Promotion setback as Burnham slump to defeat in Devon

First published in Sport by

Western Counties West

Torquay Athletic 25, Burnham 20

BURNHAM’S promotion hopes suffered a setback on Saturday as they went down 25-20 at Torquay Athletic.

The visitors were outscored by five tries to three on heavily-sanded pitch in Devon to leave them two points behind leaders Ivybridge, having played two more games.

Russell Pike, Elisi Vunipola and Mike Hocking crossed for Burnham, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from slipping to their fourth league defeat of the season.

Torquay took the lead when scrum-half Alex Jeffery dashed his way down the touchline to score in the corner, but Pike equalised with a similar effort just minutes later.

But the hosts regained the lead when Jon Woodhead crashed over, only for Elisi Vunipola to hit back almost immediately with a try from close range.

Torquay headed into the break with a 15-10 lead following a third try from winger Joe Ward – and they added two further tries just after half-time through Rupert Edwards and Matt Williamson, who ran in from the 22.

Tom Chaffey notched a penalty fur Burnham, before a dominant final spell from the visitors saw hooker Mike Hocking touch down under a pile of bodies – Tim Piper landed the conversion to reduce the deficit to five points, but the all important final score evaded them as Torquay’s defence held firm in the closing stages.

Burnham’s next scheduled game is on March 1, at home to ninth-placed Okehampton.

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