Avon Rugby 36-26 Burnham-on-Sea
Western Counties North
4th Oct 2014
Written by Steve Bird
Avon clocked up another scintillating bonus point win by 36 points to 26 in a try-fest against a dangerous Burnham side to cement 3rd place in Western Counties North.
Without the injured Ben Dilloway and Chas Meddick making his comeback off the bench, Avon again reshuffled their forwards giving a seasonal debut to Chris Hurd at prop who responded with a fine game in a dominant pack.
After some early cut and thrusts from both teams, Avon sprang into life as man of the match Jake Dixon opened the scoring with a try in the corner following some crisp handling in the backs and a deft offload from Scott Book. Rob Fitch converted magnificently and continued to pull the strings in the backs despite some over zealous attention from the Burnham defence which later saw their flanker yellow carded.
Avon swarmed forward again and swiftly recycled possession was moved wide to winger Dan Griffin who stepped inside with Gallic flair to touch down the second try. Fitch again converted and shortly after added a penalty when Ian Burnell was tackled dangerously into the ground. This brought Meddick onto the field, finding his way back in a powerful back row and it was no surprise when skipper Kai Harwood plunged over the try line from a 5 metre scrum.
Fitch again converted soon after and Avon were 24 points ahead after half an hour’s play. However Burnham showed their attacking qualities as they got in behind the defence before working the ball wide to centre Alan Weller who squeezed in for a try in the corner just before half time.
Immediately after the interval, the visitors again showed how dangerous they could be on the counter as they finished off a multi phased attack with a converted try from speedy fullback Jordan Paul. Avon responded strongly as their pack started to dominate the set pieces with 3 strikes against the head and when Scott Book stole a defensive Burnham lineout, the pack launched a massive drive which the visitors collapsed to concede a penalty try.
With the try bonus point in the bag and mounting confidence, Avon extended their lead still further with a sublime try. Smart inter passing from the backs on halfway saw the ball swiftly transferred to Griffin who motored up the touch line before Dixon made huge inroads to suck in the defence. 4 passes later, the ball found Harwood in space to crash through for his second and Avon’s fifth try.
At 36 – 12, it seemed the game was done and dusted but with Kai and Zak Harwood both off the field with injuries, Burnham scored two magnificent tries in length of the field sweeping attacks. Twice Avon attacking possession was stripped in the tackle near the visitors line and twice the dangerous Burnham backs broke away to score two spectacular tries from Jordan Paul and Jack Pope.
With Tim Piper adding both conversions, Burnham had clawed back to 36 – 26 and earned themselves a try scoring bonus point with ten minutes remaining. Avon showed their growing maturity and made no mistake in closing out the game to secure a thrilling victory, their 4th win in 5 matches this season.
Next week, Avon travel to play Cheltenham.
Avon 2nds were denied a game for the second time this season as their scheduled opponents forfeited the match. This leaves Avon in 2nd place in Somerset 3 North and hungry for their next outing!