Due to an unfortunate exit from Somerset 3 South by Wells the home side were without a game. With the First team being at home to Tavistock and with one of our main sponsors the Brent Knoll Inn sponsoring this weekends game the club fixtures Secretary Chris Jones was tasked to sort out a game at short notice. Chris succeeded in securing a friendly game against the current Div 3 league leaders Bridgewater & Albion. Burnham 2nds had played this team previously in a closely contested encounter in mid October losing out marginally; this game was eagerly looked forward to.

The home games are becoming a much looked forward to attraction within the local community attracting a large support which is very encouraging and with an anticipated feast of rugby in the offing as well as all Home Nations being involved in the Autumn test matches the conversation was very much focused on Rugby.

Due to injury in the First team the 2nd XV lost some of their regular players to fill the voids, this deficit was filled up by the return of some of our wayward players namely Russ Pike and George Wilcox and despite some call off’s Captain Matt Slater selected a strong team. With the talking done and a robust pre game warm up session, the kick off was eagerly anticipated. It was evident that the opposition also had issues in fielding a full side and Chris Jones and Denis Coggins filled in to play the entire game for them many thanks to them and congratulations on a very spirited display (Denis scored a try against us)

From the kick off it was evident that Bridgewater were reliant on a very well drilled pack to set up the backs to place the attacking rugby force that was evident as their game plan. This was exactly the game plan deployed in the previous encounter; Burnham steeled themselves and prepared for the onslaught. It arrived with shock and awe, which ensued a penalty infringement within kicking range; easily taken; Burnham 3 down.

The team talk in the dead ball area called for a swift response to this let down, with the rally call sounded the game resumed at pace with Burnham running down the opposition and showing good organisation at the breakdown which was rewarded by a   fine individual break out by scrum half Mike Whitfield to cross the line. Try given and converted by Dave Harris Burnham ahead 7-3.  Burnham now bit the bullet and hunted down Bridgewater at every opportunity, unfortunately the burst by the Scrum half had started a   white line virus that saw many of the backs attempting to get across the line without looking out for the off load. This period of play should have seen a further three tries on the board but resulted in only one scored by Dave Harris. He failed to convert his efforts Burnham 12-3.

Bridgewater did not give up and worked themselves back into the game with a fine display of forward play linking up with a very fast standoff to cross Burnham’s line. This effort was not converted; score Burnham 12-8.

The Burnham skipper reassured the side that they must remain focused and support the playmaker, with this in mind the game resumed. Burnham turned over the ball from a Bridgewater ruck to see the ball flow out into the backs with Mike Whitfield popping up in space and running the ball over the line. This unconverted score brought the scoreboard ticking up Burnham 17-8.

The game at this stage should have been to put to bed with well defined bursts of pace attempting to penetrate the Bridgewater lines from Russ Pike and George Wilcox, some splendid running out of defence from full back   Ryan Reynolds and Will Grant on the wing who later replaced Mike Whitfield at scrum half. As the half time period grew close a very well taken try from Ginge in the left corner saw the home side go into half   time 22- 8.

Having subjected Bridgewater to this Tsunami of rugby pressure in the first half the revised game plan was for more of the same it was what the crowd had   come to see and were in full carnival mood as the second half resumed.

Rugby is a game of two halves with two sides and it was apparent that Bridgewater was to take this second half very serious indeed. They commenced much in the same positive way that had started they clearly preferred to scrummage to gain ball and set up the platform of play. This on many occasions was thwarted by some outstanding hooking by Ash Morris who denied them dominance; also Burnham’s flankers were instrumental in suppressing many of the moves that would have been set up, notably Tom Stevens played like a warrior.

Despite some very enterprising exchanges of play that saw both teams in contact end to end which had the crowd on their feet for most of the half following the flow of play, the spoils for this half go to Bridgewater & Albion who scored twice alas failing in both conversions. The final score Burnham 22 Bridgewater & Albion 18.

Our thanks go to Bridgewater & Albion for turning out at short notice for this game. Good results for the home side but one where we must learn these lessons and create the remedies soonest.

Next game is Sat 27 Nov away to St Bernadette’s. Please make your availability know to the Team Captain soonest.

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