Burnham headed in to their last league game looking to finish the season in style against the opposition that they started the season. Although Burnham had one eye on the cup final on Wednesday 18th April they still put on a good performance that saw them remain undefeated at home this season and recorded their tenth clean sheet of the season, a remarkable achievement.
Burnham shot straight out of the blocks in the match and from a ruck near the Brightlingsea try line spun the ball out down the line where lock, Pat North, made a good angle to cut through the defence and score the first try. Brightlingsea then attacked back, however Burnham soaked up the pressure and then hit back. Burnham’s scrum, again a dominant force, drove Brightlingsea back over their own try line and allowed flanker Neville Murray to pounce on the ball to score. Again Brightlingsea tried to make a game of it and pushed Burnham back, but they were not getting close to the Burnham line and when Burnham had the ball they looked dangerous. As Brightlingsea kicked to clear their line the ball was taken by full back, Freddie Clark, and run straight back at them. With an amazing show of speed and agility, Clark, rounded four or five players and accelerated away down the wing to score Burnham’s third try. With a conversion and a penalty form centre, Lewis Wilkin the score was 20 points to nil as the whistle went for half time. Burnham knew they had another gear to step into and coach, Gareth Hoadley, told them to up their game in the second half.
Burnham listened to their Coach and came out in the second half ready to add to the point’s total. Wilkin was the first to respond and broke through the defence to score a try under the posts. Not content with doing it once, from the restart Wilkin immediately took the ball back and did it again, adding both conversions as well. In the process Brightlingsea lost one of their players to injury, and with no replacements available dropped down to fourteen men. This now created gaps in the opposition defence which both centres, captain Ross Sanderson and Wilkin, enjoyed exploiting and they both notched up two try’s each before the final whistle, all of which were converted by Wilkin. As the ref blew up for the end of the game the score was 62 points to nil in Burnham’s favour.
Burnham’s man of the match was lock, Patrick North, for an outstanding performance in stepping up to play a new position for him. Burnham now head into their last competitive match against Bancroft in the final of the Essex Presidents Shield Cup which takes place at 8pm on Wednesday 18th April under the floodlights at Thurrock RFC. It would be good to see as many people there as possible supporting the local team trying to bring their superb season to a finish in the best style possible.