Somerset Premier

Burnham-on-Sea 52, Nailsea & Backwell 26

BURNHAM-ON-SEA scored eight tries to see off visitors Nailsea & Backwell and stay ahead of the chasing pack in the play-off race.

Burnham had picked up five points from their wins against Yatton, Imperial and Weston-super-Mare 2nds in recent weeks, but they fell behind early on here, after leaving a huge space by a ruck for the Nailsea scrum-half to run through.

The response was swift, as good pressure forced an error from the visitors, and several passes later Eoghan Westhoff wriggled though to dot down, Tim Piper converting.

Ryan Beard burst over after another good move, and then ? Holder found a gap to score under the posts; Piper converted to make the score 19-5.

Beard wriggled and twisted his way through for his second try, and Burnham's fourth, with Piper again adding the extras.

The Stags looked dangerous on every attack, and Alex Watkins and Westhoff scored further tries, and with Piper converting both it was 40-5 at half-time.

Nailsea were much improved after the break, and as the hosts' intensity in defence dropped a little, a converted try made it 40-12, but then Beard found Piper to go over for the Stags' seventh try.

With Tom Stevens in the sin bin for the home side, Nailsea scored two more tries, but the final score went to the hosts, as a lineout went long and was gathered by Westhoff, who barged over for his hat-trick.

After an outstanding first half from Burnham, some poor defending and loss of concentration allowed Nailsea back into the game, and they will be looking for more complete performances to seal a play-off place.

Wiveliscombe have secured the Somerset Premier title, and the automatic promotion spot, after beating Yatton, while second-placed Burnham sit six points clear of Avon in third.

This coming Saturday sees Burnham go to second-bottom Hornets 2nds for their penultimate match of the season, while Burnham's 2nd XV travel to Winscombe in Somerset 2 South.