BURTON A recovered from a seven-point deficit at half time to clinch a 25-15 Merit League victory over Bourneville 2nds at Peel Croft.
The Crofters dominated the early stages, driving Bourneville back in the scrum and making good yards from a driving maul following a line-out win.
Clever tactical kicking took play deep into the Bourneville 22.
From a catch and drive the ball was moved out wide for Cooper to make some hard yards, before Gavin Worth stretched out to score an unconverted try.
As the half progressed Burton began to lose shape and Bourneville fought their way back into the game.
The visitors looked to move the ball wide to their pacey right wing. Burton’s defence was working well, but both Bournville wingers and their outside centre were a constant threat.
The Crofters then lost Worth to an injury. Harrison made a good 20-metre break against the run of play after coming on – but the ball was turned over.
Bourneville enjoyed their best period of play midway through the half, dominating possession and territory.
The ball was recycled several times before play was switched from left to right, with a Bourneville forward crashing over for an unconverted score.
Five minutes later Burton failed to gather a kick, and Bournville capitalised to score under the posts.
The conversion gave the visitors a 12-5 lead at the interval.
Burton rallied in the second half after Chris Atchison’s kick sent the hosts into opposition territory.
An accurate kick towards the corner and good chase put the Bournville full-back under pressure, leading to a Burton five-metre scrum.
The front row secured good ball and held steady for Atchison to pick and feed Ben Peach, who put winger McRobbie away to score in the corner. Leason narrowly missed the conversion.
Burton then rang the changes with Steve Cross and Nathan Taylor entering the fray, while Dale Pride made his senior debut on the wing.
Taylor immediately made inroads into the Bourneville defence. Taylor broke from a ruck on halfway and fed Leason who made yards into the Bourneville 22 before being hauled down.
The ball was quickly recycled and Dave Henry beat the last defender to score under the posts. The conversion put the Crofters 17–12 ahead.
The Burton pack started to secure their own line-out and worked the rolling maul for some good yards.
Strong carries from Tom Cooper saw him win a penalty on the 10-metre line with Bournville penalised for offside.
Leason stepped up to slot over the kick.
Bourneville immediately struck back. The visitors’ outside centre was tacked 10 metres out, but an infringement at the breakdown led to a simple penalty for 20-15 in Burton’s favour.
A good kick return from youngster Pride saw him make yards with a strong carry. Cooper won another penalty following a high tackle – but the penalty kick was missed.
A good take from George Wright at the line-out prompted a period of extended pressure.
Good driving play from King, Smith, Atchinson and Parker saw Taylor touch down – using his power to carry three defenders over the line for an unconverted score.
In the final five minutes tempers frayed at the breakdown with Bourneville throwing everything at the hosts.
Strong tackles from Baum out wide on Bourneville’s dangerous winger eased the pressure.
Leason also produced a strong tackle, enabling Taylor to stay on his feet at the breakdown and turn the ball over to secure the 25-15 win.