goal from Craig Seedhouse, performing the kicking duties in the absence of Matt Wood.

The visitors continued to press in the opening quarter and increased their lead after 17 minutes. They opted to scrum at a penalty award and skipper Graham Shelley forced his way over the line for 8-0.

A rain squall contributed to Burntwood handling errors as they continued to probe for openings but the home defence was proving a tough nut to crack. Seedhouse resorted to a drop goal attempt but hit the ball wide and then Shelley went close with a charge to the left corner on the half hour mark but Wednesbury scrambled the ball clear.

Seedhouse had two more kicks at goal as the penalty count mounted against the home side. He missed after 37 minutes but made it 11-0 going into time added on.

Shelley tried to set his side up for another try right on the break with 2 commanding line out takes but the resolute home defence held out.

A long overdue yellow card was issued to a Wednesbury player eight minutes into the second period but in his absence Burntwood still couldn’t find their way over the line.

On his return, the hosts mounted their first real attack of the game with an hour gone. A midfield thrust had the visitors back-peddling and it needed a fine cover tackle by Shelley to halt the danger.

Suitably encouraged, the hosts now camped in the Burntwood 22, mounting a series of driving mauls which were well-defended, eventually creating a turnover and clearance, only for the hosts to return again.

The pattern continued for 10 minutes before Seedhouse’s fine line kick forced Wednesbury back into their own 22. Amrit Derry took the line out to set up a driving maul from which Gozukucuk flew off the back to touch down from 15 metres.

An extended period of injury time brought more Wednesbury pressure but this time it was the visitors who were up to the task to preserve their proud defensive record.

This Saturday (October 30) sees the last of the 3pm kick offs and Burntwood are in league action away to third placed Handsworth. The 2nds are at Stafford and the 3rds are away to Walsall 3rds – both fixtures being in their respective Merit Tables.

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