Western Counties West
Burnham-on-Sea 30, Torquay Athletic 19

BURNHAM produced a sterling performance in claiming their second win of the season, although they remain bottom of the table with seven sides separated by just five points, writes John Piper.

With the hosts fielding a high proportion of youngsters, this result was no mean feat.

From the start, Burnham’s intentions were clear: to play at a high tempo and keep Torquay on the back foot.

After 10 minutes, Torquay were caught offside and Tim Piper promptly slotted the penalty.

Burnham kept up the pressure but it took another 15 minutes before Sam Everett drove up the middle and adroitly found Scott Beard steaming up on his outside, timing his pass, and enabling him to outstrip the defence and run in under the posts, with Piper duly adding the extras.

Not to be outdone, Torquay executed their own pressure, culminating in their winger scoring out wide for a converted try.

Just before half time, the visitors were again caught offside within range of Piper’s exemplary kicking, and it was 13-7 at the break.

In the second half, Burnham kept up the intensity and, within a few minutes, a smart move saw the ball whipped out to Lee Vaughan go round the outside, evade the full-back and score, Piper again converting.

By this time, Burnham had the bit between their teeth and, after a scrum inside Torquay’s 22, followed by quick recycling, Finn Duffus charged through to score next to the posts, the try duly converted to make it 27-7.

Torquay then made some changes, bringing on the heavy brigade (probably a combined weight of over 60 stone), which allowed them to change tactics, with constant pick-and-go play.

After gaining good field position from a scrum, the away side went wide to cross the line for a try successfully converted.

Burnham did not panic, though, and even though they were conceding a lot of weight, they managed to get a good drive in a scrum, forcing Torquay’s front row to go up.

Piper neatly curled the resulting penalty inside the post to put his side three scores clear again.

While Torquay persevered, they only managed to score an unconverted try right at the end, leaving Burnham worthy winners, 30-19.

The big positives for Burnham were better scrummaging, tidier open play and quicker tackling, and a full 80 minutes’ play.

Kiwi Muskett’s constant running into the opposition gained Burnham yardage every time, while the back row were likened unto a wolfpack in their appetite for attack and defence, with Sam Everett earning the man of the match award.

Burnham 2nd XV also tasted success, with a gritty performance in muddy conditions earning them a 31-7 win away to Wells 2nds.