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Burntwood RUFC second in the table after bonus point victory at Telford

Burntwood RUFC moved clear in second place in the table after a bonus point win at Telford and Cleobury Mortimer’s loss at Handsworth.

At one point Sean Latham’s side led 18-3 but it needed two late tries to seal their sixth league win on the trot.

In contrast to the murky weather conditions which deteriorated the longer the game went on, the visitors made a bright start to take play into the opposition 22. They showed their ambition by kicking a penalty award to the right corner inside the first two minutes.

The first attempt at a catch and drive was pulled down at the cost of another penalty which was again kicked into touch for a close range line out. This time there was no stopping Luke Rookyard who went over in the corner to put his side ahead on three minutes.

Errors deep inside their own half allowed the hosts to launch their first attack but having lost one opportunity with a forward pass, the Telford backs then had a pass intercepted on halfway by Neil Holden who sped to the line for a gift try.

At this stage of the game Telford began conceding regular penalties. Sam Lloyd sent a great kick to the left corner from one award on 17 minutes. A rolling maul from the line out possession was finished off by skipper Latham for Burntwood’s third try.

Determined play by the hosts from the restart earned them a penalty goal for their first points but it was quickly cancelled out by one from Lloyd following a storming run by Rookyard which almost took him over the try line.

The penalty count now mounted against Burntwood. A kick at goal was wide of the target after 26 minutes. Another was kicked to the corner which cost Sean Brennan ten minutes in the sin bin. Telford went for the catch and drive option from the subsequent penalty and they mauled their way over for a converted try for 18-10.

A midfield tussle ensued up to the break until Telford lost a player to a yellow card. The penalty award was kicked to the corner but the line out wasn’t taken and the score remained 18-10 at the turnaround.

The hosts had two unsuccessful kicks at goal early in the second period but it was Burntwood who extended their lead with a bonus point try. The forwards drove the ball well allowing Lloyd to kick deep to the right corner. Billy Fisher went close to a try on debut but it was Adam Black following up who rolled over for his first try for the first XV.

With the steady drizzle turning into constant rain, Burntwood found it difficult to get out of their own half when pinned deep by a penalty kick downfield. Their defence held out to repel the first close range drives for the line but on 65 minutes the hosts controlled a five metre scrum to steadily drive over for a try which was excellently converted and it was game on at 23-17.

Lloyd relieved further pressure with a deep kick after Brennan stole line out possession. Then Tom O’Brien made good ground to finally take play into Telford territory.

With six minutes left, the forwards mounted a series of drives up to the home line before Brett Taylor ducked and dived his way over for the clinching try.

For good measure he added another right on the final whistle when his deep kick to the right corner was fumbled and he was up quickly to touch down.

On an off day for the place kickers, albeit in difficult conditions, there were no conversions for Lloyd or Aza Dunet.

Burntwood 2nds lost their merit table game at home to Tamworth 2nds 20-7.

Burntwood complete the first half of their league programme with the visit of Uttoxeter to The Sportsway this Saturday – kick off 2.15pm. The 2nd XV travel to face Wolverhampton 3rds.

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