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Opposition injury overshadows Burntwood RUFC’s opening day victory

The opening of the new season provided a day of mixed emotions for players and spectators at The Sportsway.

After a hugely entertaining first half which produced all the scoring, including seven tries in this 38-12 encounter, the second period was over after just eight minutes when play was halted due to a severe leg injury to a Wednesbury player.

A double tackle on Lee French produced an ominous crack which was later confirmed as a broken leg. Players, officials and supporters at Burntwood wish Lee a speedy recovery.

By then, the visitors had already used their quota of replacements and so confirmed with referee Sarah Toll that they would concede the tie with the result standing as it was.

It was a sad end in more ways than one as both sides had scored superb tries in the first half to entertain a big opening day crowd and more were expected after the turnaround.

For a side short on tries last season, Burntwood managed five in the first half with Ben Holt recording a hat trick in the first half hour.

Their much changed line up, with four players making their senior debuts and two more on the bench, began well, keeping play in the opposition 22. A series of neat passes in midfield set Holt through a gap and his dummy pass took him under the posts for a 3rd minute try converted by Aza Dunet.

Just five minutes later and Holt was in again following another swift handling move. Unfortunately, Dunet, who provided the scoring pass, was injured and forced off the field leaving the simple conversion to Will Peach on debut. James Langford made a welcome return to first team action as replacement for Dunet.

Peach extended the lead with a penalty goal before another player making his senior competitive debut, Danny Poole, back from a spell with Walsall, launched himself off the back of a rolling maul for a try. Peach converted to keep the scoring rate at a point a minute.

Wednesbury hit back immediately from their 24 point deficit with a fine try down the left touchline to cross in the clubhouse corner. An excellent conversion was added and then they were in again just three minutes later.

This time a continuous handling move involving backs and forwards carried play two thirds the length of the field for a try under the posts. Amazingly, the conversion attempt struck a post and bounced wide but the deficit had been halved in just a few minutes.

Holt completed his hat trick on the half hour when he collected a clever grub kick through by Peach who also added the conversion.

Five minutes from half time the impressive Jack Neal and Poole drove up the right side of the field before feeding the three quarters. Holt turned provider to send Langford away for a try by the posts which Peach converted for an 11 point haul on his debut.

There was no score early in the second period as both sides seemed to catch their breath and then came the injury much to the disappointment of everyone concerned.

This Saturday (September 14) the teams meet again to open their Midlands 3 West North campaigns – kick off at The Sportsway is 3pm. The second string travel in the opposite direction and the thirds host Essington 2nds – both Merit Table fixtures.

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