South West Counties Senior Vase

Burnham-on-Sea 25, Cheltenham Saracens 16

BURNHAM-ON-SEA made it through to the regional final of the RFU Senior Vase after overcoming Cheltenham Saracens at a rocking Pit on Saturday.

The Stags drew first blood in a cracking cup tie, Ryan Beard dotting down for a try which went unconverted.

The two sides then traded penalties before a well worked catch and drive from a lineout saw Cheltenham level the scores at 8-8 going into half-time.

Beard sprinted clear to score his second try shortly after the restart, but Tim Piper’s conversion attempt struck the upright.

Again the visitors hit back and soon took the lead after a penalty was followed by an unconverted try.

At 16-13 down, Burnham rallied and soon re-established their advantage with an excellent team try finished off by Piper under the posts.

Piper added the extras to open up a four-point gap, and Dave Harris’ late score sealed Burnham’s progress.

Burnham captain Ross McKechan said: “It was a brilliant day.

“We had lots watching, they brought a lot down and we knew it was going to be a real battle.

“It was physical and attritional, real bodies on the line stuff.

“We took our chances and our defence was really well organised.

“They were the best team we have played all season, so it was really pleasing to get the win.”

Burnham now move on to face Honiton in the area final on February 23. Sixteen teams are left in the competition nationwide, with the national final to be played at Twickenham.

A supporters’ coach will be running to Honiton in a fortnight’s time - contact the club for information.

The Stags are back on league duty this weekend as they host Bristol Harlequins, who are second from bottom.