Burnham-on-Sea 2nd 21 Minehead 0.

Remodelled Minehead;
Fail to break down Burnham.
Burnham Seconds travelled away to Minehead on Saturday amid a day of frontogenesis events that had brought about the cancellation of many sporting fixtures. And annulment of many games. Minehead had suffered at the hands of the weather their pitches also had suffered which left the Burnham game to be played in the Lane pitch. The playing surface was in good condition the problem is the rather steep incline of the contours.

Burnham had a number of their regulars absent for this fixture due mainly to the fact that this was a rearranged League match the programmed game was for a friendly hence the reason for some absenteeism. Nevertheless Captain Matt Slater had at his disposal the nucleolus of players that had turned out all season. We were also aware that Minehead are a force to be reckoned with on their home ground so a challenging match was eagerly anticipated.

The pre match rehearsals went very well and the strategy of the game was discussed, focused on the contour of the pitch the team playing down hill certainly had the playing and tactical advantage, for the team on the receiving end it was a game of digging in and repelling the attacks.

Burnham started the game playing up the incline, Minehead came out of the blocks fighting and it was clear that their intention was to use the incline to their advantage; the forwards were well drilled and set up the platform to enable them to launch their backs into the assault of Burnham’s backs. They succeeded in setting off on many penetrating runs that tested Burnham’s defence to the limit at times it was akin to trench warfare as wave after wave of attacks were put in. Burnham’s defence held; at times under immense pressure; it was not all one-way traffic Burnham’s pack was beginning to exert authority in the set piece and the loose. In the line out Tom Stevens was almost in total command and retained this domination throughout the afternoon despite Mineheads blatant inaccurate throw inns. Ben Bowket and Glen Cutter were also showing true grit as they foraged about picking off Minehead players at will. Phil Collings Ash and Matt Slater did a sterling job in the front row. The backs who had heroically defended were also getting their act together Chris Warner Mike Whitfield Dan Conway and the two new players making their debut into senior rugby; Alex Watkins and Alex Alyward who had absorbed so much pressure defending were beginning to set up attacking moves into the Minehead defence. Unfortunately this remodelled Minehead team held every attack out, that was to be the story of the half as it concluded without any score. Although Burnham had not opened their account this in fact was a very significant position to be in and would have substantial psychological ramifications on the opposition.

The second half told a completely different story Smith went off and Podge Barrington came on Burnham kicked up a gear and turned the tables on Minehead. The pack regenerated by Podge attacked the loose play with true determination the long kicks and rapid follow up by Flankers and backs was beginning to tell and after a frustrating period of attack and rally Lee Berry crossed the line to break the dead lock. Whitfield zeroed the boot and converted the fine effort of Forwards and backs.

The half progressed and the attrition set up by the attacking Burnham players was rewarded Tom Stevens crashed over for the second try. Whitfield paid the same respect to the uprights Burnham 2 converted try’s up. Minehead were still in the game and brought on a number of substitions due to injury!! They countered the run of play mainly afforded by mistakes from Burnham. During the last quarter Alex Watkins sealed his debut with a fine run and kick through to score. Whitfield again paid compliments to this with a fine conversation. As the game drew to a close with Burnham marauding for the bonus point that should have been their reward for the days work the official brought the game to a close.

Burnham 21 Minehead 0.

Analysis; this is certainly not the Minehead team that is in the lower regions of the league table. From that Burnham players can take a lot of credit for their performance. This game was always going to be about two halves due to the lay of the land and Burnham capitalised on this in the appropriate manner. The lessons learnt in our defence are also of great benefit.

Although much internal criticisms was levelled at our performance a win is a win. Well done.
Next week we have a home game against North Petherton. We have a score to settle here which must be our mission for next Saturday. In between that we have a training session for the second team for Thursday evening can all players make a big effort to turn up for a focused period of 2nd team training

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