A Fantastic Day!
Two teams from Burton took the short journey to Lichfield on Saturday, to play in two Staffordshire cup finals.
Staffordshire Cup Final 29/04/17
The Burton Colts beat Stafford Colts 17- 8 in the first match so it was incumbent on the senior team to try and make it a double.
Longton are in the next league up from Burton so it was always going to be a tough match. Burton started brightly and with a good run from the backs got into the Longton 22 and won a penalty because the tackler did not roll away. Dave Archer kicked the goal. From the restart Burton again got into Longton territory and forced another penalty for the same offence. Archer again took the three points.
Longton then got into the game and won a penalty of their own which they kicked for the corner. From the ensuing lineout their pack drove over for the first try which was converted to put them into the lead.
The level five side now started to exert pressure but some great scrambled defence by Burton kept them out. Burton were eventually able to get back into the Longton half and some slick passing by the backs produced an overlap for winger Chaz Bunting who ran around to score under the posts. Archer again added the extra points. To make the score at half time Burton 13 Longton 7.
From the restart Burton showed their intention to try and play in the Longton end of the field with a brilliant clearance kick by fly half Harry Titley which went from one 22 to the other. However Longton got themselves out of trouble through their hard driving forwards and their fast backs. Despite some good tackling, Burton were unable to prevent them scoring two tries, one of which was converted.
They then got into the Burton half again and from a line out drove the ball to the line for their third try of the half. With Longton now being two scores ahead many of the travelling Burton supporters thought the game was lost. However the Burton players showed fantastic team spirit, all supporting each other and covering each other’s mistakes. The forwards made a great drive up the field and recycled the ball quickly. Jack Neal finding himself on the wing crashed in at the corner. Billy Peach, on for the injured Archer, added the two points with a great kick from the touch line. The score was now Burton 20, Longton 24.
The big Longton pack were now tiring having been run around the field by the more mobile Burton forwards and the quick backs, so Burton started to push them back in the set scrums. Burton one a penalty in front of the posts and having previously pushed the Longton scrum backwards, they chose a scrum instead of taking the three points on offer. They pushed the Longton scrum over the line with number eight Kelvin Browne getting the touch down for a well deserved try. Peach added the two extra points.
Burton then managed the last minutes of the game well with some great kicks to the corner by Titley. Longton for some reason instead of clearing their lines kept trying to run out of defence but some good tackling kept them penned in. When they eventually got up the field they were awarded a penalty but there was no time for a lineout so they took a tap. They were then awarded another penalty but the touch Judge had spotted some foul play at the ruck so the referee reversed the penalty. Titley kicked the ball over the touch line to end a very exiting match in which the lead changed several times but with Burton being worthy winners over the higher level club. The final score was Burton 27- Longton 24.
By Nick Counter