LICHFIELD completed a hat-trick of victories over a Burton side hit by injury and a lack of adequate training facilities.
Burton’s match preparations were hampered by the poor state of pitches at Shobnall and Peel Croft.
A spate of late changes to their back line further undermined Burton’s aspirations with Dave Archer, Sam Smith and Sam Benjamin starting at 10, 12 and 13 respectively and Tom Cooper drafted in on the wing.
Lichfield took full advantage and it looked as if the visitors would be on the end of a hammering before a rally in the last quarter restored some pride.
Soon after kicking off Burton were on the attack with a sniping break followed by the first of many powerful driving mauls.
The move ended with a penalty for holding on and in the blink of an eye Lichfield were crossing the Burton 22.
A knock-on gave Burton the first put-in, however a penalty was conceded for crossing and Lichfield took a three point lead in as many minutes.
Joel Briggs stole a line-out and Burton swept forward through Danny Smith, Benjamin and Tom Murphy. The move broke down and again Lichfield used their backs to make ground quickly and it took a tap tackle from Kelvin Browne to stem the tide, which was followed by a forward pass.
From the scrummage Burton opted to run the ball only to spill it. Lichfield then worked the blind-side to go over in the corner, before stretching the lead with a well struck conversion.
Burton were awarded a penalty straight after the kick-off and Darryl Banton stroked the ball over from 30 metres.
A Lichfield attack was then thwarted on halfway. Charl Neethling turned the ball over but Burton could not profit from the advantage and Dave Archer stepped up for shot at goal from 50 metres. But his effort struck the post and was cleared.
A Briggs line-out take was driven 20 metres by Burton before the forwards made further ground and earned a penalty for 10-6.
Lichfield pressed forward in reply and had a line-out 10 metres out. Burton stole the ball and drove a maul forward . Banton, Jono Edwards and Danny Smith took play over halfway. But Lichfield turned the ball over and looked odds on to score before Danny Smith made a try-saving tackle.
As half time approached Edwards attracted the attention of a few Lichfield studs. To add insult to injury he then received a yellow card.
At the break Ed Henry replaced Briggs and Jason Knight came on at hooker with Nathan Taylor switching to prop in place of Neethling.
Disaster immediately struck when Lichfield ran in a converted try from the first line-out.
In reply Burton made it to halfway, only for Lichfield to score again with a sweeping counter attack for a 16-point cushion.
Burton were laboured when they had the ball while Lichfield always looked dangerous.
Sam Smith showed great footwork and then made a 30-metre break, but the respite was short-lived and Lichfield made another seven-point score when it appeared that a Matt Boden tackle had halted the attack.
Debutant James Burroughs then replaced Edwards but Burton were pinned back by several raking kicks.
A move involving Dave Archer, Browne and Banton got Burton going forward at pace and when the Lichfield prop failed to release in the tackle he received a yellow card. But a Burton tap-and-go ended with a penalty conceded for holding on.
A Josh Cartwright line-out take on halfway launched an attack involving Dave Archer, Cooper, Taylor, Murphy and Ken Archer. The attack was held up close to the line but Burton retained composure and Knight barged over for a try.
Burton were suddenly enjoying the better of territory and a choke tackle on the Lichfield number eight from Henry and Banton earned a scrum.
Sam Smith took the ball on in the centre and then Banton darted forward. With their scrum-half tied up Henry and Taylor took the ball on. Banton then picked out Josh Cartwright sweeping around the corner and the captain smashed through the last defender for a try.
The score stayed at 29-16 as a spate of knock-ons brought the game to a close with Burton paying the price for injuries and hampered training preparations.