Somerset Premier
Burnham-on-Sea 71, Weston-s-Mare II 0

BURNHAM-ON-SEA bounced back from the previous week’s defeat at Minehead Barbarians - their first loss of the season - by crushing Weston-super-Mare 2nd XV on Saturday.

Minehead ended the Stags’ perfect record of 17 wins from 17 league matches, and if coach Kevin Innals was looking for a reaction, he certainly got one from his squad.

Weston arrived sitting 11th in the table, but there was no complacency from the hosts - especially not fly-half Tim Piper, who was making his 450th Burnham appearance in this match (see page 45 for more on his remarkable milestone).

Fittingly, the first try of the day went to Piper, who went over following Josh Holder’s interception, and converted his own score to make it 7-0.

Having breached the Weston resistance, two more Burnham tries followed - Sam Lewis picking the ball up from the base of a ruck and going over, and then Ryan Beard scoring after a turnover.

Piper converted the latter try to make it 19-0.

A well-worked move, which saw the ball switched from one side to the other, enabled George Goodall to bag a try - again with Piper adding the extras.

A second, this time unconverted, try from Goodall made it 31-0 at half-time.

There was no slacking off from the Stags upon the restart, as they went on to add 40 more points in the second half while keeping their hapless opponents scoreless.

A true team try kicked things off, as a move which started in the hosts’ own 5m zone - and went through captain Ross McKechan, Will Hopkins, Piper, Goodall and Richard Muskett - ended with scrum-half Lewis sprinting the final 40m to score.

Piper converted that try, and then another from Will Hopkins, before another burst from Goodall - bagging his third and fourth tries of the day (one converted) - brought the score to 57-0.

Tom Stevens scored try number 10 and Holder the final score of the day, both being converted, to bring Weston’s punishment to a close at 71-0.

Second-placed Nailsea & Backwell won their match to just about keep in touch - beating third-placed Minehead 26-19.

Saturday’s results leave Burnham - who now have 18 wins from 19 games - a massive 19 points clear at the Somerset Premier summit.

With just seven league matches remaining this season, the maximum points total that Nailsea can accrue is 104 - meaning that 16 more points would be enough for Burnham (currently on 88) to claim the title, barring any points penalties.

The Stags will aim to pick up five of those required points this coming Saturday, when they visit bottom side Old Redcliffians 2nds.

Old Reds have won only two out of 18 league games so far, losing the other 16.

Their last win came back in November 2019, and their most recent outing brought a 37-13 defeat away to Avon.

The reverse fixture, at Burnham in October, finished 42-7 to the Stags.