Late drama as Burnley reach county semi-final

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Burnley Under 14s booked a Lancashire Cup semi-final place after an enthralling encounter with Didsbury last Sunday.

Straight from the kick-off, Burnley went on the attack, with the weather conditions better suited to the home team’s style of play.

Early attacking runs by props Seb Leonard, Roshane Hemmings and second row Maison Doe were contained by a well-disciplined and solid Didsbury defence.

After 10 minutes of constant pressure, the deadlock was broken when Liam Bythell punched a hole through the back line, Issaac Kelly converting the score.

Burnley again piled on the pressure, keeping the visitors tied up in their own 22, forcing a handling error which gave the home team a chance of scoring close to the try line.

But Didsbury won the ball and scored a long distance effort.

With the pitch and weather conditions deteriorating, the game got a little scrappy.

But again it was Burnley who capitalised when Tom Bolton crashed over the try line to give the locals a seven-point advantage going in at half-time.

In the second half, both teams attacked and defended as though they were in the final, with each side struggling to break the deadlock.

Didsbury scored again, however, this time converting the try, and tying the scores.

Now playing at scrum half, Will Parkinson tapped the ball and fed it out to Spencer Wilkes, who ran 30 metres.

With a set piece move, the ball was fed out through the back line, with Emilio Salvino, Charley Haynes, Logan Cummings and forward Jack Chapmen all getting involved, before the Didsbury defence caught up, stopping the ball 10 metres short.

Clearing out at the back of the ruck, Liam Bythell got his hands on the ball and crashed his way over the line for his second try of the day.

With five minutes to go, the visitors again levelled the scores.

With seconds remaining, Didsbury were awarded a line out.

With Didsbury only having to kick the ball out to win, a moment of madness saw the visitors run off the pitch, gifting Burnley a free kick just over the halfway line.

In added time, Burnley threw everything at the Didsbury defence, recycling the ball through several phases, before feeding to Dec Dutton.

Dutton cut through the visitors, and, in a race to the line, the ball was put down in the corner, giving hikm his first try in the game and Burnley the honours.

The final score was Burnley 22, Didsbury 17.

On Sunday, Burnley Under 14s travel to Fleetwood as they continue to build on a very successful season, with new players always welcome.

The second team also had a good 43-17 win over Thornton, as did the ladies in a 20-0 triumph over Liverpool Collegiate.

Tomorrow all three senior sides are away – the first XV are at Didsbury, the second XV at Preston and the thirds at Kirkby Lonsdale.

On Sunday, the ladies are at Broughton Park.

In the morning, the Under 7-12s are at home to Fleetwood at 11 a.m., while the tags are at Crow Wood.

The Under 13/14s are at Fleetwood, and the Under 16s are training.