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Home record goes as Burntwood RUFC are beaten by Cleobury Mortimer

Burntwood RUFC surrendered their unbeaten home league record along with second place in the table to Cleobury Mortimer.

The Shropshire side completed the double over Sean Latham’s outfit, the only team which will be able to do so this season.

After a closely fought contest the sides shared four tries. The hosts led 12-10 at the break but Cleobury edged home with the only scores of the second half, a converted try on 59 minutes.

As the game began, so did the rain which didn’t help either side, particularly Burntwood who were guilty of a variety of errors. The visitors had the better of the opening 15 minutes to keep play in the home half. An overthrown Burntwood put in at a line out close to their own line put themselves under pressure which cost them a penalty goal after 12 minutes to open the scoring.

The hosts hit back five minutes later with a try in their first meaningful attack. Possession was moved left then right for Ben Holt to beat his opposite number and feed Rob Jones who touched down in corner.

Whilst the unforced error count reduced, Burntwood still conceded penalties and Cleobury retook the lead on 22 minutes. They kicked to the right corner to go for the catch and drive option which they controlled well to touch down. The successful conversion made it 5-10.

Back came the hosts on 30 minutes aided by stealing possession at a Cleobury scrum to win a penalty which was kicked to the clubhouse corner. A series of close range drives was finished off by Luke Rookyard who stretched through a pile of bodies to score a try converted by Sam Lloyd.

They had chances to increase their two point lad before the break but having kicked a penalty award to the right corner they missed the line out catch and then, having taken another Cleobury scrum, they won a penalty on the 22 but Lloyd was just off target with his kick at goal.

The crucial score came close to the hour mark after play had become a midfield tussle. A penalty provided the visitors with good field position with a kick to the right corner. The Burntwood defence held to concede a scrum but then another penalty. A quick tap sucked in the cover before a Cleobury forward squeezed over in the corner. A fine conversion took the visitors five points clear.

Try as they might to come back again, Burntwood committed too many handling errors to make real headway. The nearest either side came to changing the scoreline in the time remaining were two penalty kicks at goal by Cleobury. The first from 30 metres was just left of the target on 75 minutes. The second, following a charged down 22 drop out three minutes later, was easier but the ball sailed left again so at least Burntwood gained a losing bonus point to ease some of their disappointment.

The 2nd XV played a friendly away to Barton-u-Needwood and lost out to a strong home line-up.

There is no league game this Saturday for Burntwood; they resume on February 11 with a trip to Eccleshall. On February 4 the 2nds are due to face Walsall 3rds (away) and the 3rds also travel to play St Leonards 2nds.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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