After last Saturday’s league results, Burntwood guaranteed themselves 2nd place in the table and now know that 5 points from their last 2 league games will see them overhaul current leaders Moseley Oak and seal the Midlands 3 West North title.
The Birmingham side completed their league programme with a win and yet another bonus point and must now sit and wait for Burntwood to finish their campaign, beginning with a home midweek game against Wednesbury on Wednesday, 27th April. Their final match is at Eccleshall 3 days later.
The fixture against Telford was a very stop-start affair which required a total of 17 minutes of added time, mainly due to injuries to visiting players. Despite the perfect playing conditions, errors by both sides prevented any real flow to the contest.
Telford arrived with an impressive looking line-up which belied their lowly position in the league. They took a home scrum and then turned Burntwood possession over at a ruck shortly afterwards to show they meant business.
However, Craig Seedhouse put his side in good field position with a fine line kick into the visitors’ 22. Promising moves through the pack featuring Graham Shelley, Mark Poole, Rob Cartwright, Lloyd Shelley and Jack Neale kept play deep in Telford territory but it took a penalty by Matt Wood to open the scoring after 18 minutes.
Burntwood continued to press after the restart, this time through the backs. Wood, Ben Holt and Mitch Adams made progress but Adams was well tackled when seemingly away near the right corner flag.
Another Telford infringement allowed Wood to make it 6-0 and then on the half hour Burntwood’s best attack so far produced the first try. John Haire, Poole, Brett Taylor and skipper Shelley linked well to set up a ruck in the Telford 22 from which Lloyd Shelley broke through centre field to stretch over the try line.
There was a lengthy injury delay before Wood converted to make it 13-0.
Play was more even up to half time with both sides probing for openings but disciplined defence by the hosts combined with handling errors from both teams kept the scoreline unchanged.
This was not the case straight after the break as Wood kicked his 3rd penalty goal. Then Lloyd Shelley forced play in the Telford 22 only for support players to infringe.
The visitors responded with good play by their backs either side of the hour mark. They seemed to have crossed the line at one point but an unsighted referee awarded a scrum rather than a try which Burntwood then stole to clear their lines.
High kicks were proving troublesome for Telford whose back 3 were looking into the sun. One kick by Wood was fumbled to present his side with a 5 metre scrum. The first attempt at a pushover try was knocked on but the home pack regained possession at the next scrum for Lloyd Shelley to sneak round and under for the try after an initial drive by his brother Graham.
Telford hit back immediately. They regained possession from the restart kick, won a penalty for a late tackle and kicked to the left corner. A catch and drive from the line out saw them off the mark with a try.
With normal time up, the visitors threatened the home line on a couple of occasions before finally scoring a 2nd try from close quarter forwards’ play. The missed conversion attempt concluded the contest.