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Burntwood RUFC Colts suffer narrow semi-final defeat against Burton

Burntwood RUFC’s Colts went into this semi-final tie as underdogs against a Burton side which had just lost to Nuneaton in the Leicestershire U19s Cup Final earlier in the week. However, the local lads pushed the visitors all the way in a cracking contest.

It looked like Burton’s pedigree would tell from as early as the 3rd minute when they went five points up. Their forwards recycled possession well to send a prop forward over in the clubhouse corner. However, the move cost them their inside centre who suffered a leg injury and had to be replaced.

The hosts performed mainly defensive duties for the first quarter but two good touchfinders from penalty awards by Aza Dune’t finally gave Burntwood their first attacking threat after 23 minutes.

They won a five metre line out but the ball was knocked on. They stole possession at the resulting scrum but committed another handling error which allowed the visitors to half clear.

Full back Rob Jones fielded the ball and broke left to send Elliott Tomlinson on the charge. Burton infringed and Dune’t kicked the penalty, a superb effort five metres in from the left touchline.

The hosts, having turned the tide, won another penalty after 32 minutes but this time Dune’t’s kick, from a similar position, was just off target.

From the drop out, Craig Heath seized possession and made a great 20 metre run before offloading for what looked like a good try but the final pass was adjudged forward by referee Sarah Toll.

The second period followed a similar pattern to the first. Burton opened strongly but the home defence was up to the challenge this time to keep the visitors out.

In fact, it was the home side which came closest to scoring a try following another good kick to touch by Dune’t after 8 minutes. Possession was won at the line out and with the forwards driving towards the posts they were guilty of a side entry which allowed Burton to clear.

Another penalty award took Burton into the home 22 and led to their second try. A good line out catch and drive was the prelude to a swift backs’ move which ended with the winger crossing in the right corner 13 minutes in.

More penalties to Burton put Burntwood back in their own half but a good burst by Matt Ford relieved the pressure by taking play up to halfway.

Going into the last 10 minutes, it was the home side which looked most likely to score again. A good drive prompted by livewire scrum half Jack Butcher and continued by Tomlinson earned a penalty on the visitors’ 10 metre line. Dune’t’s excellent kick just dipped below the bar.

Another pick and drive by the home pack took play up to the posts but yet another infringement cost them and the danger was cleared.

Dune’t set up a tense finale when he landed his second penalty goal with five minutes of play left.

At the restart the hosts ran the ball back into Burton territory via Jones, Luke Gunther and Lewis Aston only to end with a knock on.

Burntwood had one last chance to clinch the winner when they were awarded a penalty which Dune’t kicked to touch 25 metres out. Burton forced the ball into touch from the line out and that was game over.

Burntwood drew one piece of consolation from the tie when they learned that they will host the Staffs Colts Cup and Plate Finals on April 28.

This Saturday (April 13) Burntwood resume league action with a trip to Newcastle (Staffs) who currently sit second in the table. The 2nd team host Burton B.

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