Burnham-on-Sea 2nd 98 North Petherton 0
“Try Avalanche sends Pethy home in Tatters”

Burnham Seconds hosted North Petherton in a league clash in Somerset 3 South on Saturday. To say that Petherton were not flavour of the month in Burnham RFC is an understatement in the aftermath of the highly charged cup game of the senior side’s a week previously.  There was enormous club pride at stake and a steely resolve in the second squad to restore honours to Burnham. The hype started early on Saturday morning as the fibre optic waves graphically mapped out just how this encounter would go.  
Skipper Matt Slater had a magnanimous squad of players to select from which was very rewarding to see. This enabled him to select almost the  “dream team”
A very well constructed, and well structured pre game build up was orchestrated by Mark Watkins which laid the plans of overcome and dominate in the minds of all players.
The official got the game underway; the weather was good; the ground was good; and so was the rugby that was about to come.
The lessons of the last week had been read out; Burnham were to shown more commitment from the start at the breakdowns and in the loose; better drills were required to secure loose ball. The ball was to be moved around thus creating scoring opportunities.

As the game got going it was apparent that every player was focused on exactly what was required of him. Burnham launched themselves at Petherton the ferocity of this attack stunned Petherton who must have felt that they were under a cruise missile bombardment. Within minutes Burnham had moved into Pethertons 22 via a series of drives and follow up by the forwards and penetrating carries into the defence from Dan Berry and Rob Lewis. This resulted with the Scrum Half Lee Berry capitalising on the space afforded to him to cross the line. Score!  Unconverted by Mike Whitfield.
From the kick off following a   collection of the ball by Ryan Jones who travelled the best part of thirty meters, before he was eventually brought down, fed to Tom Hocking who finished the job for the second try of the afternoon this was converted by Mike Whitfield. Chris Jones and Mark O Reagan quickly enhanced the try count securing the bonus point within fifteen minutes of the kick off.
By this stage Burnham were on fire; all departments were working as planned, sterling work by Tom Stevens Glen cutter and Ben Bowkett in the forwards were allowing the backs to ravage the Petherton defence who were putting up a valiant effort but could not stem the tide of running rugby that they were confronted with, further tries came from Lee Berry, Chris Jones, Ginge Somerhaye and Alex Watkins. Dan Berry had left the field to have an injury attended to his replacement Chris Warner stepped in and slapped a try onto his belt as a trophy almost immediately.
The half time whistle was welcomed by a shell-shocked Pethy side that had really taken so much and defiantly held on.
The skipper rang the changes on came Mike Smith, Ash Morris, Alex Bowkett and Mike Nash.
The game resumed and it was a rejuvenated Petherton Side that set out their stall and began to drive into Burnham’s half however it was not to long before the Burnham replacements got into their stride and started to impact on the game. The forwards dominated in all aspects of the forward game in the scrum they were taking ball after ball against the head in the line out Tom Stevens was jumping like a gazelle. It was from a well placed kick from Mike Whitfield resulting in a line out won by Tom and the subsequent drive over the Line that gave the Burnham high scoring machine of Mike Whitfield his first blood of the game and the first try of the half.
As  the  game  progressed it became a series  of skirmishes as  the  forwards edged  themselves  up  the  field to  provided a platform  to  release  the  backs, tries  came   from Dan  berry  who  had  returned  to  the  field, Alex  Bowkett, and Ginge  Somerhaye and  Mike  Smith, the  latter  that  had  come   from  a  backs move  created  by Rob Lewis on a penetrating carry  of  some  twenty  metres, who  of loaded  to  Tom  Stevens who  was  brought  down only  to  pop to  Mike  Whitfield  who  delivered  an inch  perfect  pass  to  enable  Smith  to  score  under  the  posts. This was hailed as the try of the match, but this accolade was declined by this very modest player!!
The score card reads as follows; Chris Jones 2; Tom Hocking 2; Ginge Somerhay2; Ryan Jones2; Lee Berry 1; Mark O Regan1; Alex Watkins1; Chris  Warner1;Dan Berry2; Mike Whitfield1; Mike Smith 1.
Mike Whitfield converted  9 of  the  tries.
It was a weary  Petherton side  that retired  to  the  bar and all credit is  given  to  a  side  that  did not lie  down  at  any  time. Special mention must be made to  Ed  Lewis who  in the  true  traditions  of  rugby pulled  on a  Pethy  vest  for  this  game.
An Epic performance by all who contributed to this fine display of Rugby. The skipper needs this size of squad for the rest of the  season’s league games.
Training on Thursday for those who can make it; make your availability known to Matt for Saturday soonest.


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