Burnley ease to victory in must-win Holden Road clash

Action from Burnley's game with St Edwardes on Saturday
Action from Burnley's game with St Edwardes on Saturday
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Burnley beat lowly St Edwardes 24-0 at Holden Road in a must-win game last Saturday.

Burnley enjoyed total supremacy in the opening quarter as the forwards really set about the visitors.

The locals mixed their game well, putting in runners close to the action and out wide, as well as unleashing their backs at will.

The forwards’ dominance in a succession of scrums netted a penalty try early on and Gus Ferguson added the kick.

The scrum continued to yield benefits, with a quick ball to Simon Finnan, who scampered over.

Burnley were in danger of overrunning their opponents, and as Ferguson returned the kick-off, the ball went through several pairs of hands, ending deep in opposition territory.

Burnley’s power at the set piece was proving decisive, but the scraps the visitors got allowed them brief glimpses of their potential, one great tackle from Coates breaking up a dangerous attack.

Some ill discipline crept in, and St Edwardes gained territorially, but before the half Burnley upped their game and Sean Ward drove over the line but was held up well by a committed defence.

Burnley maintained the pressure, losing Luca Angelone as he charged a kick down. As Burnley attacked, they spilled the ball and the St Edwardes full back hacked through and, in a foot chase, decided to push Burnley’s Jo Haley when he would have likely won the chase.

The visitors came out all guns blazing in the second half, putting Burnley under the cosh, but the defence proved adequate as the game became a war of attrition.

The return of Angelone proved crucial on the hour.

He produced a great carry and more drives, followed by more scrums, built up the pressure.

Eventually Ashley Robinson went over off the back of a scrum and Ferguson added the kick.

A good Niño Angelone steal at a line out put Burnley back on the front foot and Finnan made a break, putting in skipper Paul Mullaband.

Tempers frayed, but the Burnley attacks kept coming. Finnan passed to Mullaband, who put in a superb round the back pass, but Coates couldn’t hold. Dom Murphy was then held up over the line as the game ended in a 24-0 win.

The seconds had had a thumping 88-12 win against Ashton on Mersey. Among the scorers were Will Yip, Austin Ralph, Joe Till, Andy Emmott, a brace from Ash Rothwell, and hat-tricks from Steve Harrison and Matt Higson. Dom Leck added six kicks, and Steve Harrison two.