Burton slip up, but so do Hereford
A late Silhillians with shell-shock and a solitary bonus point. Hereford remain in third however Stoke now come in to the play-off place equation as they have both Burton and Hereford to play.
Burton kicked off with the wind in their favour. Both sides had early possession in midfield and Jack Brooks broke the line but couldn’t find support. The Referee was very quick to penalise players for holding on in contact and the tackler not releasing, so the game was punctuated by penalties.
Jamie Hamilton, in his 50th appearance, Ben Burchell & Josh Cartwright took Burton close to a score, however the move ended with a penalty to Silhillians. The home Full Back made a 40 metre break showing that Burton needed to be on their guard.
A ten metre drive after a lineout was collapsed by the home side. Dave Archer hit the post from 40 metres, but was on target from a similar distance minutes later.
A Daryl Banton box-kick turned the home Full Back who was then wrapped up by Archer and conceded a penalty. Banton given the kicking duty saw his kick slip wide. Burton retained the field position and from a scrappy piece of play Harry Titley picked up the ball and stormed through the defence to score. Banton added the conversion.
Silhillians missed with a penalty and had a promising attack thwarted by a Burchell choke tackle. However home side piled on the pressure kicking penalties to the corner and from a series of pick and goes, the Blind Side barged over. The conversion was successful, making it 10-7.
Making his return from injury Will Roach replaced Craig Dutton. Ian Gilmour put through a grubber which was well chased by Matt Boden and Titley. This pinned Silhillians back and a promising drive after a line-out made ground quickly but ended with a penalty for truck and trailer.
The next Burton attack saw them going backwards with no one wanting to take contact until Jono Parkinson set up a ruck. From this platform Gilmour, Loz Betty and Will Books all made ground until Tom Murphy slipped an inside pass to Titley running a great line which took him through to score. Banton drew the half to a close with a successful conversion.
Silhillians started the half with intent and swept in to the Burton half and came close to a score during a spell where Burton were pinned back.
Sam Benjamin replaced Archer and Joe Briggs replaced Parkinson. Tempers flared after fourteen minutes and the Referee went to his pocket. Gilmour and an opposing forward were sin-binned.
The home side missed a penalty. Archer and Dutton returned for Boden and Hamilton. The home side exploited the huge in-goal with a chip and chase to score try. The conversion attempt hit the post.
A Burton attack with Tom Harris and Roach both on the charge ended with a penalty to Burton which Banton kicked over. The sin-binned players returned. A long range penalty attempt from Archer went wide and soon after Silhillians were successful with an attempt made easier by Burton conceding 10 metres for dissent. The kick made it 18-20 with ten minutes to play.
Burton chased the kick excellently and earned a scrum. Silhillians shunted Burton back as they would for the remainder of the game. A penalty for offside was awarded to Burton after a charge-down. The post came into play for the third time in the game and denied Banton three points.
Silhillians sensed they could win the game, however the Burton was defence was solid and after several phases a counter-ruck earned possession. Agonisingly the Referee penalised Burton and awarded a penalty thirty metres out but relatively straight. Silhillians gained three points and the lead.
In the final throes Burton were again pinned back and a further penalty was conceded. This time the kick went wide, but as the last play of the game it was insignificant.
Burton now have 83 points, Hereford 82 and Stoke 75; however Burton still have the Barkers Butts game in hand.
By Ian Cartwright