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Unconvincing display sees Burntwood RUFC continue unbeaten start

Burntwood preserved their unbeaten start to the season in only their second home match of the campaign but their performance was far from convincing in a 20-18 win against Shrewsbury.

They never really established a platform to work off and both of their tries were breakouts from their own half.

Burntwood had the ideal start with a converted try after just two minutes but basic handling errors plus losing the ball in contact prevented the home side from imposing their game plan for any sustained periods.

Shrewsbury were on the attack from their kick off, forcing the hosts back to their own 22. Matt Sishton made a good tackle and then the forwards turned the ball over to launch Graham Shelley on a strong run.

He reached the visitors’ 10 metre line before feeding skipper Rob Cartwright. He found Craig Seedhouse in support and the centre dummied his way over the line for a super try. Aaron Dunet kicked the conversion.

The visitors responded well, testing the home defence in their own half and then camping in the Burntwood 22. Jack Neal rescued one tricky situation by dropping on a grubber kick through which allowed the ball to be cleared.

On the half hour the pressure eventually told. From a five metre scrum the ball was worked into midfield and then back to the right for a try near the corner flag.

This stung Burntwood into action from the restart. The forwards recycled the ball repeatedly up to the Shrewsbury 22 and when the visitors were caught offside Dunet obliged with the penalty goal.

With the first half nearly up and the hosts playing better, they went further ahead. Sishton fielded a kick just inside his own half to set up a counter attack involving Ben Holt and Seedhouse.

The ball reached Shelley who thundered down the right touchline before surprising everyone with a crossfield kick. A Shrewsbury defender was caught in possession by Luke Rookyard who robbed him to dive over for a try which was converted by Dunet.

There was still time for the visitors to reply before the half time whistle. A series of five metre drives eventually brought reward with a try near the posts seven minutes into time added on. The conversion made the half time score 17-12.

The deficit was reduced six minutes into the second period courtesy of a penalty and the hosts were fortunate that an easier kick eight minutes later struck the left post and stayed left.

Nearly all the play was in home territory for half an hour. The only time Burntwood threatened led to a moment of controversy. Winger Nick Peplow raced away down the left touchline. He kicked over the last defender who then brought him down. Expecting a penalty try, the home camp were disappointed to be awarded only a penalty although the Shrewsbury player was sin binned.

Burntwood made little of their man advantage as play remained in their own half. They were shoved off a scrum on 72 minutes and then conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to go into a one point lead with a penalty goal.

Again, Burntwood hit back straight away. Sishton and Shelley featured in a good attack from the restart, forcing Shrewsbury to infringe infront of their posts. Dunet put his side back into the lead, a lead which they managed to preserve until the final whistle.

This Saturday Burntwood play their first game in the RFU Senior Vase Competition, having been given a bye in the First Round. They welcome Belper to The Sportsway for a 2.30pm kick off. Fixtures for the 2nds and Development squad are TBA.

Burntwood host a Halloween event for their mini/youth section on Friday (October 19) and a week later on October 26 popular singer Marie Neal provides entertainment in the clubhouse in a night not to be missed.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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