Burnley’s sluggish start is costly

editorial image

BURNLEY travelled to play Birchfield last Saturday and went down to a 17-12 defeat.

The locals had a very sluggish opening period, which the home side took full advantage of, taking an early lead with a converted try.

Burnley regrouped, and strong runs from Luke Smith and Tom Ives almost put Gavin Gregory in for a score, who was sadly injured for his endeavour.

Burnley then scored with a well-executed try from a blind side break from Billy Ingham.

However, poor first up tackling again let Birchfield take the lead.

As half-time approached, Ingham again scored, converted by Alex Menderos.

Burnley made some changes at the break as returning skipper Nino Angelone anchored the scrum.

Burnley dominated the second half, and good runs from Nathan Welsh and Steve Kent almost got the vital score, but a strong and determined home defence repelled attack after attack, and Birchfield eventually got a penalty to run out 17-12 winners.

Burnley host North Manchester tomorrow at Holden Road (kick-off 3 p.m.).

The second team can take heart from beating Wigan 12-11 in a fantastic match.

Skipper Gus Ferguson’s boot gained all Burnleys points and there were fantastic contributions from the returning Blair Bailey in the back row, evergreen Mark Jackson in the centre and a combative Phil Thornton.

The thirds, led by Jason Bell, went down 30-15 to a young Leigh side.

Steven Harrison powered over for Burnley’s first score, and good defence from newcomers Sam Hamer and Andrew Delaney kept the visitors at bay.

Half-time saw the introduction of veteran JP Walton, who added some structure to Burnley’s back play, leading to two tries from Chris B and David Bailey. However, Leigh just pulled away in the last 10 minutes.

The junior colts went down 37-5 to Buxton in their first outing, in a spirited performance.

Buxton raced into a lead before Burnley got their defence organised. Good lineout work from Craig Hardy and some strong runs from Ashley Nuttall, Ashley Grant and the returning Kyle Snaith almost got Burnley back into the match. Early in the second half the visitors extended their lead, but Burnley regrouped with good tackling from William Euxton, and a good run by Ashley Hancock further good hands from Kyle Hargreaves led to the impressive Snaith scoring in the corner. Burnley kept going, and with a bit more work on the training ground should be able to improve their performances.