8th Dec, 2019

Lions reignite their spark ahead of cup semi

Stratford Editorial 19th Feb, 2018 Updated: 19th Feb, 2018

Claverdon 33 Burbage 20

Midlands Four West (South)

CLAVERDON leapfrogged Saturday’s visitors into fifth place thanks to an entertaining victory at Ossetts Hole Lane.

The hosts returned to form in impressive fashion, but not without a hard fought effort against a Burbage side who put the Lions under intense pressure in the opening quarter.

However, Claverdon’s defence was fantastic and the visitors had to settle for a 3-0 lead via a penalty.

Around the 30-minute mark Claverdon won a penalty and kicked for the corner. The lineout was won and the maul was set up and captain Charlie Byrd broke himself to make a dart for the line, only to be stopped a couple of metres short.

Mikey Jay shipped the ball to fly half James Williams who slipped through the tackle and scored next to the posts and the conversion put the hosts 7-3 up.

From the restart Burbage failed to kick the ball ten metres and gave Claverdon a scrum on halfway. The scrum got wheeled but Jay managed to get the ball away to Matt Dunster who beat defenders and offloaded to James Barton who jinked his way to the line for a converted try which put the home side 14-3 up at the break.

Burbage rallied well at the start of the second half and their big ball carriers did well to force another penalty in front of the sticks which reduced their arrears to eight points.

However, Claverdon hit back and Williams broke blind to create a two-on-one and he drew the man before passing to winger David Shadlock who showed great pace to beat three defenders and score in the corner.

Williams was successful for a third time with the boot from a difficult angle and Claverdon had a 21-6 lead.

Another quality individual score soon extended Claverdon’s advantage when Sam Turrell broke two tackles to find himself one-on-one with the full back who he beat with ease to score between the posts before Williams again did the honours.

The hosts then took their foot off the pedal in the final 15 minutes and Burbage gave themselves hope with a decent converted score on the wing.

Claverdon scored their final try with five minutes remaining when a training ground move off the back of the scrum saw Ali Norman pop the ball to Will Lawton who drew the final man and gave the ball to Jack Johnson to score in the corner.

Man of the match Williams was unsuccessful with the boot on this occasion but it did not matter with the win and bonus point already in the bag before Burbage did manage to score once more via a bizarre break from their prop who attacked on the wing and scored in the corner.

The Lions now turn their attentions to the cup semi-final against old enemy Atherstone on Sunday (2.15pm) at Old Laurentians, where support would be greatly appreciated.

League action resumes at Coventrians on March 10.

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