Somerset Premier

Wiveliscombe 22, Burnham-on-Sea 12

THE in-form Stags made the relatively short trip to league leaders Wiveliscombe, known as ‘The Highest Town in Somerset’, and a current league standing to match its altitude, writes Lee Berry.

The game started at great pace with both sides making big hits, battling for the ball at the break down and trying to play quick and expansive rugby.

With the home side having the slope to their advantage in the first half, they applied pressure on the Stags in the scrums and scored the first try of the game to take the lead.

It wasn’t too long before Wivey added to the scoreboard with a breakaway try to extend the lead to 12-0.

The Stags began to work their way up the pitch with good ball retention by the forwards and some quick ball allowed the backs to exploit gaps in the Wivey defensive line.

With half-time nearing, fly-half Tim Piper opened up the Wivvy defence and found space out wide, where Jude Donnelley scored in the corner.

Wivey were straight back in Burnham’s 22 for the remainder of the half and they added a further converted try.

The Stags started the second half well and kept Wivey pinned in their own 22 for long periods but it was clear to see why they were top of the table as they defended very well.

Several penalties came Burnham’s way and they managed to break through the Wivey pack and force their way over the line, with Ash Cutter scoring and Piper adding the extras.

With the Stags hungry for more points, possession was key but Burnham had to defend.

Burnham kept Wivey at bay for a while until a penalty was awarded for offside.

Wivey slotted the three points and the game finished 22-12.

Man of the Match: Sam Wall.

Captain Ross McKechan said: “It was frustrating as we never truly got going and didn’t reach the level we have in previous weeks.

“It was a humbling defeat in some ways - it was a reminder that we still have to turn up and earn the victories.

“We have another big game on Saturday so it’s important to move on, train hard and focus on that.”

Burnham, who dropped to fourth after their defeat, host third-placed Avon on Saturday.