Burnham U12's return to winning ways!
By Niall Hornett
Excellent Close Game against Basildon
From the scorching sunshine of last week to an overcast day and a hint of rain Burnham U12's played their first home match against Basildon in what was a really great encounter. With the Basildon kick off caught by Hull, and some excellent passing by Gillett and Duce this led to Courts scoring the first try of the match. From the restart the Basildon kick was intercepted by Gillett who showed some deft skills and quickly scored the second try. There was some great tackling from both sides and Basildon were unlucky not to score. Burnham though were soaking up the pressure like true pros, and eventually they were rewarded, breaking out their half and with a great run from Gillett, the resulting try meant the score was 3-0 at half time.
Into the second half, and it felt as if Burnham had gone to sleep. The organisation and momentum in their game was lost, and it was now Basildon that had the upper hand. They certainly had the players to capitalise, and quickly put the marker down as they cut through the Burnham defence scoring a well worked try. The pressure was being sustained and Burnham were just not on their game, and Basildon quickly scored two further well worked try's. It was now Burnham 3, Basildon 3, and entering into the final minutes of the game. Either side could win, and if Bet Fred was here the odds would be on a Basildon half win. Luckily Fred wasn't here, and finally the Burnham machine woke up! Working the ball from a scrum, new boy Duce linked up with that man Gillett again, and it was Burnham going over for the try. Burnham 4, Basildon 3, with Gillett a hatrick of try's.
After a brief stoppage for refreshments, reinforcements and some encouragement from Mr Hull, the second game started. Alas, it seemed to be a repeat of the first half, with the team asleep and this allowed Basildon the momentum to score two try's, and suddenly for the first time Burnham were behind overall. Burnham 4, Basildon 5. Could the team respond??? The answer was a resounding yes, the team rallied, and with the forwards taking the game to Basildon, they put them on the back foot forcing them to defend. Eventually the defence gave way, and not just once, but twice in quick succession. The first try was some great individual play from Courts, who showed the type of footwork that will get him a spot on the next series of Strictly come Dancing. Craig Revel Horwood would have been happy as he showed the deft movement that just mesmerised the Basildon defence who were left chasing shadows. Great try! 10/10 from the panel!!!
Not to be outdone, that man Gillett can smell a try line from a mile away, and after being set-up by the team from some sustained play, he went over for try number 4.
The half (of the second game) ended, and it was beautifully poised Burnham 6, Basildon 5
And so we entered into the final half, Burnham just needed to see this out, but for whatever reason, they just seem to like making it difficult. Basildon again came out with purpose and commitment, and it was no surprise that they scored from two set pieces. Now Burnham were behind again. Burnham 6, Basildon 7. It couldn't be any tighter, and Bet Fred would have stopped taking bets on a Basildon win if he had been here. But as they say.."Cometh the hour, cometh the team". It was time for that final rally and push. Burnham went on the attack, the energy and impetus was there again (how good would they be if it was there all the time!!!). Sniffer Gillett got that try line scent again, and went over for another try (that's 5), and now it was all level Burnham 7, Basildon 7. The minutes started ticking down, and it looked like ending in a draw, which would have been a fair result on balance, but just when we thought it was all over, twinkle toes Courts gets the ball, and ghosts through the Basildon defence. Unbelievable, Burnham 8, Basildon 7.
This game wasn't lost on entertainment, with both sides exhibiting some great rugby in a good competitive spirit. Credit to Basildon, they're a good side, and the return fixture will be a cracker if this was anything to go by.
The Burnham team played well, and it was a team performance, the forwards often get overlooked, but they ground out the platform for the try's and should be given great credit.
Gillett - 5
Courts - 3
Man of the Match - Duce . First game for Burnham, what a talent and he's going to be a great asset to the team. Congratulations, well deserved!
A narrow win overall. This truly was a team performance that allowed the tries to be scored. All boys played exceptionally well with Chase Duce being awarded Man of the Match for playing so well in his first ever Rugby Match.