BURTON’S victory over Berkswell & Balsall was marred by serious injury to Lewis Brooks and Ken Archer.
Brooks was a second half casualty with a suspected broken hand before Archer suffered a broken ankle with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.
Archer’s injury prompted the referee to call time on 72 minutes to give Burton a premature and slightly hollow victory.
Burton’s strength in depth was again tested with John Philliskirk, Tom Cooper, Danny Campbell all in the starting line-up.
James Burrough made his league debut while Dave Archer and Sam Smith both took up unfamiliar positions.
The changes meant Burton lacked their usual fluidity but still did enough to clinch victory.
In Burton’s maiden visit to Berkswell, the match was switched to a small pitch, which saw the visitors struggle to adjust to a lack of width with their wingers Sam Benjamin and Tom Copper ushered into touch whenever they got their hands on the ball.
Berkswell received the kick-off and put together a few phases before spilling the ball and allowing Burton to storm into the opposition 22 and earn a penalty.
Dave Archer found the target for 3-0 before Burton’s next attack saw Benjamin streak 30 metres up-field.
The hosts used their forwards power to work their way out of trouble before conceding a penalty. Taylor took a quick tap and released his backs, but Cooper was forced into touch five metres out.
Berkswell survived the line-out and forced their way into the Burton 22 for the first time in the match. But after driving a line-out the home side’s fly-half saw his drop goal attempt slide wide.
Burton were pinned back and a slick line-out prompted a charge to within inches of the try-line.
In their efforts to defend, Burton conceded a penalty but the home kicker could not turn the opportunity into points.
Ken Archer and James Burroughs then combined to take Burton back over half way. Danny Campbell and Joel Briggs took play even further forward before possession was exchanged and a Burton penalty. Dave Archer had the distance but was off target.
Charl Neethling received the drop-out and set up a ruck. Lewis Brooks then set off on a mazy run from halfway and scored under the posts which Archer converted.
Burton made a hash of the re-start, but Sam Smith still made a 35-metre break towards the left touch. The visitors were awarded a penalty and the passion of the home fans then spilled onto the pitch.
The referee diffused the situation by yellow carding Burton prop Tom Murphy and a home player
From the penalty Dave Archer found the target from 35 metres to establish a 13-0 lead.
Geat work from Kelvin Browne then blunted a Berkswell attack and secured the scrummage put-in.
John Philliskirk showed his experience to deal with an awkward kick in his 22 before releasing Brooks, who then combined with Dave Archer and Benjamin to take play 50 metres forward.
Burton finished the half pressing for a further score but their efforts came to nought.
A charge from Josh Cartwright took Burton into their opponents half shortly after the kick-off. However, a booming kick into touch relieved the pressure
Burton then missed several tackles before the opposition replacement prop Connors barrelled over for a converted try.
At the other end Archer missed a three-point attempt. But Burton then showed great composure in the build up to a try.
The forwards used pick and go tactics before Smith darted towards the line. The forwards took the ball in-field and Campbell found Archer who ghosted in under the posts before adding the conversion.
The home side then piled on the pressure. It took an 11-man maul from Burton to hold their line, only for the clearance to find the opposition full-back who then released Connors to crash over for his second try.
The conversion took the hosts within six points with 20 minutes to play. After Brooks left the field with his hand injury the hosts pulled another three points back due to an offside decision.
Burton fought back and Jon Edwards and Ed Henry both made some hard yards with good carries.
The visitors pressed for a score but when Archer was left writhing in pain following a line-out the referee called time on proceedings with seven minutes still on the clock.