BURNHAM host Chard this weekend looking to notch up their first win of the Western Counties West season.

They started their season with a disappointing 20-15 defeat against Kingsbridge last weekend, though there were signs of encouragement.

The hosts handed debuts to Finn Duffus, Louie Ward, Connor Howard and George Prewett, looking to continue their fine home form from last season.

Kingsbridge flew out of the blocks and within the first few minutes, after a series of phases, they crossed the line for the opening try of the game.
Burnham’s old favourite, ill-discipline, then cost them a further three points when they were penalised for a high tackle.

Fifteen minutes later they lost Duffus to a yellow card, quickly followed by the referee awarding Kingsbridge a penalty try, after Burnham conceded their third penalty in the red zone just before the break.

That meant it was 15-0 to the visitors at the interval.

Right from the start of the second half, after an inspirational half-time chat from coach Kevin Innalls, Burnham noticeably changed their style of play and upped the tempo.

They soon created good lineout ball, followed by a break by Russ Pike, which resulted in a smart pick-up by debutant Ward to cross the line and reduce the deficit to 15-5.

Burnham kept up the pressure, giving Ward the chance to time a well-judged pass to Richard Muskett, who stormed up the middle.

The subsequent three phases of ongoing mauling enabled Tim Piper to release Nick McKen, then on to Ed Lewis, who released Matt Love to score in the corner.

Now, suddenly, Burnham were just five points adrift.

Just five minutes later, Kingsbridge’s clearing penalty kick missed touch and was well caught by Pike, who set off on a searing run.

He then set Lee Vaughan off on a barnstorming run and, when he was held up just short, he offloaded the ball for Chris Warner to cross the line and level the scores.

There was a sting in the tail for the hosts late on, however, as Kingsbridge secured good lineout ball before fashioning a successful rolling maul to score in the corner and claim a 20-15 victory.

Man of the match for Burnham was Chris Warner.

Afterwards, coach Innalls said: “After some good pre-season match performances it looked like we got stage fright, as we let Kingsbridge take the game by the scruff of the neck, with their forwards dominating the gain line and putting our defence under pressure.

“We made it easier for them with some poor first-up tackling and poor communication.

“In the second half we came out and played to the style we have been working on, which subsequently worked well.

“But for a poor lineout at the end, we had put ourselves in a position to win the match.

“There were many positives from the match that will stand Burnham in good stead in the future.”

Burnham are at home again this coming Saturday (September 9), against Chard.

In Tribute Somerset 2 South, Burnham 2nds suffered a heavy 80-12 opening day loss at Castle Cary in Somerset 2 South.

They are without a match this weekend, and return to action on Saturday, September 16, at home to Chard 2nds.