Western Counties West
Cullompton 30, Burnham-on-Sea 7
BURNHAM made the short trip down the M5 but came away with another disappointing result, writes John Piper.
So far this season they have not managed a single away win, and now find themselves back in the middle of the dogfight for league survival.
After five minutes, Burnham were penalised for pulling down a maul, and the kick was made for 3-0.
Burnham were unlucky in the fact that every single bounce of the ball went Cullompton’s way, taking away the initiative from Burnham and aiding Cullompton’s marauding forwards, in particular their number 8, who broke through to charge for the line.
Although he was tackled two metres out he managed to stretch to score and make it 8-0.
Shortly afterwards, Cullompton extended their lead to 11 points when Burnham were caught coming in from the side.
And, five minutes later, Burnham’s clearing kick was caught by the home full-back and, with a combination of speedy passing and poor tackling by Burnham, their scrum-half was able to collect the ball 10 metres out and cut through to the posts for a converted try.
On the stroke of half-time, Cullompton crashed over through more missed tackles under the posts to make it 25-0 at the break.
Within a few minutes of restarting, Burnham were unlucky when Ross McKechan was taken off with a debilitating leg injury, diagnosed as a very bad strain.
The visitors, though, seemed to lift their effort and after winning their scrum – a stronger point for the team on the day – Lewis whipped the ball to Tim Piper, who created a miss move to Paul, who sped down the left wing.
He then timed his pass to Pettitt, who almost reached the line but was able to offload to Piper to make the score and convert for 25-7.
Unfortunately, Burnham then retreated into their shell and Cullompton were able to score again on the stroke of full time and collect a try bonus point.
Parts of Burnham’s game matched their opponents but they let themselves down with lack of discipline and poor tackling.
Lineouts were good, scrummaging adequate and, when they got it out wide, they showed they had pace as a potent weapon.
Burnham now must try and gain at least 12 points from their final games, and they have a blank Saturday this weekend.