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Burntwood RUFC beaten in Stafford friendly after cup walkover

A last minute change of plans meant Burntwood RUFC squared off against Stafford in a friendly fixture.

The Sportsway side progressed to the third round of the RFU Senior Vase without playing a match in the competition yet. Having received a bye in the opening stage, they were awarded a home walk over when Kings Norton called the fixture off due to an injury crisis.

Stafford had also made it into the next round of the RFU Intermediate Cup competition when Nuneaton Old Edwardians cried off so, at late notice, the two Staffordshire sides met for this friendly that saw Burntwood beaten 15-33 by the visitors.

Both defences were tested in the opening quarter but the game remained scoreless. An intricate move by the home backs almost worked but the final pass didn’t go to hand.

However, on 20 minutes Will Peach put his side three points ahead with a penalty goal after the Stafford backs were caught offside.

Just three minutes later the visitors took the lead when their No. 13 chipped the ball over half way. He caught his own kick and sped in under the posts for a converted try.

Craig Seedhouse went close for Burntwood on 27 minutes. It needed a good tackle to deny his darting run five metres from the line.

The last five minutes of the half proved decisive to the outcome. The visitors began to assert themselves and were rewarded with a pushover try near the clubhouse corner which was converted for 14-3.

Then five minutes into added time, Stafford scored a third converted try. Despite their backs grounding as pass on their own 10 metre line, the full back recovered possession to outpace two defenders for a fine individual try under the posts.

The visitors pulled well clear with another converted try in the first minute of the second period courtesy of good offloading and some weak home tackling.

Much to their credit, against opposition from a league above, Ian Jones’ side fought back to gain a foothold in Stafford territory. Peach was unlucky not to score when he stretched over the line only to lose possession of the ball after 51 minutes.

It proved only a temporary setback as two minutes later Burntwood managed to reduce the arrears. Danny Poole, enjoying another dynamic game, drove forward to set up a ruck. The ball was moved to Ben Holt and he glided through a gap on an arcing run for fine try converted by Peach.

Stafford scored their final try with ten minutes left as the weather conditions deteriorated. An infringement allowed the Stafford kicker to punt to the corner and a catch and drive try was the result.

Back came the home side and Graham Shelley made the scoreline more respectable when he drove over the line following a close range scrum with three minutes left.

A bonus for the hosts was the return to action of Rob Cartwright who made a real impact when he came off the bench for the second half.

Burntwood resume league action with a trip to Edwardians this Saturday (October 26). Coach travel is provided. Contact the clubhouse for more details. The A XV host Leek 2nds and the Development Squad play away to Spartans 3rd XV – both fixtures being friendlies.

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