Somerset Premier

Burnham-on-Sea 35, Yatton 3

BURNHAM-ON-SEA ran out comfortable winners in a league match between the two sides who will soon face each other in the Somerset Vase final, writes Lee Berry.

Yatton started on top and took the lead with a penalty but Tim Piper, playing his 425th first XV game for the club, responded two minutes later to level the score.

The game struggled to flow for many periods of the first half due to various infringements, handling errors and some dubious official decisions but another Piper penalty gave the Stags a 6-3 lead.

The Stags' defence was rock solid to repel Yatton's attacks and the hosts had a couple of try scoring opportunities towards the end of the first half but forced errors let them down and the first half finished 6-3.

The second half started in similar fashion for the first 10 minutes with both sides seeking that elusive try.

The Stags began to retain the ball well, keeping possession and gaining territory before going on a stampede in the final half-hour.

First up was Ryan Beard to score the first try, taking his tally to 10 this season, and Piper converted. 13-3

Just a few minutes later, Eoghan Westhoff showed his strength and skill set by dodging several tackles with his galloping run to score the second try.

Next up was Ash Cutter, who found the gaps, broke the line with a monstrous hand off to a Yatton player and raced over to extend the lead to 23-3.

Yatton didn’t know what hit them and it wasn’t too long before a rolling maul ended with hooker Adam Peters scoring Burnham's bonus point try.

By this point, Yatton’s heads had dropped and Tom Stevens had the last laugh by scoring the fifth try under the posts and Piper converted with the last kick of the game.

Saturday sees The Old Boys Reunion & Sponsors Day at The BASC with the 1st XV taking on third-placed Imperial RFC (2.30pm).

Burnham skipper Ross McKechan said: "It was a fantastic result.

"After a fairly tame first half with neither side really threatening a try, we showed our fitness and class by sticking to our structures and really wearing them down.

"As we built the phases and continued to tire their defence, the spaces opened up and we looked dangerous.

"The scrum and set piece was solid throughout and, again, the subs had a positive impact on the game.

"The defence was resolute and they didn’t really look like scoring.

"Lots of people really stepped up and it was a great result for us.

"The five points cements us in a second place for another week with a huge game coming up against Imperial.

"We have to take our second half performance and really take it to them next week.

"The Imperial game is sure to be a challenging one and it will play a big part in how things end up at the end of the year so we have to be at our best.

"Tim Piper was again solid with the boot, adding nearly all of the extras from tricky positions.

"Tim played his 425th first team game for the club on Saturday, which is an achievement not many have earned.

"Congratulations to him and there’s plenty more for him to give."

Somerset 2 (S)

Burnham-on-Sea 2nds 7, Somerton 2nds 22

FROM the kick off this was a scrappy affair with neither side being able to string more than four or five phases of play together.

Somerton missed an early penalty but, from the resulting drop out, sustained phase play saw the visitors go under the posts for a converted try.

Burnham responded with a howitzer of a clearance kick from Alex Bowkett which took the hosts from one 22 to the other.

A good solid lineout led to Scott Mills scoring under the posts and the conversion took the score to 7-7.

Somerton pressed early in the second half and an errant pass by the hosts was pounced upon by the visitors who scrambled through to score an unconverted try.

Super handling took Burnham back up the pitch and Mills looked certain to score but a dubious tackle saw him downed about five metres short.

Somerton broke from the scrum and used two runners to go the length of the pitch to score before adding a late fourth try to seal the win.