Burnley bowed out of the Lancashire Bowl on Saturday against Garstang, opting to try out some of their promising youngsters away from the rigours of league rugby.
Playing into a howling gale, Burnley produced a gutsy performance against a huge visiting pack.
Burnley fought hard, with James White and Rick Delstrother putting in strong performances, forcing many errors. Despite this, the game was a fair 0-0 at half-time. Garstang used their physical power to establish territorial dominance in the second half. This saw the home team concede many penalties and lose two players to the sin bin. Despite this, Burnley pushed on, with Rob Quinn’s kick unlucky not to lead to a score. With the clock ticking, Garstang battered over the line and snatched a late victory with a converted try which was harsh on the home team.
The seconds progressed in the cup, making light work of the blustery weather by blowing Blackpool away 71-7, with 11 tries, five from Ryan Bradley, two from Lee Dane, and Sam Hamer, Gav Little and Shay Given all scoring one. Man of the match was James McDonald after his superb first try. Skipper Ferguson added eight conversions.
The thirds were at favourites Thornton Cleveleys, and were unfortunate to go down 36-3 as the home side utilised their first team’s postponed match to field a stronger side. Their speedy winger proved the difference, causing huge problems for the defence. Skipper Lee converted a fantastic try from Pete Timberlake which got points on the board for the visiting side. Injuries took their toll in the second half and the home side exploited the space. James Robbins was man of the match.
In poor conditions, Burnley’s Under 15 pack dominated with their picking up and driving skills, with Dom Murphy scored a hard-earned try. The second half saw Austin Ralph convert a well-worked try by Richard Birchall, before Regan Kelly then scored and Murphy added to his tally. The visitors were unable to cope with the locals’ powerful drives and late in the game Celyn Lennard scored a great try after multiple passes. Man of the match was Gareth Gregory.
This weekend the firsts travel to Barrow -coach leaves at 10-30 a.m.. The seconds are home to Rossendale, 2-15 p.m. kick-off, and the thirds travel to Warton.
On Sunday the tags, Under 9s, 11s and 12s travel to North Ribblesdale, the Under 15s face Sedgley, the Under 17s take on Buxton, and the Under 19 are at home to Bury (2 p.m.).