Burntwood spent an hour of their weekend fixture wondering if they would be the first team to lose to Harborne this season.
The 14-8 scoreline was perilous until Josh Canning’s side blitzed their opponents with six tries in the final quarter to run out 54-8 winners.
The result leaves the visitors stuck at the bottom of the table while Burntwood climb a place to fifth.
The hosts began the match in similar style to where they had finished a week earlier away to Stafford with a converted try after just three minutes. Elliot Woolley made a strong run down the left flank before feeding Josh Massey who sprinted round behind the posts for Brett Taylor to convert.
Harborne spent considerable time in home territory after that early score, helped by the hosts conceding penalty awards. However, the Burntwood line out jumpers stole several put ins to deny a quick response.
It was scrummage ball which eventually saw them get off the mark. From 30 metres out, a sweetly executed move by the back division ended with a try in the left corner. The conversion attempt rebounded off an upright.
Woolley went close to extending Burntwood’s lead on the half-hour mark, but he just failed to hold Hal Gozukucuk’s offload. Within a minute, it needed a try-saving tackle by Kian Carter to preserve his side’s two point advantage.
It became a nine point lead right on half time. Gozukucuk’s charging run and a Ben Holt chip to the right corner provided good field position. With the line out won, the forwards drove at the line before the ball was moved wide and Josh Shepherd was round from the opposite wing to create the overlap and score unopposed. Taylor’s conversion made it 14-5 at the break.
Harborne pulled three points back with a penalty goal early in the second period. They were close to a second try on 55 minutes with a promising attack which ended with a forward pass – but that proved to be their last threat.
Three minutes later, Carter made a telling break before unselfishly passing to Shepherd for his second try. Taylor converted.
The bonus point try arrived on 65 minutes. Pat Bayliss won a close range line out and repeated drives at the line were finished off by skipper Canning. Taylor’s conversion attempt from wide out struck a post for his only miss of the afternoon.
Massey made it a try double on 74 minutes. Tom Shorrock’s driving run began the move and when Massey received possession on his own ten metre line he beat two defenders for a classic winger’s try.
If that was good, the next was even better as Burntwood went coast to coast for the score. They seemed to be in trouble behind their own scrum but Jack Butcher rescued possession. Carter and Massey combined to run the ball out of defence up to halfway. Woolley took over to carry close to the visitors’ line before Taylor went over for the try and conversion.
Gozukucuk made another powerful run to instigate the next attack from the restart. A series of phases were finished off by Luke Rookyard. From the next restart, replacement winger Ed Turton showed his paces with a run down the right touchline and a pass inside to Taylor for his second try and seventh conversion for a personal match haul of 24 points.
Burntwood 2nds travelled to face league leaders Burton 3rds and gave a good account of themselves, particularly in the second half, despite losing 29-7.
A youthful line-up found themselves pitted against a big, experienced side for the second week running and it told before the break as the hosts went 19-0 up courtesy of three tries and two conversions.
They added two more tries, but the visitors had the last say with a try by Josh Squire and conversion from skipper Craig Seedhouse as deserved reward for their battling play.
Seedhouse was player of the match for Burntwood closely followed by Tom Dawson and Sam Hull.
On Friday night, Burntwood Colts welcomed a Walsall Colts squad to The CCE Sportsway and enjoyed a 45-14 victory with tries from Sam Perrins (2), Tyler Masters, Riley Bailey, Harrison Ball, Tom Boswell and Alfie Broadhurst, who also added five conversions.
This weekend Burntwood face Old Saltleians in a re-arranged league fixture with the venue to be confirmed. The 2nds have a free week while the third team travel to Newcastle’s 4th side. Meanwhile, the colts travel to face Upton-on-Severn.