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Burton Colts 22 Southam Colts 12

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2013 10:39am
Southam, Stratford-on-Avon
By Dan Winfield
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Southam travelled away for their annual xmas away day and night but initially it looked like they had forgotten they had to turn up and play before the festivities began.

With a large squad they arrived to find a damp pitch and howling gale driving straight down the pitch. Losing the toss Southam were given the wind in the first half but it was a well-coached Burton side that showed early promise keeping the ball very close and catching Southam napping  due to poor communication, spirit and tackling that allowed Burton to nip in for 2 early tries, one of which was amazingly converted against the fierce wind. With frustration developing within the side a few early changes were made to bolster the centre of the back line and this quickly helped stop the Burton penetration but again Southam struggled to use the advantage of the wind. Burton scored another 2 tries before half time to go into the break 22 points up and it looked like Southam were going to end up on the wrong side of a real mauling.

A few choice words and further changes seemed to have an almost immediate effect as Southam who were forced as Burton were in the first half to keep the ball close put the hosts under some serious pressure. The wind in effect was a disadvantage to play with as any speculative licks simply went out on the full or into the hands of the advancing Southam full back.

After a very intense period of phase play it took a moment of pure skill for Will Woods to finally unpick a very resolute defence and weave is way over for a try that Lewis Dodds converted. Burton tried to respond but errors started to creep into their game and they never really challenged the Southam line at all in the second half and this was further borne out when Charlie Gilkes provided excellent support after a great surge from Ben Bramley to score their second try.

Southam were now looking for a real upset against a side who had lost only twice all season however 10 minutes from the end scrumhalf Lewis Dodds sustained a back injury and required treatment for quite some time, it was during this treatment time the referee decided light was fading and the player might require hospital treatment and stopped the game to relief from the Burton coaches and spectators.

Southam felt very aggrieved over this decision but accepted the referees decision.

Man of the Match  was full back Ryan Stephens who dealt well in the first half against the wind and provided support and encouragement throughout.  

Photo: file pic

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