BURNLEY won again on Saturday, but they had to do it the hard way to overcome a very physical Mossley Hill from Liverpool.
The visitors had one of the best defensive records in the league, which should have been a warning to the home side.
Despite that, the blue and golds opened at a cracking pace and threatened to swamp the visitors with their fine interpassing and running game.
An early Richard Murray pick up fed Simon Finnan, who put winger Matt Crowley into space, who was well-tackled.
Further pressure led to a penalty, and the quick-thinking Finnan went himself to put Burnley were 5-0 up in as many minutes.
Sadly this was to be the highlight of the afternoon.
Burnley, maybe sensing a rout, were rudely awakened as an injury robbed them of Steve Kent’s talents, then quick turnover ball led to the visitors replying instantly.
The game then became an arm wrestle as both teams sought supremacy.
Penalties were numerous to both teams, and the visitors proved adept at spoiling the ball and cutting down Burnley’s space without any sanction from the referee.
Tempers became strained and the visitors’ number eight was lucky not to go to the sin bin for an off the ball incident.
When Burnley did win quick ball, the visiting defence always seemed to have numbers to spare.
Late in the first half, a great cross kick by Billy Ingham almost enabled young Kyle Snaith to gather and score, but the sides went in level at 5-5.
Burnley upped the tempo in the second half, and a great tackle by Murray lifted the locals.
After an off the ball incident on skipper Nino Angelone, Burnley were adjudged to be the transgressors and incredibly lost two players to the sin bin.
The visitors made the most of their gift horse and took the lead.
Burnley dug deep, and the pack must take a lot of credit, as, playing two men down, they took the game to Mossley.
With 10 minutes up, Burnley were back at full strength and full of a sense of injustice.
The visitors finally lost a player to the sin bin after a high tackle, and Burnley took the game by the neck.
Murray powered over for the levelling score.
Burnley were well on top, but the visiting defence held firm until the referee finally lost patience with Mossley’s off-sides.
Ingham slotted over the penalty with five minutes to go.
The visitors then had their best spell and battered the home line, but the locals’ defence held up well.
When Burnley cleared, they got deep in Mossley territory, and another off-side let Ingham kick a further penalty as Burnley won 16-10.
The thirds had a narrow derby victory over Bolton 13-10 to take them to third in their league.
Impressive debutant full back Brian Kelly opened Burnley’s account with a penalty.
Chad Lakin then crashed over for a try.
Early in the second half Bolton pulled a try back, but full back Kelly hit back with a well-angled run to score a try.
As Burnley tired, Bolton got their second score, but Burnley defended well, particularly Eddie Blake, to hang on for victory.
The Under 19s went down in a close game, 22-14 to Tyldesley.
Joe Elison and Chris Pickles were Burnley’s try scorers.
Lee Ferrier added two conversions.
The Under 12s played a triangular tournament against North Ribblesdale and Colne.
Burnley acquitted themselves well in both games, going down 35-12 against North Ribblesdale, where Chris Knowles , Henri Wilkes, and Sam Wold were on the scoresheet.
Anya Richmond was player of the match.
Against Colne they lost 38-28.
Edward Handford, who scored four tries, and Richmond got the locals’ tries.
Coaches’ players of the match were Mason Heys, Wold, and Handford.
Tomorrow Burnley face a huge task, travelling to unbeaten league leaders Hutton.
The seconds face Preston at home, and the thirds travel to Carnforth, all 3 p.m. kick-offs.
On Sunday the Under 19s face Bury at home, kick-off 2 p.m.
The Under 17s travel to Bury, kick-off 12-30 p.m.
The Under 16s are training, and all other sides travel to Fleetwood.