IT was a tale of two games in two cities on Saturday as Burnley’s first and second teams had good wins in Liverpool and Manchester.
The firsts notched their third win in a row as they tackled Liverpool side Mossley Hill.
The locals started slowly, playing up a steep slope in front of a partisan crowd.
The home side dominated the set piece, making it difficult for Burnley to construct anything worthwhile.
As Burnley got to grips with the conditions, a good Simon Finnan break calmed nerves as he scampered over for a try on 25 minutes.
Steve Kent added the conversion.
The Merseysiders responded instantly, and with more accurate passing should have scored.
When the opportunity arose again, they made no mistake as their impressive number eight charged over.
Burnley responded well as Danny Marshall took a ball against the feed in the scrum.
The ball went to Ryan Bradley, who made a good break, and Burnley won a penalty, which Kent scored to make it 10-5 at half-time.
With the slope in their favour, Burnley were expected to run away with the game.
However, the home side put Burnley under lots of pressure, forcing them to make several mistakes.
With little ball, Burnley’s talented backs could only show glimpses of their skills.
Mossley Hill’s finishing let them down again, and Burnley lost Kent to the sin bin as the pressure went up another level.
Burnley dug deep, and with some ball showed their potential when winger Joe Till made a good run, taken on by Bradley and Brian Kelly, and the locals were unlucky not to score.
The loss of skipper Luca Angelone to injury could have been calamitous, but Dave Lord stepped in well.
Burnley were now enjoying their best spell as William Yip and Adam and Ben Healy started to get on top in the loose.
From quick ball, Matt Crowley raced through to score.
Kent added the kick and Burnley were starting to look good.
The home side again hit back, winning a lineout near to the Burnley line, but the blue and golds tackled ferociously to repel that attack.
Burnley’s fitness was beginning to tell, and from a good breakout, Kelly offloaded to Crowley, who raced through to score under the posts.
Kent added the kick to make it 24-5.
Burnley were under the cosh for large spells of this game, but never panicked.
Their defence was excellent and when opportunities came their way, they took them well.
Over in Manchester, the seconds found themselves winning a thrilling cup match at Eccles to earn a home semi-final against West Park St Helens.
Burnley started well, building up a lead.
A catch and drive resulted in Dan King scoring a try, followed by a Dom Leck try.
Skipper Ferguson added a drop goal, a penalty and one conversion.
The home side hit back, before Christian Allanson got a further try.
The home side hit back again, taking the lead, before, with time running out, Tom O Grady went over.
The home side had one last chance, a kick at goal, but as the ball drifted wide, the locals and a large travelling support savoured their nail-biting 28-27 win.
Man of the match was Mark Jackson, whose defensive contribution was immense.
The Under 16s went down to a very good Blackburn side in an excellent match at Holden Road, losing 27-17.
Burnley’s points came from tries by Sam Boult, Jack Donovan, Matthew Middleton and a Jake Foster conversion.
On Saturday Burnley’s first and seconds are home to De La Salle and BAe Warton, all support will be made welcome.
The thirds travel to Thornton Cleveleys, all 2-15 p.m. kick-offs.
On Sunday, the Under 16s travel to Fleetwood, the tags/Under 10s/12s play Blackburn and Sedgley Park in a triangular tournament, kick-off 11 a.m.