Burton Young Guns Fair Well
A blend of youth and experience saw Burton defeat Ludlow
Burton overcame yet another week of late changes to return to winning ways. Craig Dutton came into the pack at no8 and Matt Tivey made his long awaited return to action after a long lay off with injury in the front row, at long last youngsters, much to the delight of players and coaches, Matt Davies, Jack Champney and Ali Weedon were able to fill places on the replacements bench.
Heavy rain greeted the teams as Burton kicked off, but the initial Ludlow surge into the Burton half was snuffed out and Burton took the play into opposition territory with great work from the forwards. Burton’s game plan was to try and take the game to Ludlow up front as the match was played on a very narrow pitch.
A Burton lineout was taken well at the front by Josh Cartwright and driven on by the dominant Burton pack only to be unfortunately knocked when the maul broke down. As the match was settling down into this pattern, some great carries by the evergreen Charl Neethling and Joni Edwards allowed a great platform to release Lewis Brooks and Dave Archer to create panic in the Ludlow defence. With this panic came a penalty to Burton for hands in the rock, but Archer’s effort from far out drifted to the left of the posts.
From the resulting drop out, yet another series of great drives by Craig Dutton and Tivey set Burton on their way to camp in the Ludlow 22. Luke Peach, Dutton and Edwards combined to set the centres free with a long pass finding Archer who snaked his way to score a well worked try. Darryl Banton duly converted to make the score 7-0 after 9 minutes.
From the restart yet more good driving from the Burton pack took the ball into the opposition half only for the referee to penalise the Crofters for crossing. Ludlow then had a there best spell of the half with Burton relieving pressure once with an interception from Archer and a great touch finder from Luke Peach. From the lineout a great jump by the Ludlow front jumper resulted in a drive followed by a great kick and chase. At a scrum in the Burton 22 saw a great line was taken by the Ludlow fly half cutting through a couple of half hearted attempts to tackle him to score under the posts. A conversion followed to make the scores level 7-7 after 16 minutes.
Burton now stepped up to it for the rest of the half with strong scrimmaging before a Banton chip found touch 5 metres from the Ludlow line. From the resulting lineout pressure was applied to the Ludlow fly half by the Joe Briggs which meant the ball found touch in line with the previous. Lineout and duly won and Ludlow cleared to the Burton 22.
Burton won the lineout again, and probably the best move of the match led to carries from Chris Atchison and Edwards opening up the field and to create space for Brooks who jinked through the desperate defence to score, Banton converted to make score line 14-7 after 20minutes .
Ludlow kicked out on the full from the restart, and from the resulting scrum Ludlow emerged with the ball and kicked into the Burton half only to knock on. At the scrum bizarrely Ludlow were awarded a penalty for a deliberate wheel and there followed a series of penalties to Ludlow that finally took its toll with the Ludlow scrum half giving the home side some reward for their efforts with a long penalty kick being successful to bring the scores to 14-10 in Burtons favour.
This spurred Burton into action as the half came to its conclusion with Banton, Jon Philliskirk, Cartwright and Peach all getting involved to create yet another penalty to Burton with the Ludlow defence failing to release in the tackle, but a super strike from Archer narrowly missed.
A poor drop out from Ludlow gave Burton a great attacking platform and yet another solid scrum resulted in a blind side break from Banton linking well with Philliskirk and from the breakdown ,quick ball was released and Peach shipped the ball to Cartwright who released Archer to race over the try line to score in the corner taking the score to 19-10 after 38 mines .The rest of the half was played in the Ludlow half and yet another penalty to Burton was scored on the stroke of half time to make the score 22-10 at half time.
At the start of the second half Colt Jack Champney and Matt Davies replaced Ed Henry and Ian Gilmour with Champney taking his first line out well and to settle into the match. Ludlow then gained a bit of territory as Burton failed to use the wind successfully and Ludlow narrowed the score to 22-13 with a penalty kick.
As conditions worsened Burton tried to open the game up, but time and again but were thwarted by poor handling. From a kick ahead by Ludlow, confusion in the Burton backline resulted in a scrum which Ludlow pressed home and only a series of indiscretions by Burton kept the line intact. The referee took the only option available to him after the 4th penalty and yellow carded Edwards and from the kick Ludlow narrowed the gap to 22-16 to leave Burton facing a tough 10 minutes a man down.
Weedon replaced Briggs and Gilmour returned to the fray for Boden and the Burton pack worked hard with 3 scrums taken in quick succession to relieve the pressure as play went into the Ludlow half. During the time Burton were a man down the side worked hard in the maul to minimise the chances of Ludlow to breaking out of the shackles.
Peach planted a kick deep into the corner and from the resultant lineout some great work by Ludlow saw then try to kick the ball clear but the kick only went 15 m. Gilmour gathered and linked with Banton and Atchison for the latter carrying the ball well into the 22 . The referee finally awarded a penalty to Burton for Ludlow being offside, and Archer took over the kicking duties to settle Burton nerves with his successful kick making the score 25 -16 after 56 minutes.
With Edwards returning to the game, he wasted no time in turning yet more ball over in the 65 minute and this seemed to extinguish the Ludlow fire. Davies having a good game on the wing put in a long cross field kick and with both Davies and Brooks putting in a good chase Ludlow were kept in their own half.
As the game went into the final 10 minutes Briggs and Henry returned for Edwards and Dutton as the management took the bold step of going for youth instead of age and experience. The match ended as it had started with Burton on the ascendancy with Philliskirk going close out wide and Tivey with a sublime break through the middle only for Henry being pulled up for crossing
The match came to a close at 25-16 to Burton for 4 hard earned points the reward for all their efforts. With 2 matches remaining of the season it was nice to see the young players given the opportunity to experience 1st team rugby and a special mention to Chris Atchison who stepped up to the plate at short notice to play at hooker .
The vociferous turnout of the large crowd of travelling support, who had accompanied the players down to Ludlow, witnessed a hard game and outstayed both the hosts and visitors in the clubhouse before venturing into the wilds of Ludlow.