Somerset Premier
Burnham-on-Sea 30, Nailsea & Backwell 28

BURNHAM were looking to maintain their unbeaten run as they entertained fellow undefeated side Nailsea & Backwell on Saturday, writes Lee Berry.

The visitors enjoyed good early possession, testing the Stags’ defence with many phases of play in the opening 10 minutes.

The home side stood firm, but once they gained possession of the ball they also found the Nailsea defence in imposing form.

It took an ‘American football style’ dummy after 20 mins by fly-half Tim Piper to trick the visiting defence into leaving a gap for him to gallop through, and scrum-half Sam Lewis was up in support to score the first try of game, converted by Piper.

The Nailsea forwards showed why they are a team to be wary of, as they set a platform for their backs to respond after 30 minutes and level the scores at 7-7.

While the teams shared possession and territory, the Stags had the upper hand with quick ball from the breakdown.

This momentum was difficult to stop, and Sam Lewis fed the ball out wide for hooker Sam Wall to go over in the corner; Piper nailed the tricky conversion.

However, Nailsea then caught the home team napping and responded immediately to go in level at 14-14 at half-time.

The second half started brightly for Burnham, and inside centre Will Hopkins showed his silky skills and raw power in forcing his way past several defenders to score the hosts’ third try.

Piper converted, and added a penalty after a high tackle from the visitors, to make it 24-14.

Nailsea regrouped and clawed back another seven points with a converted try, but two penalties in four minutes from man of the match Piper stretched Burnham’s lead out to 30-21.

The visitors hit back with another converted try, but the final whistle was blown shortly after the restart.

Burnham captain Ross McKechan said: “This was a fantastic and well-earned win against a solid Nailsea team.

“We spent a lot of time without the ball and defended really well in parts.

“We managed to stay ahead through well-worked tries and the reliable boot of Tim Piper.”

This Saturday, Burnham are again at home, for a double header in the league and Somerset Vase against Imperial (ko 3pm).