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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 3 Jan 14:15 - Midlands Division - National League 3 Midlands Full time

First win thouroughly deserved

Burton move off bottom spot

First win for Burton thoroughly deserved

Whilst it will not surprise the Midlands Rugby community at large for those on attendance it seemed for a short while that a new year wouldn’t see a first win of the season for Burton. However on balance the win was thoroughly deserved on the day and it sees Burton move off the bottom of the table and could be the start of a fantastic recovery.

The heavy rain of the morning gave way to bright sunshine come kick off, however the heavy pitch was always going to have an effect on the game. After kicking off Burton kept play in the Bournville half but were made to defend though several phases, before good line speed forced a penalty. Burton couldn’t make anything of their first possession and lost their first put in at the scrum.

Loz Betty, Liam Hucknall, Craig Dutton and Tom Murphy got their hands on the ball during the first real enterprising attack by either side and after a penalty James Davies and Ed Henry carried on the good work. With the game approaching the quarter way mark, Luke Peach chipped over the advancing defence and the Burton chase was good enough to earn a turnover five metres out. Daryl Banton quickly fed Fly Half Harry Titley who looked to bring in a runner but the defence pushed and took away the options before he crossed kicked into the path of Sam Benjamin who gathered and scored in the corner. Dave Archer couldn’t claim the extra points from the kick.
James Davies caught the re-start superbly above his head before Peach kicked deep into the Bournville half and Full Back Nick Oxley forced a kick into touch with a great chase. The line-out was knocked on but from the ensuing scrum Banton applied good pressure and Bournville were made to play through phases to create a platform from which to try and clear their lines. Good pressure on the kicker forced a poor clearance which Kelvin Browne recovered. Burton then attacked and great inter-play between Titley and Davies put Betty though on a trade-mark line to race clear and score. Archer converted.

Burton were now playing with confidence and from the next attack Archer was able to knock a penalty over for 3 points. Bournville then began to play with some authority for the first time in the match. Applying pressure and earning penalties at the scrummage Bournville laid the Burton line under siege. Eventually the Scrum Half took a quick tap and burrowed over for the line for a try. The conversion was missed.

In the closing throes of the half Ed Henry took a knock and Dom Musetti replaced him. Wioth Ken Archer and Jack Neal each moving back a row in re-shuffle of the pack. Burton took a ten point advantage into the break.

The open stages of the half were scrappy with both sides giving away possession and penalties. Bournville started to use their forward power to good effect bit Burton hung on. The deadlock was broken when the Bournville Right Winger latched on to a chip and rounded the cover to score under the posts and make his kicker’s task a formality.

In the blink of an eye Burton struck back when Oxley chipped and Dave Archer took the ball over his head before racing clear and then converting.

Burton then looked to play from deep after the kick off and Burton hearts sank when a pass in midfield was intercepted and Bournville gratefully took seven points to make the score 22-19 with twenty five minutes left. Everyone thought today was going to be the day for Burton to break their duck, but it now hung in the balance.

James Burrough replaced Davies at Hooker. Betty took play from his own half by switching behind the pack and a penalty was awarded to Burton. Titley drilled the ball to within seven metres for a lineout. Browne caught at the tail and Burton peeled towards the posts only to be held up. Bournville won the scrum and use several pick and goes to advance before a poor kick was caught by Benjamin who linked with Betty and Hucknall to take play to within ten metres. Quick ball allowed Titely to pass back inside to Oxley who despite a tap tackle was able to ground the ball for a bonus point try.

A scrappy spell followed before Archer kicked a penalty and Burton had am eleven point cushion. The huge of efforts of previous weeks were replicated but this time Burton dominated the closing period of the game camped in their opponents half, closing out the game superbly. In the final play Archer kicked another penalty to make the score 33-19.

The five points for a win with four tries means Burton overtook Dudley K and closed the gap on Longton, both of whom lost heavily. Next week Burton travel to Bromsgrove and will have a real spring in their step.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Rugby Netball

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other National League 3 Midlands results



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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Sandbach 26 56
9. Lichfield 26 56
10. Longton 26 40
11. Sutton Coldfield 26 36
12. Bournville 26 16
13. Burton 26 12
14. Dudley Kingswinford 26 4

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