Burnham 2nds entertained a strong Castle Cary side on the Home Turf on Sat 05 Mar. The previous encounter had not been in Burnham’s favour, and the intent in front of the home crowd was to make amends.
As seems to be the norm at home games, the skipper Matt Slater had a generous amount of talent to make team selection even on that score we still had second team pool players missing.
The strength of the opposition was know to Burnham and it was decided to play to their strength mainly to match and defeat them in the scrums and shut down their very quick stand off and centres. As the game commenced it was apparent that our appreciation was correct, Castle Cary came out of the corner in full flight. The  initial skirmishes ended  in  scrums and  it  was  apparent  that  Burnham were  a  match  against  the  best  that  Castle  Cary  could  put  out;  some very  impressive  strikes  against  the  head  by  Hooker  Ashley showed  dominance and  after  a  short  period  of  pressure  Burnham  forwards  linked  with the  backs  from  a  well  won  scrum  to  enable  Matt  Love to  run  for  the  line  and  score  between  the  post, ably  converted  by  Dave Harris  who  was to  prove that  he had  indeed put  on his kicking  boots.  After a   short period of pressure from the opposition who were looking dangerous the backs turned up the heat which resulted in Matt Love once again finding the white line to cross for his second try. Again ‘ Hot Shot Harris targeted the ball between the uprights’
At this stage of the game Castle Cary rallied to the cause and mounted a sustained assault on the Burnham line this ensued for a   considerable period resulting in some very heroic defensive play it appears that Burnham had learnt the bitter lessons of being drawn in to great numbers to the   break down of play and the line held. Burnham gradually eased  the  opposition away  from the  line and  manoeuvred  themselves into the Castle Cary  half, it was  at  this  stage  from some  very  good  forward supporting  play that  Tom Stevens ran down  and  collected  a  loose  ball  and exploded  to  the  line  only  to  be stopped 10m out; on turning to  look  for  supported  Peters stormed  in  like  a  ‘swirling  dervish’  collected  the  pop and  scored  between  the  posts a classic  piece  of  supporting  play  from the  young  Flanker. Hot Shot Harris was again drooling from the mouth as he retained full honours by another conversion.
The opposition were still in shock from this onslaught when the ball found the hands of the skipper Matt Slater who was wandering around in the centre he shot from the blocks like Longford Christie to cover at least thirty metres to score left of the uprights. Dave Harris   was in seventh heaven as he converted. As the half time loomed Matt Love got back into the game by bagging another try, guess who converted!!!
With half time the skipper decided on some changes, it is important to run the entire squad out and yet not to lose the momentum of the game, of went Smith and George Scott who had accredited himself admirably at no 8, on came Mark Coles and Podge Barrington at the restart it was apparent that their was to be no let up for Cary. Podge drove forward from a Forwards set piece from the line and scored his first of two tries of the half, further substitutions were made with Ashley the hooker who had performed so well being replaced by Glenn, Ed Lewis went into the second row and Dennis Coggins and Paul were replacements as flanker and front row respectively.
Even  with  the  replacements  Burnham maintained  the  pressure the  backs  were  creating  havoc  in  attack,  in defence they  were  a  brick  wall special  mention is  worthy  of Mike  Baillie and  Will Conway  at  No  10 who  linked  up  extremely  well Will rarely  failed  to  penetrate  on his  many attacks  of  the  game one  worthy of mention was when  he  linked  with  the  ‘flying full  back  Ryan’ feeding  Will  on  the  wing  in  a text  book  move to  see  Will hunted  down  at  the  very  lines  edge. Such was the credit due to Castle Cary who did not give up.
On the other wing Ginge and Matt Love were hunting for tries like a shoal of killer whales, Matt Love managed just that as did Dave Harris; “Harris the hoof” converted both resulting in a clean swoop of converting all nine try’s. The referee finally called a halt to the oppositions suffering as the full time, high-pitched whistle was blown.
This game was well refereed and enjoyed by all who played, the spectators had been entertained to a thrilling game of Rugby that had left them drooling from the lips this was apparent by their actions in the bar later. It was said later that this had been one of the most entertaining games ever played by the 2ndXV (this may have been the cider talking)
The 2ndXV can draw a lot from this not withstanding the fact that it was an enormous successful Team effort. All are to be congratulated.
Next week we travel to Wells the same turnout is required.


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