Burton do just enough to gain bonus point
On the inaugural President’s Day, hosted by Keven Royden Wrathall, Burton did just enough to earn a bonus point win for the large crowd.
OLs retrieved their own kick off and as they moved the ball to centre field Burton conceded a penalty. The visitors took the three points. Burton then string together several phases in attack but eventually tried to force an opening and lost the ball. Play stayed in the OLs twenty two and their blitz defence kept Burton at bay until Ian Gilmour slid through the most delicate of grubber kicks and Loz Betty followed it up to score. The conversion slid wide. At the first scrimmage Burton drove OLs off their own put, however the Scrum Half kicked into the Burton twenty two only for Harry Titley to send the ball sixty yards into touch. A second scrummage was taken against the head but was followed by some poor handling and the advantage was yielded. OLs put a long kick through and great defensive work from No 8 Liam Hucknell was required to hold up play until support got back to help out. Little then happened for five minutes as both sides lack fluency in their play. Daryl Banton, Matt Tivey, James Burrough and Will Brooks linked well on a blind side move and made fifty yards. The game became a little fractious and both sides conceded penalties. As the half hour mark approached Jono Parkinson turned over inside the Burton twenty two and then Hucknall stormed forward and fed Left Wing Dewi Williams who ran infield looking for support but then saw a gap, raced through it and rounded the Full Back to score. Banton converted before Burton were on the attack again. Parkinson and Burrough linked before Titely took a pass on raced over in the left hand corner. On this occasion Banton slipped on impact and his kick fell short. A third try in six minutes came as Tom Harris shrugged off a couple of tackles on the twenty two and then bundled his way over the line. Banton converted in the last notable act of the first half.
Josh Cartwright & Joe Gazzard replaced Craig Dutton and Will Brooks, with Harris switching from Lock to Blind Side. An early kick from OLs put Burton under pressure and from the five metre scrum a loose ball was reacted to most quickly by OLs and they scored a try which was converted. A good kick and chase by Banton took play close to the OLs line. A poor clearance was gathered by Titley who beat the chasers and then popped the ball to Sam Benjamin who used his searing pace to score under the posts. Banton added the extra points. OLs are locked in a relegation battle but they belied this with a strong driving maul and a flowing backs move to score on the left wing and a conversion which was made to look easy. Joel Briggs replaced Parkinson. Another disjointed spell of play followed a Burton were unable to leave their own half of the field. Tivey left the field with an arm injury and his absence from the scrum was glaring as the advantage turned in OLs favour. Burton were not playing well and the visitors grew in confidence. The next score predictably went against Burton and the gap was now only seven points with eight minutes to play. The remainder of the game was played out uneventfully in midfield and Burton emerged victors, thanks mainly to the three try burst before half time. Hereford lying in third behind Burton also won with a bonus point, so the league standing remains the same.
By Ian Cartwright