Burnham U12's take top honours in triangle
By Niall Hornett
Another big step forward for the team
On a typical late November day, and with a cold easterly blowing in, Burnham made the long journey down to Barking, once the hallowed club of a certain Jason Leonard. Times have changed for Barking, but their pedigree and club facilities are still first rate. So this was going to be an enormous step-up for the team, and without six regular players all unavailable for different reasons, the challenge was certainly on.
This was billed as an away fixture to Barking, but ended up as a "triangle" with Hackney also attending. Burnham opted to sit the first game out, and watched the two other teams play out a fairly uninspiring game.
It was soon Burnham's time to take the field, and the team seemed up for the challenge. The game kicked off, and it was pretty clear that Burnham were again the better technical side. They controlled the play through phases, making Barking work on their defence. It wasn't long before the first try was scored, and what a great team it was.
Barking came back, and rather disappointingly, Burnham allowed them back in the game with two soft tries. The pressure was on, and Burnham needed to regroup. This team though has character, and you can start to see that they pull together to work things out. The second half, was all about Burnham, time and time again, the team came in waves, probing for the opening, and they were eventually rewarded for their efforts. It was now even, but Burnham weren't done. Another attack, another try 3-2 Burnham, their noses were in front. But again, Burnham went to sleep from the kick-off and let in a soft try, Barking 3, Burnham 3. There were minutes to go. Burnham sensed that victory was theirs for the taking, and in the dying minute of the game, they went over for the try. Barking 3, Burnham 4. What a win! What a performance.
The second game against Hackney was played with 10, as Hackney were short. Burnham were clearly on-fire, and put in four quick tries. Half-time Hackney 0, Burnham 4. Second half and decision to rest a couple of players was made. The balance of the team was upset, and it was Hackney's turn to turn it on. Burnham seemed to be spent, the energy had gone out of the team, and the efforts of beating Barking were clearly taking their toll. Burnham made a couple of changes, and the fresh legs started to have the effect. Team had a second wind, and there was a passage of play where both teams traded scores Hackney 7, Burnham 7. It was all set-up for a grand finale. Could Burnham snatch the win?? Well, the team didn't disappoint. A super team effort, great handling skills, and Burnham crash over for the winning try. Final score. Hackney 7, Burnham 8
Overall, very good performance, good technical phases of play, but what was very pleasing was the team showed grit and determination.
Next week, Burnham host South Woodham Ferrers at home.