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Burton 31, Old Laurentians 24

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

TRY, TRY AND TRY AGAIN . . . three tries before the interval proved a crucial for Burton, but it was a grubber kick from Ian Gilmour (pictured) which set up Lawrence Betty for the hosts’ opening score

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THREE tries in a six-minute spell before half time helped Burton claim victory over Old Laurentians and another crucial bonus point.

Dewi Williams, Harry Titley and Tom Harris each went over the whitewash in a purple spell for the hosts.

Lawrence Betty and Sam Benjamin also claimed tries before the Crofters survived a late Laurentians rally to clinch the win.

The visitors enjoyed a bright start and recovered the ball from their own kick-off. They switched play back towards the centre of the pitch before Burton conceded a penalty – and Laurentians took the three points to open up an early three-point lead.

Burton then strung together several phases in attack, but eventually tried to force an opening and lost the ball.

Play stayed in Old Laurentians’ 22 and their blitz defence kept Burton at bay until Ian Gilmour slid through the most delicate of grubber kicks and Betty followed up to score.

The conversion slid wide to keep the score at 5-3 in Burton’s favour.

At the first scrum Burton drove Laurentians off their own put-in. The Laurentians scrum-half kicked into the Burton 22, only for Titley to send the ball 60 yards into touch.

A second scrummage was taken against the head, but was followed by some poor handling and the advantage was lost

Laurentians then put a long kick through and great defensive work from No8 Liam Hucknell was required to hold up play before support arrived.

For five minutes neither side threatened with both unable to produce any fluency to their play.

Daryl Banton, Matt Tivey, James Burrough and Will Brooks then all linked well on a blind-side move to make 50 yards.

But the game became a little fractious and both sides conceded penalties.

As the half-hour mark approached Jono Parkinson turned the ball over inside the Burton 22.

Hucknall stormed forward and fed left Williams, who ran infield looking for support, but then saw a gap, raced through it, and rounded the full-back to score.

Banton converted before Burton went on the attack again.

Parkinson and Burrough linked before Titley took a pass and raced over in the left-hand corner. Banton slipped on impact with the ball and his conversion attempt fell short.

A third try in six minutes came when Harris shrugged off a couple of tackles on the 22 and then bundled his way over the line.

Banton converted in the last notable act of the first half.

Josh Cartwright and Joe Gazzard then replaced Craig Dutton and Will Brooks, with Harris switching from lock to blind-side.

An early kick from Laurentians put Burton under pressure and following a five-metre scrum, the visitors reacted quickest to a loose ball, scoring a converted try.

A good kick and chase by Banton took play close to the Laurentians’ line.

A poor clearance was gathered by Titley, who beat the chasers and then popped the ball to Benjamin who used his searing pace to score under the posts.

Banton added the extras.

Laurentians remain in a relegation fight, but belied their lowly position with a strong driving maul and flowing backs move to score on the left.

A tough conversion was then made to look easy to give the visitors further hope.

Joel Briggs then replaced Parkinson, but another disjointed spell of play followed with Burton unable to get out of their own half.

Tivey left the field with an arm injury – and his absence from the scrum was keenl;y felt as the advantage turned in Laurentians’ favour.

The Crofters were not playing well and the visitors grew in confidence.

The next score predictably went against Burton and the gap was suddenly only seven points with eight minutes left to play.

But the remainder of the game was played out uneventfully in midfield and Burton emerged victors, thanks mainly to the three-try burst before half time.

The win on Burton’s inaugural president’s day, hosted by Keven Royden Wrathall, keeps the Crofters in second place in Midlands One West.

Hereford remain one point behind after hammering Market Bosworth 52-19.

Walsall slipped up at Stratford and are now all but out of the race to finish as runners-up.

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