Burnham 1XV lose away to Bancroft
By Niall Hornett
Horrendous conditions lead to disappointing result
In what was the last game of 2018, Burnham 1XV travelled away to Bancroft in the return fixture in Essex Merit Table 3. The team was certainly an interesting blend of youth and experience, and what could only be described as a back-line that had pace to burn. Bancroft were welcoming back some players, and their recent run suggested this could be a tight game between the two sides. Unfortunately the weather began to deteriorate on arrival as Storm Deirdre made her presence felt.
The game kicked off in freezing conditions, with a strong breeze and rain just adding up to a miserable afternoon. Burnham started extremely well, taking advantage as the Bancroft backs tried to exert quick pressure, but a lovely chip into space behind them allowed Conall Hornett playing on the wing to run through and with some deft footwork he kicked the ball through with a straight chase for the try line beating the Bancroft full back. A quick score Burnham 5, Bancroft 0
Bancroft restarted play, and as conditions gradually got worse, so the number of handling errors just increased. The game descended into a continual scrum, ruck contest, with both sides trying to gain some advantage. Burnham in their desire to have a more expansive game continued to use their backs, but handling was just becoming a major issue. In fairness to Bancroft, they kept the game plan simple, played a tight game in their forwards, and this suited their style of play. They scored a number of tries using their back row players to tie in Burnham's defence creating the space to exploit. By half-time they had scored 3 tries and 2 conversions leaving the score Bancroft 19, Burnham 5
The second half was not the greatest game of rugby, and by that time all the sensible spectators had long since disappeared into the warmth of the bar area, leaving two teams and a few substitutes to "go through the motions". As it was, Burnham woke up in the last 15 minutes of the game, scoring two further tries (Sam Barr and Charlie Wood), conceding one. Had the game gone on another 15 minutes it may have been a different story, but frankly by that time, most of the players were just happy to be going inside for a hot shower!
Final Score Bancroft 26, Burnham 15
Burnham host Basildon in the next Merit Table 3 game on the 5th January