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Burntwood RUFC battle to complete double over Newcastle

Burntwood RUFC completed the double over Newcastle but this was a game they had to win twice before securing the league points.

Having led 16-0 at half time and 19-7 early in the second period, the sides were locked at 22 points each with 64 minutes gone. It took a penalty goal by Will Peach, his sixth success from seven penalty attempts, plus a superb try-saving tackle close to the final whistle from replacement winger Elliot Woolley to deny Newcastle.

On an ideal pitch for running rugby, it was the home side which made the better start. They spent the opening 15 minutes in Burntwood territory but it was the visitors who scored first against the run of play and what a score it was.

Lloyd Shelley won turnover possession on his own 22. The ball was moved wide quickly to full back Brett Taylor who released winger Aza Dunet. He bounced off his opposite number and set off down the left touchline deep into the home half before passing inside to Ben Holt who scored under the posts for a contender for try of the season.

Peach converted and then put his side further ahead with the first of his penalty goals which went in off the post. With Burntwood now having turned the tide he was presented with two more opportunities in the 22nd and 28th minutes to establish a 16 point lead.

The home kicker had two chances to reduce the arrears before the break but he was right of the target with his first and then fell short with a second kick from long range.

If Burntwood thought they had won the game already they were soon made to think otherwise. The hosts received the second half restart kick and fed their left winger who streaked away for a fine individual try from halfway out. The conversion was also added to put Newcastle right back in the contest.

Just two minutes later Peach was on target from the tee again but the hosts crept closer with their second try just five minutes into the half. First, they went close from a catch and drive at a line out then from the ensuing scrum the scrum half nipped round the blind side for a try in the corner.

Peach landed his fifth penalty goal, awarded for a scrummage offence, but on the hour, an overthrown line out ball gifted possession to Newcastle and the left winger was away down the touchline again. His pass back inside was moved further right to create an overlap for their third try.

The scores were levelled just four minutes later. The hosts loaded the left side of a scrum 25 metres from their own line but they ran to the right to create a three on two. A dummy by the winger took him over the line for a cracking try.

Peach missed his first kick at goal from the restart but his side spent time in the home half, helped by the hosts conceding a succession of penalties. With seven minutes of normal time left, Peach edged his side ahead with his easiest chance of the day from directly infront of the posts to complete a 20 point personal tally.

With time nearly up it was Woolley to the rescue when he put in a great tackle to deny the Newcastle right winger.

Then in the third minute of added time, Holt was able to kick and chase deep into the home half to force a line out but there was no time to take it as the final whistle sounded.

Special mention to replacement prop Ryan Palij who had his first outing since the start of the season and shored up a creaking Burntwood scrum to good effect.

The A XV also won their merit table fixture at home to Burton 3rds and to complete a successful weekend for the club the U17s won the Staffordshire Plate Final 38-0 on Sunday against a Staffordshire Barbarians side at St Leonards RFC. They ran in seven tries on the way to lifting the trophy.

This Saturday (March 8) Burntwood face another tough test when they welcome promotion-chasing Shrewsbury to The Sportsway. It is also the club’s Patrons’ Day with a pre-match meal for Patrons and guests from 12.30 with the kick off at 3pm. The A XV travel to play Wolverhampton 3rds and the Development Squad are due to host Handsworth 3rds.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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