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Burntwood RUFC 41 Uttoxeter RUFC 17


Burntwood's Hal Gozukucuk tries to burst through a tackle. Pic: Joanne Gough

Burntwood RUFC find themselves at the top of the table following this win and Newcastle’s postponed trip to Bishop’s Castle.

They ran in six tries to earn the bonus point but will be disappointed at gifting the opposition all their points.

Both sides took a while to settle – their causes not helped by conceding penalties. Jack Neal distinguished himself with a solid tackle to halt the first threat by the visitors but lock forward partner Halil Gozukucuk got himself sin-binned on 16 minutes.

This didn’t stop Burntwood from mounting their best attack of the early stages three minutes later. Ben Holt, Matt Wood and Mitch Adams all featured but the ball was eventually knocked on.

The hosts began to get on top prompted by Craig Seedhouse’s chip through. It was Uttoxeter’s turn to knock on close to their own line then they infringed at the scrum. Burntwood chose to scrum again and skipper Graham Shelley finished off the pushover effort for the opening score. Wood converted.

Back came Gozukucuk only for Shelley and the Uttoxeter loose head prop to replace him in the bin.

Nearing half time, Holt broke and fired a long pass out to Adams who was brought down five metres from the line. Uttoxeter won the line out but Gozukucuk ripped the ball clear to drive over for the second try.  Wood converted and then kicked a penalty to put his side 17 points ahead.

In time added on, Dan Garrity made a good mark to deny Uttoxeter and then Ollie Whitehouse broke into opposition territory with Tom Restall following up but the move ended in a penalty against.

Burntwood continued to press after the restart. Winger Adams had already gone close before he finished off a flowing move in the visitors’ 22 just four minutes in.

Four minutes later another promising home move ended when Wood threw an interception pass on the Uttoxeter ten metre line and their left winger was away for a converted try under the posts.

Mark Poole tries to break through the line for Burntwood RUFC. Pic: Joanne Gough

Mark Poole tries to break through the line for Burntwood RUFC. Pic: Joanne Gough

Neal, Mark Poole and Gozukucuk combined well to offer the next threat but the visitors’ defence scrambled the ball away. Another flowing move was halted for a harshly-awarded forward pass but with Uttoxeter guilty of feeding at the scrum, skipper Shelley sent his brother Lloyd in for the bonus try from the tapped penalty.

This 20 point lead was halved between the 70th and 75th minutes. A dropped pass was run in for a converted try and then a penalty gave Uttoxeter the sniff of a bonus point.However, two converted tries in time added on took care of that.

The first came via a well-controlled, close range scrum. Graham Shelley tried to get over again but when stopped, Adams moved the ball left for Lloyd Shelley to go in unopposed. Wood converted.

The final score was almost a carbon copy but this time when Adams fed out he found Whitehouse who put Wood in for a well-taken try. Wood’s conversion rounded off proceedings.

Burntwood have the chance to give themselves breathing space over third placed Moseley Oak when they travel to Billesley Common this Saturday (November 20) for their next league match. The 2nds are away to Willenhall 2nds and the 3rds host Eccleshall 2nds.

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