The Stags took big step towards claiming the Somerset Premier title on Saturday, with a hard-fought win away to nearest rivals Nailsea & Backwell RFC.
A minutes applause was had prior to KO  as mark of respect for Elaine Bowerman who sadly passed away last week. Elaine was a huge part of Burnham On Sea RFC and had sat on the committee for many years.

Unsurprisingly for a match which pitted second against first, the teams were well-matched in the first half, with both defences on top and the majority of the play in the centre of the pitch as both teams exchanged possession of ball many times throughout the half.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the half-hour mark, when Nailsea kicked a penalty, and it remained 3-0 at half-time.

The Stags were content with that score line, knowing that they would be playing down the slope in the second half, with the wind behind them.

The second half commenced and The Stags pinned the hosts back for a majority of the half, but were met by some determined Nailsea defence as well as some poor execution a decision making, that said The Stags were on the score board 10 minutes into the second period, as they won a scrum against the head from 5m out, the ball was worked out to the backs and Will Hopkins finished it off for an unconverted try. 3-5.

From the restart The Stags were straight back in the Nailsea half and the second. Nailsea defenced well and regained possession but the decisive try came after the home side lost possession, and the ball was hacked loose and eventually collected by Tim Piper, who flew like a salmon going upstream over Nailsea defender to score out wide. 3-10.

The hosts piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes, but the Stags defended resolutely to secure the points.
The result leaves Burnham 18 points clear at the top of the table, having won 16 out of 16 in the league so far this season.
Nailsea remain second, and they do have one game in hand on the leaders, but this looks like a decisive result.

This coming Saturday sees the Stags travel to Imperial (2.30pm).


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