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Burntwood RUFC unable to derail Shrewsbury’s winning run

Burntwood RUFC were unable to prevent Shrewsbury from extending their wining streak to ten matches – a run which began with a victory in the reverse fixture back at the end of November.

The visitors proved to be a classy side who took their chances well against the hosts who fought hard but eventually ran out of steam.

Ian Jones’ team defended the clubhouse end in the first half with the crossfield wind favouring the visitors. They worked hard, keeping the ball close to the fringes, to make progress into opposition territory. They won a penalty on eight minutes which Will Peach slotted to open the scoring.

An infringement by the hosts gave Shrewsbury the opportunity to launch a lively and direct attack which ended with the scrum half touching down near the posts for a converted try after 13 minutes.

Burntwood worked their way slowly upfield again but when they turned the ball over they were only saved by a spilled try-scoring pass, one of several handling errors by the visitors in the first quarter.

Peach had a second kick at goal when the visitors infringed and were then marched back ten metres but his attempt was off target.

Shrewsbury pulled further ahead with their second converted try on 33 minutes. They built pressure in the bottom corner from a catch and drive at a line out which cost a yellow card for Dave Yardley. The scrum option was taken at the penalty award, not surprisingly, and the depleted home scrum was driven over their own line for the score.

Peach was wide with another penalty kick, given for a deliberate knock on, but it was Shrewsbury who should have increased their lead before the break. First they wasted an overlap by throwing the final pass into touch. Then the ball was knocked on before being held up over the line.

Peach had an early chance in the second period to peg the visitors back with a penalty kick but unusually he was off target again. With Yardley back on, the home scrum was working well but any errors were being seized on by a promotion-hungry Shrewsbury.

The visitors’ full back collected a kick over halfway and ran it back, darting right then left clean through heavy midfield traffic for a fine individual try plus conversion.

Shrewsbury stepped up a gear, looking for their tenth consecutive bonus point win. Burntwood lost a centre to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle and only a foot in touch prevented the fourth try. However, numbers were evened up when the guests had a player yellow carded with 54 minutes gone. Burntwood won a scrum against the put in to relieve the pressure.

A strong run by Gareth Williams had the visitors retreating. His burst earned a penalty which was tapped but possession was turned over, a feature of Burntwood’s play whenever they were close to the Shrewsbury try line.

Ben Tranter showed his paces down the right touchline on the hour mark. Possession was moved to the left wing for Nick Peplow to go close. The move cost the visitors another player to the sin bin and this time Burntwood capitalised.

Line out ball was caught and driven then a slick pass from Peach to Zak Shingler saw the hooker score in the clubhouse corner for 8-21.

Aza Dunet ran the restart kick back but his chip ahead was collected by the No. 7 who fed his right winger who was away for a try in the top corner. An excellent conversion compounded the damage.

Tranter made good ground again but his pass inside out of the tackle missed its target and the Shrewsbury full back, a quick and elusive runner, took play back into home territory. A penalty goal extended the visitors’ lead.

The final try followed some scrappy play by both sides. With the hosts wilting, some weak tackling allowed the right winger to score again. The conversion attempt was missed when the ball toppled off the tee.

Burntwood’s late attempt at a consolation score was ended when Peach and Luke Rookyard combined in the clubhouse corner but the ball was bundled into touch.

Meanwhile, the Burntwood A XV was denied a run out when Wolverhampton 3rds cried off but the third string thumped Handsworth 3rds 58-0 at home.

This Saturday (March 15) Burntwood have a re-arranged league fixture at home to Market Drayton – kick off 3pm.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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