BURNLEY finally hit top form last Saturday in an excellent display at home to Oldham.
Losing Jack Stockdale in the warm up didn’t seem to affect the locals, as they secured a bonus point victory with, at times, sublime running rugby.
The game started slowly as both teams sought to get the upper hand.
As Burnley’s scrum got on top, the quality ball began to come.
Scrum half Dom Leck switched an attack to put winger Ollie Lord into space, and he was stopped short of the line. From the resulting scrum, Burnley won a penalty which Leck converted.
Oldham hit back and a lazy clearance was charged down for the visitors to snatch the lead.
The locals were stirred and there were several purple passages of play as the forwards and backs linked.
From a scrum, the impressive Steve Kent went over.
This gave Burnley further impetus and there were good runs from Ryan Bradley, Matt Calvert, and Luca and Nino Angelone, who eventually crashed over to make it 18-5 at half-time.
Early in the second half, good work by lock Billy Lancaster led to him feeding the impressive Leck, who gave a perfectly-weighted pass to put in Simon Finnan for Burnley’s fourth try.
Burnley’s scrum really began to turn the screw, but Oldham scrapped for everything, sometimes literally and the game threatened to boil over.
Billy Ingham went over for a try but the referee called a double movement.
Burnley continued to play with a passion and intensity which had only been seen in small doses in previous weeks.
Kent, Leck and the Angelone brothers were everywhere.
As Oldham tired, Kent drove over from a scrum.Hugo Lever added the kick.
Late in the game Ingham finally crossed the line.
Lever again added the conversion for a full time score of 37-5.
The seconds maintained their good start with a hard fought 22-17 win at Chorley.
Trailing for much of the game, the locals dug deep.
Burnley’s scores came through Wes Hughes and a Lloyd Whittaker brace, two Gus Ferguson conversions and a penalty. Man of the match was John Fenney.
The thirds beat local rivals Colne and Nelson 12-0.
Skipper Jason Bell led the way, powering over for a try converted by Ashley Hancock to lead 7-0 at the half, which didn’t reflect Burnley’s dominance.
Burnley played better in the second half, but the crucial last phase let them down.
Late in the game Bell’s quick penalty and some nifty footwork got him a second try and put the game beyond Colne.
The Under 19s lost a close-fought match 10-5 to league leaders Oldershaw.
Tom Cooley powered over for Burnley’s try.
The Under 17s went down in a gutsy performance after a long trip to Oswestry, scoring two well-worked tries through James Macken and captain James Henderson.
There were good performances from Dom Murphy, Richard Birchall and the returning Craig Hardy, playing out of position at centre.
Today the seconds host Rossendale at 3 p.m., and the thirds travel to Preston.
On Sunday the Under 19s travel to Ashton on Mersey, meet 12-30 p.m, the Under 13s and Under 16s host Bury, and all other junior sides are training from 10 a.m.