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Burton 74, Berkswell and Balsall 8

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 12, 2014

KICKING ON . . . Dave Archer scored Burton’s ninth try and converted his own score in Saturday’s heavy victory over Berkswell and Balsall

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BURTON produced their most dominant performance of the season to thrash Berkswell and Balsall and banish the memory of some under-par performances in recent weeks.

The Crofters ran in a dozen tries – including a Harry Titley hat-trick – and despite the heavy conditions played some great flowing rugby in the first half and final quarter of the game.

After kick-off Burton retrieved the ball and Matt Tivey set the tone by barging through several defenders before producing quick ruck ball.

Loz Betty then hit a great line and off-loaded to Josh Cartwright who bumped the last defender and carried on to score.

Dave Archer kicked the extras for 7-0 with less than two minutes on the clock.

The Berkswell scrum got on top at the first set piece and were dominant in that aspect of play for the remainder of the match.

At the second scrum the visitors were awarded a penalty and duly took the three points.

Inter-play from the Burton forwards, with Charl Neethling and Joe Gazzard prominent, took play to the 22 before Archer made a break and released full-back Harry Titley, who went over in the left hand corner.

Burton were in command and Ian Glimour varied the play with a chip over the defence which he followed up to hack into space.

Titley won the foot-race, hacked on himself and touched down over the line.

Soon after a tap tackle prevented Archer from adding to the score.

Play remained in the Berkswell 22 before Tom Harris and Matt Boden combined, setting up Titley to complete his hat-trick with only 24 minutes on the clock.

The visitors looked to stem the tide but Burton’s defence was solid.

The Crofters soon regained possession and a kick from Gilmour was chased down and smartly gathered and touched down in one movement by Sam Benjamin.

Berkswell responded with a try of their own.

Joe Briggs turned possession over but a clearance kick was charged down and the same opposition player followed through for a try.

Play soon returned to the other end. Darryl Banton broke into the Berkswell 22 before Titley put Craig Dutton in with a pass behind his back for try number six.

Archer added the conversion.

The pressure was unrelenting and Burton claimed the kick-off before Titley took play from his own 22 to the visitors’ 22.

Gilmour was in support to bypass the final defenders and score. Archer popped over the kick for 41-8 at the interval.

Damon Varney then replaced Dutton, who returned later in the game as Burton used the rolling substitutions to rotate their players.

Berkswell spent the first 10 minutes of the second half pounding away at the Burton line.

Despite struggling in the scrums, the Crofters defended doggedly to keep the visitors out.

When Burton eventually got their hands on the ball they swiftly took play into the opposition half.

Jack Walford replaced Banton at scrum-half and was soon probing the defence with a break after Cartwright stole a line-out.

Twenty minutes of the half had elapsed when Walford dummied from the base of a ruck on the 22 and stormed over to score.

Archer converted and just three minutes later was on the scoreboard again.

Walford and Benjamin combined before Archer scored a try and added another conversion.

Berkswell were still battling away and as they tried to run from their own 22, a crunching tackle from Varney dislodged the ball.

Dutton scooped up the loose ball and raced over to score.

In the hosts’ next attack Gilmour made a jinking run and then found James Burrough on his shoulder.

The hard-working hooker raced away to score under the posts. Archer dissected the posts to add the extras.

Harris made a couple of strong carries in his own half before the pack took a driving maul over the visitors’ 22.

Harris then broke from the back of the maul and scored the twelfth and final Burton try to complete a resounding and welcome victory before a difficult run of away matches at Whitchurch, Hereford and Barkers Butts.

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