By David Scott
Burn travelled to Northwich where the teams could not be separated as they played out a high scoring 32- 32 draw.
This was certainly a topsy turvy game, Burn looked like they would run away with the game in the early stages, then by the time the game was entering the last 10 minutes Northwich led by 10 and in the end both teams could have won it in the dying minutes.
Burn got off to a flying start with 2 tries in the opening 10 minutes. The first started with a catch and drive in the Northwich 22, the drive stalled, but the ball was spread wide, Jack Swarbrick nearly found a way through, but was held, his offload found Josh Reilly who had looped round, he then passed to Frank Nickson who went over to score. The second try was a good team try, from a steady build up Frank Nickson then made good yards down the nearside touch line, his pass back inside was well taken by Jack Swarbrick, he was brought down, but the ball was recycled and Wilf Whittle had a charge, again the ball was recycled this time it made its way to Marc Maher on the 22, he chased his own chip over the top and the ball bounced kindly for him enabling him to fall on the ball to score as it crossed the try line. Alex Taylorson kicked both conversions. After this Northwich managed to get some ball and started to build pressure on Burn, then on 20 minutes from a catch and drive from 5 metres out they sneaked over the try line after their initial drive was defended by Burn. Just 4 minutes later the home side had another try, Burn just seemed to be hanging off too many tackles allowing their opponents to retain the ball to score. Both tries were also converted and the game was all square at 14 all. By the half hour mark Northwich were ahead, another catch and drive took them over the line, this time the conversion was missed. Burn did little to threaten the try line in the dying stages as they too often lost control of the ball, instead the only chance of points came on the stroke of half time with a penalty kick from 35 metres out which Alex Taylorson duly slotted to make the half time score 19-17.
Like the first half Burn started the second half well and scored in the opening minutes, they went through several phases which created space out wide for Oli Yates to go over unopposed. Taylorson was unable to add the extra points, but Burn were now back in front. After this the wheels began to fall off for Burn, as Northwich mounted pressure on Burn more and more penalties were awarded, one for a deliberate knock on which saw Corey Logan sent to the bin, worse was to follow as another yellow card was shown, this time to Ed Sinclair and Burn were down to 13 men. From the resulting penalty Northwich kicked to tie the scores again. Northwich added further points while Burn were down to 13, a quick tap penalty from their own half saw Northwich make it deep into Burn territory and good offloads and hands saw them score their fourth try, the conversion was then added making the score 29-22. On 61 minutes the home side stretched their lead by another 3 from a penalty kick. Once Burn were back up to their full compliment they managed to spark back into life, a fourth try for them came on 70 minutes, Jack Swarbrick had made a few yards, Corey Logan made a few more to take him to within 5 metres of the try line, his pass went behind Josh Reilly, but Reilly did well to turn and gather the ball before diving to score in the corner. The conversion was narrowly missed. Burn were now on top and a fifth try soon followed, they had kept the ball and made their way up to the Northwich 22, Corey Logan then broke through tackles before finding Sam Gale, he was brought down 5 metres short, the ball was recycled and spread wide where Jamie Brookes was able to score in the corner. Taylorson was unable to kick the conversion. The closing minutes were a tense affair, Burn managed to get within 5 metres of the try line, but couldn’t get any further points, then Northwich managed to work their way back into the Burn half and were looking to tee up a drop goal, the chance finally came from about 35 metres out, but the pass to the fly half was poor and the ball was knocked on leaving the scores at 32-32 as the final whistle went.
In the end a draw was probably a fair result, if either team had lost they would have felt hard done to. Burn would probably be the more frustrated of the two teams not to get a win, as they had had a better start to the season and had a 14 nil lead in this game and should have killed the game off, but Northwich showed spirit and good interplay to come back at Burn, however Burn helped them by giving the ball up too cheaply. On the positives, some teams would have withered, but Burn came back at the end to salvage something from the game. There is no game next week, the week after Burn welcome Burnage to Ramsgreave Drive.