Western Counties West
Burnham on Sea 13, St Austell 24

A SPIRITED display by Burnham against a team 11 places above them in the league table saw them robbed of a bonus point in the dying moments of the game, writes John Piper.

The hosts started with an intent and after three minutes they were 5-0 up following a catch and drive from 20 metres out, and it took their opponents 15 minutes to shake off their shackles and hit back in the same fashion to make it 7-5.

Then, unfortunately for Burnham, a move between backs and forwards was intercepted, allowing the away side to score against the run of play.

The hosts pulled the score back with a Scott Havercroft penalty to make it 12-8 at half time, but then another handling error gave St Austell the chance to pounce and score under the posts to make it 19-8.

Burnham fought back and, following a successful lineout and maul, new father-to-be Richard Muskett popped up on the blind side to score in the corner, cutting the deficit to six points.

But with a fraction of time left the visitors sent a high kick across the field, which was neatly gathered by the winger to collect their bonus point and deny Burnham theirs.

The home side showed that they can perform against much higher-placed clubs, and the results would improve if only they could eliminate the mistakes which cost them tries.

Burnham are without a game this weekend, returning to action at Sidmouth on February 17.