What a shame!! Lots of heart and endeavour was shown by our Walsall Under 17's today with no reward. With the ball as muddy and slippery as a greased pig, it was never going to be a game for the purists. Damp and cold conditions took their toll on the players and parents alike, dithering seemed to be the order of the day. It was good to see Ni and Matt on the sidelines cheering us on despite their recent injuries. Karl Pothecary was there too, an operation on a toe ruling him out for today.
At this point I have to thank Lisa for writing all the notes, I had been forced to run the line on the far side. ( I was the one not keeping up with play and sticking my arm out the wrong way for line out possession) anyway, from the first whistle, Burton were on the attack.. Only fearless tackling and sheer stubbornness prevented Burton going over the line. One of our undoings in the first half was giving too many penalties away in our own half of the pitch. The other was a lack of cohesion in attack and defence.
Some great individual play, just not supported enough at the right time. Burton had got a very good kick and chase game going, which was perfect for the conditions. With knock-ons aplenty by both sides, territory was all important.
The only points of the first half came from a penalty awarded to Burton under the posts.
Half time Walsall 0-3 Burton
The second half didn't go well for Walsall. Burton seemed to up their game around the breakdown, giving them more possession.
Even so, our lads tried so hard to stay in the game. Captain Tom Aston keeping a cool head and calming his players when things got heated. Ironically Burton's first Try came after Walsall's best period of the game. Nico had been charging well, big Nathan was starting to break tackles, Mike was getting up for it too.. But a Burton breakaway led to a Try on 20 mins of the second half.
Walsall 0-8 Burton
Zach Edwards was as busy as anyone, having to defend against increasing amount of kicks from the Burton No 10.
Burton's second Try came 5 minutes after their first one, a five metre scrum giving them a good platform to punish a tiring Walsall side. Converted, it gave a scoreline of Walsall 0-15 Burton.
Although the game was effectively over with only a few minutes to go, our Walsall lads rallied. They refused to go down without a fight and played some good rugby considering the worsening pitch. After some conserted effort, Nico Singh did very very well to drive over the line with 3 defenders trying to stop him, to finish off Walsall's best move of the game. Zach Edwards took the kick quickly because the Referee said he would blow for full time if he took more than ten seconds. Just went wide. Walsall 5-15.
Although Walsall got possession from the kick off , they couldn't get through the Burton defence. Full time Walsall 5-15 Burton.
Thanks to Burton for a good game. Thanks to the Referee for keeping the game flowing. And thanks to all our lads for trying so hard. We all enjoy watching you guys play. Win , lose or draw. That's entertainment !