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Burntwood RUFC 44 Bishop’s Castle & Onny Valley RUFC 10

Craig Seedhouse goes over. Pic: Joanne Gough

Craig Seedhouse goes over. Pic: Joanne Gough

Burntwood RUFC strengthened their position at the top of the table at the expense of basement side Bishop’s Castle.

It wasn’t all plain sailing on a muddy surface but they ran in seven tries to boost their points tally.

The first threat of the game came from the visitors after a misfield in the home 22  but the pack recovered the situation to win a scrum against the put in five metres out – a sign of things to come as the home forwards went on to dominate their opponents.

Burntwood’s first attack caught Bishop’s Castle offside after eight minutes and Matt Wood put his side 3 points up with a well-struck penalty goal.

With Graham Shelley’s men battling for control, the visitors repeatedly infringed and they lost a player to the sin bin by the 21st minute. It took just three minutes to capitalise on their advantage. Ollie Whitehouse broke through centre field following a tapped penalty. He was supported by skipper Shelley. The ball was moved out to the left and Craig Seedhouse ignored the overlap to cut inside for the try.

Just before the carded player returned, Bishop’s Castle suffered further punishment when Matt Sishton and Seedhouse combined well to put Ben Holt in for the second try of the afternoon.

In time added on at the end of the first half, Burntwood increased their lead with a try from Hal Gozukucuk who powered over from 5 metres after the visitors’ defence had been stretched left and right. Wood converted for 20-0 although there was time for Bishop’s Castle to get off the mark with a penalty before the break.

Gozukucuk was in the thick of the action early in the second period, breaking forcefully down the left wing before offloading to Rob Cartwright who touched down but had the try harshly ruled out for a forward pass.

It proved only a temporary respite for the visitors as skipper Shelley won a line out and the pack drove over for that man Gozukucuk to notch the bonus point try by the 47th minute.

It may have been that Burntwood felt that the job was done but to their credit, Bishop’s Castle hit back with a 15 minute spell of pressure during which a penalty attempt was just off target and twice they were forced into touch close to the left corner flag. The pressure eventually told with a try under the posts which was converted.

This served to prod the home side back into action to score three more tries in the final quarter.

Whitehouse went close in the right corner before Burntwood’s dominance in the set scrums led to a pushover try for Graham Shelley.

The next followed a kick return by Sishton and Wood who took play back into the visitors’ half. Holt held the ball up well to create an opening for Seedhouse who had a clean run to the posts for his second try of the afternoon. Wood converted.

Another Gozukucuk drive produced a scrum 10 metres out with four minutes left and Shelley notched his second try of the game as his pack shunted their opponents over their own line. Wood converted to complete the scoring.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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