Burn win to move into second
Burn’s closest rivals for a play-off spot slipped up this weekend and Burn took advantage as they beat Altrincham Kersal 42-21 at Ramsgreave Drive to edge up the table.
The steady rain made for slippy conditions and this resulted in an entertaining, but scrappy game at times. Burn dominated the first half, but a battling Kersal came back at them in the second period to make it a more competitive game.
From the start Burn had the better of the play and they were rewarded with the first of their six tries on 9 minutes. They were awarded a penalty, they elected to take a 5 metre scrum, the pack got a good shove on, the ball was well controlled enabling Corey Logan to crash over the try line. Phil Baines added the conversion. Kersal had an opportunity to respond on 13 minutes, but the penalty kick at goal was pulled to the left. Penalties and failure to clear their lines stunted Burn’s progress for a while, but a break from Phil Baines from just inside his own half seemed to spark Burn, the break ended with Corey Logan being held up over the line, but Burn had a 5 metre scrum. From the scrum Burn got another push on, as the Kersal pack were back peddling they were penalised resulting in a penalty try which took Burn’s lead to 14 nil. On the half hour mark Sean Hall and a Kersal flanker were sin binned for a scuffle. Burn began to really pressure their opponents and managed to score their third try on 36 minutes. They caught and drove from 10 metres out with Ed Sinclair in control of the ball as the packed crashed over the try line. Phil Baines added the extra points. Burn weren’t done for the half, as from the kick off the ball was recycled, Lawrence Nelson then made a break, he feed Corey Logan who made good ground before drawing the final defender and passing back inside to the supporting Nelson, he just managed to keep ahead of the recovering defenders to score under the posts. Again Phil Baines added the extra points. This try secured a bonus point and a 28 nil half time lead for Burn.
Much was in the middle of the park at the start of the second half, but Burn’s penalty count started to add up and on 49 minutes Kersal punished them with a try and conversion. The visitors had kicked a penalty to the corner, from the line out they drove on, the drive stalled a couple of times before regenerating which saw them bundle over the try line. Burn soon hit back, initial breaks from Sean Hall and Harry Pilkington took play into the Kersal half, Corey Logan then had a charge, he popped the ball off to Ben Corless, he thought he might make the try line, but was brought down just short, the ball was recycled and released to the backs, where Marc Maher showed enough strength to cross the line. Phil Baines added the conversion to make the score 35-7. Kersal responded strongly by scoring their second try and it wouldn’t please Burn, as the visitors caught and drove from the half way line, they kept on going and going, as they made it to 5 metres from the try line, the ball was then released to the backs, they drew the last defender enabling a score in the corner. The conversion was well kicked from the right-hand touchline. On 64 minutes Burn scored their sixth try, initially Burn caught and drove, as the drive stalled the ball was feed to the backs, Lawrence Nelson made a half break, the ball was recycled and Marc Maher’s pass put Luke Philippides into space and he had a clear run to score by the posts. This time Leon Fifield kicked the conversion. Another try was scored on 74 minutes, this time it was Kersal, again they demonstrated what a useful weapon the catch and drive is for them as they utilised this again to score their third try. The conversion was well kicked from the touch line. This made the score 42-21. Kersal hadn’t given up hope of a try bonus point, but despite their best efforts the game finished without any more points.
This was a competent performance from Burn rather than spectacular, but they will be delighted to secure all 5 points to move into the play-off spot and also reach the highest position ever held in the clubs history! Next week they couldn’t face a much tougher challenge to retain this place as they travel away to Vale of Lune.