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Burntwood RUFC turn on the style to see off Handsworth

Burntwood RUFC collected their sixth league win of the season against Handsworth – and it was undoubtedly the best one so far.

Ben Holt darts through a gap. Pic: Joanne Gough

Ben Holt darts through a gap. Pic: Joanne Gough

For the second consecutive home game they passed 60 points. The last one was against bottom side Eccleshall but this one was against fourth placed opposition.

In front of a sizeable turnout of club Patrons and spectators, the visitors kicked off but suffered a double blow inside the first two minutes. They had to replace a player due to injury and then went behind following a penalty award against them. Sam Lloyd put his side in great field position down the touchline for a line out. Josh Canning’s catch was driven on by the forwards for Luke Rookyard to touch down for the only unconverted try of the game.

Lloyd’s penalty goal attempt went right of the posts after ten minutes and then there was a delay whilst Handsworth lost a second player due to a leg injury.

Sean Latham on the run. Pic: Joanne Gough

Sean Latham on the run. Pic: Joanne Gough

Within three minutes Burntwood moved further ahead. Full back Tom O’Brien collected a kick downfield to launch an attack. Good passing released Ben Holt who sliced through to the line for a try converted by Aza Dunet.

The hosts were able to remain in the opposition half when the restart kick went directly into touch. After Dan Garrity went close from a chip and chase, Dunet sped to the line for a try which he also converted.

Dunet also added a penalty goal to his tally on the half hour mark before Handsworth finally tested the home defence. They were kept out until the 39th minute when they took advantage of an injury to Holt in the build-up. The gap left by the centre was exploited by the Handsworth No 5 who went on a barnstorming run to the clubhouse corner for a try which was excellently converted.

Inspired by their score, Handsworth drove downfield from the restart. They kicked a penalty award to the left corner to earn another penalty but the kick at goal sailed wide to leave the half time score at 22-7.

The bonus point try was not long in coming after the turnaround. Good approach play saw Dave Ward go close to the line then Canning was there in support to take the ball over the whitewash under the posts. Lloyd converted.

The visitors responded well to take play deep into the home half but when they tried to run a penalty award the ball was spilled and the danger was cleared.

Josh Canning bursts through a tackle. Pic: Joanne Gough

Josh Canning bursts through a tackle. Pic: Joanne Gough

On 51 minutes line out possession was moved wide for Holt to work a switch pass with Neil Holden and the winger’s pacey and elusive run took him round to the posts to score. Lloyd converted.

When Handsworth threatened again close to the hour mark Luke Rookyard intercepted to break over halfway. He fed brother Owen who ran in unopposed for a try converted by Lloyd.

This was the first of four converted tries in the final quarter. Luke Rookyard went over for his second of the game on 63 minutes following good build-up play. From the restart a superb passing movement saw Dunet go in for his second try.

The scoring was rounded off in the last minute when good support play saw Owen Rookyard become the third player to notch a brace of tries. Lloyd converted all three, his last being the final kick of the game.

On a good day for the club, the 2nds won away against Handsworth 2nds and the 3rds defeated Shrewsbury 3rds at home.

With no league or cup fixtures for the 1st XV next Saturday, the spotlight falls on the 2nds away to Essington and the 3rds at home to Bloxwich 2nds.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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