First Team Match Reports
Match Reports 2018-2019 Season - First XV
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 24 Bristol Saracens RFC 1st XV 25
A bitter pill to swallow was how The Stags Captain, Ross McKechan, summed up the Playoff final against Bristol Saracens at The BASC Ground on Saturday afternoon.
The Stags had Storm Hannah behind them in the first half who played a big part for both teams throughout the game.
Saracens started the game with good intent and went through several phases in The Stag's half but were lazy at one of the breakdowns as they were penalised for holding on to the ball.
Tim Piper kicked deep to find touch but the lineout was lost. A passage of play went bye for Saracens and The Stags were awarded a scrum for a knock on and with possession back, The Stags passed the ball down the line out to Ryan Beard on the wing who scored the first try of the game. 5-0.
Saracens replied shortly after with a penalty 5-3 but The Stags were soon back in the Sarries half. Some quick thinking by Piper with a tap 'n' go opened up the Sarries defence and with Ash Cutter in support, Piper passed to Cutter who scored The Stags second try which Piper converted 12-3.
Saracens were dogged in the loose and made the breakdown difficult at times which slowed the ball down for The Stags and various infringements were made by both teams for periods of the game.
With ball in hand, The Stags looked dangerous in open play. A penalty was awarded to The Stags for a Stamp to the body of Jim Havercroft, which resulted in a yellow card for the offender and Piper kicked to touch. The Lineout was won and Sam Lewis spotted Will Hopkins running at pace who caught the ball and broke through the line to score and extend the lead shortly before half time 17-3.
With Storm Hannah now in Saracens favour for the second half The Stags found themselves receiving the ball many times from kicks deep within the Sarries half. This gave them plenty possession of ball and as they worked there way up the pitch with various phases a scrum was had and Sam Lewis gathered the ball from the base of the scrum, went blind and squeezed through two defenders to score. Piper converted 24-3.
Many would of thought that Sarries heads would of dropped but it was completely the opposite as they replied with soon after by scoring there first try 24-8.
With Hannah in The Stags faces the pace of play for the home team slowed and Sarries sensed this as they began to bang on door once again. Persistence paid off for the visitors as they managed to find a way through The Stags defence and scored a second converted try. 24-15.
The momentum of the game changed at this point and Sarries clawed another 3 points back with a penalty with approximately 15 minutes to go. 24-18.
The Stags soon realised what was needed and by keeping possession and gaining territory they found themselves camped in Sarries 22. A penalty was given for offside close to the 5m line and a scrum was chosen. Sarries were penalised again in the scrum and The Stags opted to scrum again. It was at this point things changed. The Stags were moving forward in the scrum but were penalised themselves and lost possession of ball when it mattered.
Sarries cleared out the 22 area with the help of Hannah and found themselves back in The Stags half but no possession of ball from the lineout. The Stags had ball in hand but during open play a pass was intercepted by a Sarries player who then kicked the ball from hand and managed to outpace The Stags last man and pounce on the loose ball over the line close to the posts. The try was converted and Sarried had taken the lead 24-25.
With only a couple of minutes left on the clock The Stags were unable to make anything of it and the final whistle was blown.
The loss meant that The Stags will remain in the Somerset Premier next season but we all must remember that the last 8 months have been ones to remember for years to come.
We go again!!!
Somerset Vase Cup Final - Burnham On Sea RFC 38 Yatton RFC 13
It was 10 years ago The Stags last made it to the Somerset Vase Cup Final which we narrowly lost to Tor RFC but 10 years on history made whereby an epic final was won by the blue & white hoops.
The Stags had beaten Yatton twice during the season in the league encounters but that was irrelevant as Yatton proved to be tougher than thought in the first 40 minutes of the final.
The game got underway at on Weston Hornets RFC 4G pitch on Tuesday night in front of large crowd.
The Stags went 3-0 up from a Tim Piper penalty awarded for holding on in the ruck after 2 minutes of play.
Yatton had vastly improved since the league games and proved so by playing some quick attacking rugby and pushed The Stags back within there own 22 area. Yatton were awarded several penalties for various infringements and eventually opted to kick one to level the score 3-3 once they realised The Stags defence was a challenge to break.
From the restart, James Havercroft chased and plucked the ball from away from Yatton, broke through the bewildered forwards but was brought down short of the try line. The ball was lost and Yatton slowly went through many phases to play to then find themselves back in The Stags 22 area. Touch was found, and The Stags wont the resulting lineout then kicked away only back into the hands of Yatton who relentlessly hammered on the Stags door and eventually found a way through after 20 minutes of play to score the first try of the game and take the lead 3-10.
Ryan Beard did a carbon copy of Havercrofts restart and The Stags were given a penalty for offside and Piper kicked to bring the score at 6-10. Yatton were dogged in the loose and ran with ball in hand at every opportunity but the every reliable D kept them out.
The Stags regained possession to push Yatton back in there 22 area and Yatton were penalised in the ruck. Piper kicked to touch, the lineout was won, and the forwards huddled together to form a driving maul which didn't get moving so the ball was whipped out and a couple of phases had passed then Will Hopkins somehow managed to find a small, but not that small, gap to score The Stags first try which Piper converted. 13-10.
Coach, Kev Inalls, made a couple of changes, one being Alex Watkins, who made an immediate impact, as he found himself galloping along the wing only a minute or so into the second half, to score out wide and extend the lead 18-10.
Yatton kicked a penalty a few minutes later (18-13) but it was at this point those nervous minds had settled in the blue & white camp and the players began to play some quick, open attacking rugby which Yatton struggled to deal with for the remainder of the game.
Piper found space with a chip over the top, the ball bounced kindly to Tom Chaffy who hacked the ball along and over the line to score. Piper converted 25-13.
Piper was then given further opportunities to extend The Stags lead with a couple more penalties which he did so, 31-13.
Chaffey was denied a try scoring opportunity when he chipped the ball over the oncoming Yatton player, who then obstructed him, so penalty given and Piper kicked to touch. The Stags lost the lineout and Yatton cleared away.
With time ticking and Yatton still seeking to score points, substitute Eoghan Westhoff, had other ideas as he scrambled and bounced his way through the Yatton defence from open play to score and the secure the win for The Stags.
Final Score 38-13
Safe to say that this season has been the most epic, triumphant, impressive and memorable one since the Vunipola days.
There is just one other very important fixture which awaits this illustrious group of players...…….Bristol Saracens RFC in the Play off on Saturday 27th April. KO to be confirmed but likely to be 2.30. See you there!!!
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 43 Oldfield Old Boys RFC 1st XV 7
The Stags were looking for payback in this last league fixture of the season against Oldfield Old Boys at The BASC Ground.
Old's started the game the stronger team with plenty of possession of the ball which allowed them to gain territory and force The Stags back in there own half.
That said, The Stags defence was sold as they with stood everything that came at them for the first 10 minutes of the match.
Once The Stags had some possession they then gathered momentum and went through the phases but errors came as they tried to force the ball allowing Old's to clear there line several times.
30 minutes of play had passed with no score and it took a 15 man maul from Olds to break the deadlock from a resulting lineout to score the first try of the game. 0-7
From the restart, The Stags kept Old's in there own half and regained possession of the ball. A couple of phases of play had passed and Captain, Ross McKechan, responded with a well worked try shortly before half time. 5-7
The Stags started the second half as they finished the first. Tim Piper kicked the ball deep into Old's half, which was gathered by the Fullback who opted to kick back. With possession back The Stags swiftly shifted the ball through several pairs of hands and winger, Ryan Beard, used his pace and power to score from out wide under the posts. Piper adding the extras. 12-7.
It was only a few minutes later that The Stags were back in Old's half and were awarded a scrum in the 22. The ball was whipped out by Sam Lewis too Will Hopkins who took the ball over the game line, then Tom Wall gathered from the ruck and forced his way close to the line then managed to stretch just enough to score. 19-7.
Again, several minutes later Full Back, Tom Chaffey used his elusive running skills to break the Old's defensive line and off loaded to the supporting Josh Holder who scored the bonus point try. Piper did get that one. 26-7.
Old's heads began to drop and they started to give away possession. They kicked the ball from within deep to clear away only for it to land in the hands of Beard who ran back into Olds 22 with Sam Lewis in tow who scored The Stags fifth try. 31-7
The support play throughout the second was just proving to much for Old's and Sam Wall spotted the gap and was tackled short of the line but Jim Havercroft was there to help as he scored the sixth try which Piper converted. 38-7.
To close the game out, Sam Wall was awarded from his previous efforts, as he had the say by scoring just before the final whistle.
Final Score 43-7.
The Stags have come a long way since they played Old's in the first fixture of the season but Yatton RFC await them in the Somerset Vase Cup on Tuesday 16th against at Weston Hornets. KO is at 7.30.
With second place confirmed last week this provides the last fixture of the season, a playoff against Bristol Saracens at The BASC on the 27th April. KO likely to be 2.30pm.
Hornets RFC 2nd XV 12 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 68
The Stags were looking to secure second place in the league on Saturday afternoon, and did so without kicking a ball, with Hornets awarding the points to The Stags as they struggled to field a full squad of registered players due to injuries and unavailability.
However, in good rugby spirit, the game still went ahead and The Stags pummelled Hornets by scoring ten tries, nine of which were converted by the boot of Tim Piper.
The Stags were unfamiliar with the 4G pitch, which was evident for various periods of the game, as they tried to force the ball in open play and bizarrely had many handling errors on a dry flat pitch, that said, when the ball stayed in The Stags hand's early tries from Tom Wall, Will Hopkins and David Harris gave them a 0-19.
Hornets got on the score board and intercepted a pass from within there own 5m line, by their scrum half, who ran the length of the pitch to score 7-19. Several minutes later, The Nine, scored again as he spotted a gap at the break down just inside The Stags half. 12-19.
The Stags replied with Jude Donnelley scoring not long before half time 12-26.
Now that The Stags had adapted to the pitch they proved why they will finish second in the league by scoring some well executed tries from various phases of play.
James Havercroft and Sam Wall scored early in the second half to take the score 12-40. Havercroft nearly scored again but had Eoghan Westhoff in support who scored the seventh try 12-47.
At he blink of an eye, Stefan Pierce scored the eighth try 12-54 and Will Hopkins bagged his second after a training ground move with ball off the top of a lineout which was whipped out to Will who was running at pace. 12-61.
Sam Lewis found space as he broke the Hornets defensive line but didn't quite have the legs so along came Tom Chaffey to assist and score which was probably his easiest try of his career to complete the game 12-68.
Final Score 12-68.
So with second place confirmed and one league game remaining next week at home to Oldfield Old Boys there are two other very important fixtures that lay ahead. The Somerset Cup Final against Yatton RFC on Tuesday 16th April on Hornets RFC 4G pitch then a Play Off against second place of the Gloucester Premier League. Team and date TBC.
Nailsea & Backwell 26 Burnham On Sea RFC 45
On Saturday afternoon, the Stags welcomed Nailsea and Backwell to the Pit for another important fixture in the race for the playoff spot. Nailsea came in on the back of a defeat to Old Reds, who they claim played 18 National 2 players, and the Stags entered the game, following three 5 point wins against Yatton, Imperial and Weston respectively.
Piper started the game from the middle with a kick that was rather shy of the 10m line, which resulted in a Nailsea scrum. After a few phases, Nailsea were looking to throw the ball wide but Burnham left a huge space by the ruck that the 9 spotted and coasted in to score (0-5). The next restart went 10m but was gathered by the Ravens. The Stags kept them in their half, forced the error and sent the ball through several pair of hands, before Eoghan Westhoff wriggled though to dot down. Piper converted (7-5). Nailsea restarted, the ball was gathered, after some good pressure. The ruck was set up and then the ball went through the hands with Hopkins, Holder and Watkins picking off their back line. With work still to do, Ryan Beard busted his way over the line, as he has done so many times this year (12-5). Shortly after, the stags were applying pressure in the Nailsea 22 and Holder found a gap and ran a good line, scoring under the posts. Piper with the extras (19-5). Ryan Beard continued to impose himself on his opposite number and was a handful for the whole game. Ryan picked the ball up just inside the 10m line and it seemed as though the Nailsea defenders would deal with him but once again, he wriggled, twisted, turned and managed to get it down. (Piper with the extras 26-5). As the half progressed, the Stags were looking dangerous and with every attack, there was intent and a constant threat. Alex Watkins got the next one, after some good work from the backs, cutting through like a knife through hot butter to score under the posts. Piper converted (33-5). At this point, Nailea’s heads had dropped and Eoghan got his second, following a sublime offload from Chris Warner. Piper added the extras (40-5). With 5 minutes of the half remaining, Nailsea put some phases together but were unable to convert. Half time score: 40-5.
The second half had a very different feel to it. Nailsea had clearly been given instructions to do as much as they could to dent the lead and put in a 40 that they could go away feeling positive about. Nailsea had more bite to them and although they were being quite one dimensional, they were getting over the gain line and making inroads. Burnham’s D seemed to drop slightly and the lack of line speed gave them front foot ball. With the Stags half asleep, Nailsea bagged a try, which was converted (40-12). The Stags responded well with Piper and Beard connecting well. Piper received an inside pass from Beard and dotted down (45-12). Nailsea refused to roll over and after some dubious refereeing decisions around the maul, a Raven player managed to score and the extras were added (45-19).Nailsea scored again shortly after and really had their tails up, after securing a four try bonus point (45-26). The final try of the game belonged to the Stags, who after another infringement from the Nailsea second row, put the ball into the corner. The throw was long but Eoghan gathered at the back and bustled his way over to complete his hatrick.
With the game in the bag, the Stags let themselves down in the second half with poor defending, poorer attitudes and ultimately not concentrating. In these big, upcoming games, the Stags have to put in more complete performances to ensure they get the results they are capable of. That being said, the first half was outstanding and the Stags were a real handful. Players worked hard for each other, made things difficult for them and were too strong. Next week, the Stags face Hornets 2s, looking to secure second place and Burnham 2s make the trip to Winscombe to follow up on their emphatic win against Martock.
Thank you for all of your support yesterday and throughout the year and as we move into the business end of the season with a cup final and potential playoff, we look forward to hopefully giving you more to cheer about. As players, we know we have come a long way since last season but we also know we have so much more to give.
Weston RFC 2nd XV 26 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 28
The Stags took the short trip over to the local seaside resort of Weston Super Mare on Friday night for what turned to be tough local encounter against Weston 2nd XV.
The match started brightly under the light for The Stags who were awarded a penalty in Weston's 22 for off side. The Stags opted for a scrum on the 5m line and the ball was worked its way to the back, Sam Lewis then whipped the ball out on the blind to Tim Piper who then switched play and saw Will Hopkins running at pace who manged to crash his way over the line for the first try of the game. Piper converted 0-7.
Weston soon responded shorty after the restart and levelled the score 7-7.
The Stags always knew this would be a physical match and stuck with the game plan, which frustrated Weston, who were penalised various times which allowed The Stags to gain territory. The first yellow card was given to the home team for bring a maul down and The Stags opted for a scrum again, knowing that they were stronger in the set piece and from 5m out the forwards drove the home pack backwards over there line and Sam Lewis pounced on the loose ball from the back of scrum to score the second try which Piper converted. 7-14.
Weston came straight back at the visitors but nothing really came of it after a few moves then lost possession. Good ball retention, and several phases of play by The Stags, who then found themselves back in the Weston half.
A lineout was had, gathered by the pack, maul set and off they went pushing Weston back deep into there own 22. The ball was somewhere amongst many forwards then out popped Sam Wall, with ball in hand, who bumbled from 5 meters out to score and extend the lead after 30 minutes. Piper converted 7-21.
Weston were persistent offenders at the break down and were penalised many times for offside and slowing the ball down. The Stags ceased on these opportunities with plenty of possession and at one point kicked for touch. The lineout was won, maul set and the forwards drove the home pack back from 10m out and loosehead prop, Stef Pierce, touched down for the all important bonus point try. Piper adding the extras. 7-28.
A moment of madness came soon after and The Stags kicked away the ball only for it to land in the Weston wingers hands who sensibly took the ball in field, and into contact and Weston recycled the ball quickly to score just before half time 14-28.
The second half got underway, and the late night rugby appeared to have an affect on The Stags, as the struggled to keep momentum going as they did in the first half.
The penalty count seemed to have swapped sides and The Stags began to give away possession and territory through numerous offenses. With Weston getting plenty of possession, they applied pressure on the visitors but couldn't come up with the goods. The Stags cleared there line from a knock on and slowly worked back up the pitch.
Weston were dogged in the loose and tackled anything that came at them for the next 10 minutes as The Stags could not find a way through. The ball was knocked on at one point, the referee allowing advantage, and Weston's back three set off down the flank at an almighty pace. The winger ran 50m, and looked distend to score, but was tackled just short of the line. The Stags were on the back foot at this point and as Weston's support came they recycled the ball at ease to score 19-28.
Changes were made at this point and Eoghan Westoff came on for Sam Wall in the back row, Jacob Allen came on for Chris Warner in the front row although his time was short lived as he was yellow carded for back chat so Warner went back on and Tom Wall made way as the replacement.
The Stags lost control of the game a little and Weston kept banging on the door. Many penalties were awarded against the visitors and Weston could sense thetry line once again with only minutes to go. A few dubious referee decisions went against The Stags and the frustration could be seen.
Weston kicked to touch, won the line out and whipped the ball out to there centre who scored in the dying minutes of the game but the clock had ran out, thankfully for The Stags.
Final Score 26-28.
With only three league games remaining The Stags sit in second place and take on Nailsea & Backwell next Saturday which will be another tough test for this ever improving group of players.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 33 Imperial RFC 1st XV 12
Saturday 9th March 2019 will be a day to remember for many at Burnham On Sea RFC. It was the clubs annual Sponsors Day & Old Boys Reunion as well as The Stand Naming Presentation to our Club President, Mike O’Farrell, and let’s not forget the 80 minutes of entertaining rugby played against Imperial RFC.
The Stags went into this match looking to overcome the defeat by Imperial earlier in the season especially in front of the large home crowd. Both teams started the game strong and exchanged the ball a few times before Imp’s were penalised at the breakdown just outside there 22m line. Captain for the day, Tim Piper, stepped up and slotted the ball between the posts to take the lead after 10 minutes. 3-0.
Imp’s lost a player early on in the game with a knee injury and from the resulting re-start, The Stags had possession of ball, pushing Imp’s backwards with some thundering runs from the deep and the ever reliable Ryan Beard had ball in hand. Being the elusive player he is, he managed to force his way through several tackles from 10meters out and score the first try of the game. Piper converted 10-0.
As they do with these particular fixtures, and few words were exchanged between players, and supporters I must add, the first yellow cards were handed out by the Referee. That score started at 1-0 to Imps and it wasn’t too long before Imps extended there the lead 2-1.
The Stags took advantage of being a player up and were awarded another penalty which Piper converted. 13-0. A few minutes later Piper then managed to score by outpacing the Imp’s winger, who was a lot younger I must add, to score The Stags second try and also convert to extend the lead 18-0
The game stopped after 20 minutes due to another Imp’s injury and it was it this point that the tide changed for The Stags. Once the injured player was taken off the field Imp’s went on the attack and somehow scored 12 unanswered point just before half time with two tries and one being converted. HT 18-12.
The minor blip before half time seemed to affect The Stags in a good way as they began to play some attractive rugby and keep Imps at bay. A penalty was given to the home team and Piper opted to kick too touch. The Lineout was won, maul formed and the forwards tied in Imps, the ball looked to go out wide but Sam Lewis dummied, spotted a gap and skipped over a falling green & gold body to dot the ball down over the line. 23-12.
It was clear to see that Imp's were frustrated and began to leave gaps in there defensive line. Some quality phases were produced by The Stags and Stef Pierce hit the line at speed, with Tom Wall in support, and Pierce managed to force his way over to score the forth try and secure the bonus point. 28-12.
By this point Imp's heads had dropped and ill-discipline allowed The Stags possession and gain territory. A penalty was given but power house, Will Hopkins had other ideas and set off at pace and sprinted his way over the line to score. 33-12.
Final Score 33-12
A splendid day all round for the cub. There is no game next week and our next league game is away to Weston 2nd XV on the evening of Friday 22nd March.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 35 Yatton RFC 1st XV 3
With these two side due to meet again in the Somerset Vase Final so this match was a clear test to set the tone for the imminent final.
Yatton started the stronger team with good ball retention and territory to keep The Stags in their own half. After 8 mins Yatton were awarded a penalty to take the lead 0-3 but Tim Piper responded two minutes later to level the score 3-3.
The game struggled to flow for many periods of the first half due to various infringements, handling errors and some dubious official decisions and it was another Tim Piper penalty that gave The Stags the lead after 25 minutes. 6-3
Yatton kept banging on the Stags door but there resolute defensive line worked to perfection and Yatton were unable to penetrate the line. The Stags had a couple of try scoring opportunities towards the end of the first half but forced errors let them down and the first half finished 6-3.
The second half started in similar fashion for the first 10 minutes with both sides seeking that elusive try but nobody knew what was about to happen next. The Stags began to retain the ball well, keeping possession and gaining territory then went on a stampede for the next 30 minutes. First up was Ryan Beard to score the first try, taking his tally to ten this season, and Piper converted. 13-3
Only a few minutes later, Eoghan Westhoff showed his strength and skill set by slipping ‘n’ dodging several tackles with his galloping run to score the second try. 18-3.
Next up was Ash Cutter, who found the gaps, broke the line with a monstrous hand off to a Yatton player and race over the line to extend the lead. 23-3.
Yatton didn’t know what hit them and it wasn’t too long before Piper kicked to touch, from an awarded Penalty, on the 5m line. The lineout was won, a maul was formed and the forwards kept the ball tight knowing the try line was only meters away and Hooker, Adam Peters, came up with the goods to score The Stags forth try and seal the bonus point. 28-3.
By this point, Yatton’s heads had dropped, as they ran out of steam, and The Stags went on the rampage up the pitch yet again. Several phases of play went by and Tom Stevens had the last laugh by scoring the fifth try under the posts and Piper converted with the last kick of the game.
Final score 35-3.
Next Week is The Old Boys Reunion & Sponsors Day at The Basc with the 1st XV taking on 3rd placed Imperial RFC. No doubt it will be a titanic battle for 80 minutes with a large crowd expected. KO is at 2.30pm.
Honiton RFC 1st XV 35 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 22
So the mood was positive in The Stag camp going into this final with the aim to make club history and progress further in the Senior Vase Cup.
A strong squad travelled down to Honiton together with the ever faithful supporters in tow to unknown territory.
The Stags started by playing up the sloping pitch and it was only several minutes before Honiton took the lead by scoring the first try of the game from the base of a ruck with a quick pick and go. 5-0.
The Stags then began to play the quick and expansive game we all know and were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the break down. Tim Piper slotted the ball over the posts for the three points. 5-3.
The game progressed a little with both teams having fair possession of ball but Honiton then used the slope to there advantage with a long kick from deep within there half which found touch to keep The Stags pinned back in there own 22 area but off we went up the slope with several phases of play, quick ball and gaining ground to allow Sam Lewis too force his way over the line to take the lead for The Stags. 5-8.
Shorty after the restart Honiton, somehow, scored two quick tries to regain the lead 19-8 before the whistle went for half time and unfortunately The Stags lost there influential skipper Ross McKechan with a shoulder injury. HT 19-8.
Honiton started the second half as they finished the first and we awarded a penalty to extend the lead 22-8 but The Stags responded immediately with David Harris crashing over from 5m out with Piper adding the extras. 22-15.
It was then Honiton's turn to carbon copy a period from the first half and scored another two quick tries from open play. 32-15.
The stags then responded and Piper broke the defensive line with ample support, and the ball was passed between several Stags and back to Piper who scored under the posts to claw back 7 points. 32-22.
With 10 minutes left to play, The stags felt the game could be taken away from Honiton but the home team showed why they are high up there own league table. They were awarded a penalty to close the game out at 35-22.
Credit must go to this group of players who are currently having a superb season with another final to play in the Somerset Cup against Yatton and sitting second in the table.
Next week its back to league action against Yatton, of all teams, back at The BASC.
Old Red's RFC 2nd XV 10 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 22
The Stags ventured up to Bristol for the last time this season too take on Old Red's 2nd XV who currently sat 9th in the league table.
With the slope of the pitch to The Stags advantage off they went and immediately applied pressure on Red's defensive line and within a couple of minutes from the KO, the ball was recycled out wide to No 8 Ash Cutter, no idea what he was doing on the wing, who used his strength to crash over the line and take a 0-5 lead.
The Stags were in control of the game for many periods of the first half with quick recycled ball at the break down but poor decision making and handling errors let them down which gave possession & territory away at that crucial point.
Back row, Sam Wall, went off with mild concussion and minutes later, Fly Half Tom Chaffey, went off with a dislocated finger so on came, Eoghan Westhoff for Wall and Felix Grandfield for Chaffey with Piper stepping back in to his usual position at Fly Half.
Red's noticed the frustration on The Stag's faces and soon it was there turn to take control for the remainder of the first half which paid off as they levelled the game at 5-5- shorty before the break.
The mood at half time was a combination of positive & negative and trying to take the positives out of the first half was proving difficult due to error strewn first half performance, that said, this tenacious group of players showed why they are high up the league table.
The Stags were awarded a penalty in the Red's 22 which Piper slotted over to regain the lead 5-8.
From the restart, Red's Fly half kicked the ball high, which gave the home pack time to race into The Stags 22 and force more errors. Once composure had be regained and good ball retention The Stags slowly worked there way up the slope. They found themselves in the Red's 22, working from side to side with slow ball and seeking any gaps that appeared in the Red's back line.
The phases of play hit double figures before The Stags broke the Red's line and Ryan Beard did what he does best out wide and scored a much needed but well deserved try with Piper adding the conversion. 5-15.
The stags knew what was coming from the KO but didn't react quickly enough and lost ball gave Red's an opportunity to test the away defence. Ryan Rossiter was outstanding all afternoon at outside centre nailing anything moved.
With 10 minutes to play, Piper spotted a gap in the 9-10 channel, made 25 m with Beard in support who received the pass and sealed the win. 5-22.
Red's had other ideas and from the KO forced the errors which paid off as they scored an consolation try not long before the final whistle.
Final score 10-22.
MOM - Ryan Rossiter.
DOD - Tom Stevens for punching his team mate
Next week we travel to Honiton RFC in what will be an epic game of rugby in the South West Counties Final. KO is at 2.00pm. Coach leaves The BASC at 11.00am.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 68 Bristol Harlequins 0
The Stags were back to league action this weekend, after last weeks emphatic cup win, and hosted Bristol Harlequins who were currently second from bottom.
The Stags had good possession of ball from the start and began to test the Quins defensive line which held out for around 8 minutes until The Stags displayed a stunning phase of play from right to left, using the full width of the pitch. The ball was fed out wide and to the hands of Ryan Beard who showed his pace to score the first try of the game. Tim Piper converting to take a 7-0 lead.
The Quins pack were dogged in the loose and managed to turn over the ball several times but struggled to keep possession at times.
Several minutes after the first Try Beard struck again out wide to make it 12-0.
From the re-start, The Stags moved up the pitch and continued to keep Quins in there half. A scrum was awarded to home side, and with the ever reliable quick ball being produced by the forwards, Jude Donnelly scored the Third try out wide with Piper adding the extra's. 19-0.
Quins found themselves in The Stags 22 for a short period but lost possession during a phase of play and the ball ended up in Beard's hands, who then raced out of his own half, meandered his way around a couple of Quin players but was tackled just short of the line and managed to pass too the supporting Tom Wall who scored under the posts. 26-0.
At no point during the game did Quins allow there heads to drop and continued in vain to keep The Stags away from the try line but various errors gave the home team plenty of possession. Captain, Ross Mckechan, was his nuisance self around the park, tackling anything that moved and ripping the ball out of Quins hands on a few occasions.
Just before half time, Tom Wall scored his second try from open play with some sublime running and strength around several Quins players. Piper made it 33-0 at the break.
With the damage done in the first half, the first 15 minutes of the second was a little subdued as The Stags eased off the gas. A few errors gave Quins possession but they were unable to make anything of it.
When the ball was in The Stags possession they played some sensible rugby kicking for touch to keep Quins pinned back. Winning the lineouts, only a few meters out from the try line meant only one thing, catch & drive, and on we go. Chris Warner scored and several minutes later a penalty try was given for off side and The Stags found themselves 47-0 up.
Back again we went and a carbon copy lineout allowed Stefan Pierce to score and Piper converted 54-0.
Tom wall then showed why he was awarded Man of the Match as he went galloping back in the Quins half to score his Hatrick and make it 61-0.
Somewhere during the game another try was scored by someone and the game finished at 68-0.
MOTM - Tom Wall.
BURNHAM ON SEA 1st XV 25 CHELTENHAM SARACENS 1st XV 16
It was 11 years ago that The Stags last played in the Senior Vase Cup and this season an opportunity was given to enter with a home draw against Cheltenham Saracens who play in the Gloucester Premier League.
Sarris arrived in good time for the early KO and brought with them a colourful bunch of supporters for what was a classic cup match.
The game started in typical rugby fashion with both teams making some big hits in the middle of the park and The Stags back row, Luke Gowan, feeling the full force from one of the Sarries players.
Both teams had 50/50 possession for the first 10 mins and it was clear to see that Sarries meant business in the loose with physical tackling and being very quick at the break down.
Once the game had settled a little, The Stags used the ball well and Tim Piper managed to gather a loose ball, break the Sarries defensive line with Tom Wall in support who then passed out wide to Ryan Beard who scored the first try of the game and take a 5-0 lead.
Soon after, it was Sarries turn to apply some pressure onThe Stags and were awarded a penalty, just outside the 22 area, for holding on in the ruck. The Sarries flyhalf had just enough legs to slot the ball over for the three points. 5-3.
The Sarries fly half & inside centre were the key players for the visitors and taking control for various periods of the game for the visitors but The Stags showed what they were good with quick ball recycling by the forwards and fluid open rugby by the backs. The Stags were awarded a penalty, which resulted in a yellow card for the offending player, and Piper extended the lead 8-3.
Sarries were then straight back in The Stags half and it wasn't too long before a penalty was given for off side, Sarries kicked for touch for a line out. The line out was won and a well worked catch n drive gave Sarries momentum to push The Stags back over the try line to score and level the points at 8-8.
A few wise words were given by Captain, Ross Mckechan and coach Kevin Inalls at half time and the players responded immediately.
Sarries struggled with the quick ball being recycled and this allowed The Stags to open the gaps in the defensive line. in one phase of play from the centre of the park the ball found its way passed down the back line and winger Ryan Beard did the unexpected yet again. With ball in hand, running at pace, outclassed the oncoming defender by throwing the dummy pass, a carbon copy from the Avon game, slip a tackle to score our second try. Piper hit the post unfortunately. 13-8.
Sarries clawed another three points back with another penalty 13-11.
Soon after The Stags defensive line ws opened up by Sarries and a well worked try from with there own half was scored to take the lead 13-16.
The stags then displayed the best move of the game, with outside centre, Sam Chillingworth taking the ball at pace, passing to Piper who spotted a gap and did a
one two with Sam Lewis, Piper saw Beard in support who threw the dummy pass, a carbon copy from the Avon game, made ground and then back to Piper who scored under the posts to regain the lead. 20-16.
The game then a bit of ping pong action with both teams trying to force the other back in there own half but The Stags had other ideas with the clock ticking and 10 minutes to go. Good possession of ball by the forwards and slowing the game down paid off as Dave Harris forced his way over the line from a quick ball at the back of ruck to seal victory for the home team. 25-16 final score
Credit must go to Sarries as they played well for many periods of the game and gave The Stags a close encounter in what was probably our toughest game of the season so far.
There were jubilant scenes on the pitch as the final whistle was blown and this just shows how far this team has come in the last 5 months.
The final will be played on the 23rd Feb against Honiton RFC.
MOTM was awarded to Ryan Beard.
BEARDO FINDS HIS 21ST GEAR
BOS RFC 1st XV 25 AVON RFC 1st XV 19
After last weeks defeat away to Wiveliscombe The Stags were looking to get back to winning ways against Avon RFC.
The stags started the game with good possession of ball but several handling errors and Avon applying pressure at the break down it was a bit of wobbly start for the home team.
Once the game had settled a little The stags showed the large home crowd what they were good at with quick ball produced by the forwards allowing Scrum Half, Sam Lewis, to whip the ball out to Eoghan Westhoff who managed to break through several Avon players and race towards the line with Lewis in support, who then caught the pass from Westhoff and force his way over the line out wide to score the first try of the game. 5-0
It wasn't too long until a similar move gave Sam Chillingworth the opportunity to show his silky running skills and also break the Avon defence and then passed to the supporting Tim Piper who scored The Stags second try and extend the lead 12-0.
Things definitely started to click for The Stags who then produced the best phase of play all game. A quick ball out from the scrum by Lewis, to Piper who gained territory and passed down the line to birthday boy, Ryan Beard, who then found his 21st gear sprinting towards line and gave the most awesome dummy to the oncoming Avon player who fell to the dummy and let Beard race to the line who scored The Stags third try. 17-0
Avon had other ideas and responded immediately by forcing The Stags back in there own 22 and we awarded a scrum on the 5m line. The ball was won and the Avon fly half scored from 10m out slipping past several tackles. 17-7.
Avon started the second in similar fashion and were strong at the rucks & mauls winning the fight several times. That said, The stags continued as they left the first half, with several phases of play across the park and producing that quick ball was another perfect opportunity for Chilly to score the forth try. 22-7.
Westhoff found himself in the bin for 10 mins and it was this point Avon got back into the game and scored from the resulting penalty to claw the score back 22-12.
Piper then extended the lead with a further 3 points from 25m out but Avon's pack continued to apply pressure which paid off as they scored another converted try with a driving maul and still 15 mins left to play. 25-19.
It was these next 15 minutes that The Stags defended like warrior putting there bodies on the line to slow the game down and keep Avon at bay.
Final Score 25-19
A fine display of open running rugby was witnessed by many and MOTM was given to Ryan Beard for his pace and well executed try.
The Stags have a week off next weekend and return the action on the 2nd February to take on Cheltenham Saracens in the Senior Vase Cup. KO at 2.00pm.
Wiveliscombe RFC 1st XV 22 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 12
The Stags to the relatively short trip to Wiveliscombe, known as The Highest Town in Somerset, and a current league standing to match its altitude, to make amends from the fixture earlier in the season.
The Stags lost Luke Gowan in the warm up so Sam Wall started in the back row together with Tom Stevens and Ash Cutter at No 8.
The game started at great pace with both sides making big hits, battling for the ball at the break down and when ball was in hand you could see that both teams wanted to play quick and expansive rugby.
With the home side having the slope to there advantage in the first half, they applied pressure on the Stags in the scrums and scored the first try of the game to take the lead.
Last weeks MOTM, Chris Warner replaced Nick McKen in the front row but It wasn't too long before they added to the scoreboard with a breakaway try and extend the lead 12-0.
The Stags began to work there way up the pitch with good ball retention by the forwards and some quick ball produced allow the backs to exploit the Wivvy defensive line. With half time nearing Fly half Piper opened up the Wivvy defence, found space out wide with Jude Donnelley in support who scored in the corner. 12-5.
Wivvy were straight back in The Stags 22 for the remainder of the half and they added a further converted try. HT 19-5.
The stags started the second half perfectly and kept Wivvy pinned in there own 22 for long periods but it was clear to see why they were top of the table as they defended very well but The Stags kept on coming. Several penalties came Burnham's way, who with great patience and composure, managed to break the Wivvy pack and force there way over the line with Ash Cutter scoring and Piper adding the extras. 19-12.
With The Stags hungry for more points, possession was key against the run of play, The Stags found themselves defending the white line and by trusting The D Burnham kept Wivvy at Bay for a while until a penalty was awarded for off side. Wivvy slotted the three points and the game finished 22-12.
Credit goes to Wiveliscombe and we wish them all the best for remainder of the season.
Man of the Match was awarded to Sam Wall.
Next week The Stags are home to Avon RFC.
BOS RFC 1st XV 13 Minehead RFC 1st XV 9
The Stags entered 2019 in similar fashion as they left 2018 and continue there winning streak.
Chris Warner and the three Tom's - Stevens, Wall & Chaffey all returned from injury with the latter hoping to last more than five minutes after his brief spell in the first game of the season were dashed with a broken collar bone.
Ross McKeckan & Sam Lewis were on a field trip somewhere, being taught how to plan future excursions during mid season!
Minehead were obviously keen to make amends after they were beaten on home turf in the fixture earlier in the season and they clearly had a game plan.
The Stags started the game with good possession of ball but were struggling to find territory in the Minehead half in the first 10 mins of the game as the away forwards slowed the ball down and forced several errors from the home team.
The Minehead Scrum half used the ball well and found space several times behind the defence line, and with The Stags on the back foot, several penalties were awarded to Minehead who capitalised on the mistakes and the Stags found themselves 0-6 down after 20 mins which could of been 9 points but the cross bar helped the home side.
Warner came on for Nick McKen in the front row after 25 mins and his presence was known immediately in the scrums and around the park. Minehead were kept in there own 22 for the next 10 minutes as The Stags began to play some attractive & expansive rugby but three weeks off and some good defence lines by Minehead kept the home side out.
Jake Allen came on at HT for Stef Pierce in the front row to bolster the pack even more and The Stags were getting the better of the away forwards in the scrums.
With only 5 minutes gone into the second half, The Stags were awarded a penalty but some smart thinking from Piper, and the Ref allowing advantage, a kick over the top of the Minehead back line was chased by Tom Chaffey, who managed to dance his way through two defenders and pounce on the loose ball to give The Stags the first try of the game 5-6.
The Stags upped there game for the next 10 minutes and were awarded a Penalty which Piper slotted over to take an 8-6 lead.
More changes were made with Tom Stevens coming on into the back row and Nick Mcken came back on for Sam Wall at Hooker.
Minehead were awarded another penalty for a deliberate knock on, with Sam Chillingworth finding himself sat on the bench for the next minutes, and regained the lead 8-9.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Piper kicked for touch from a resulting penalty, the lineout was lost but some quick pressure from the forwards on the Minehead scrum half forced a 5m scrum. With the changes made in the pack, Minehead the forwards began to tire which allowed No 8, Ash Cutter, to pick and go from the base of the scrum and force his way over to take the lead again 13-9.
With light fading fast and a tense crowd watching the remaining 10 mins seemed like another 40 minutes but credit must go to these group of players who, in recent seasons, would of folded and head would of dropped but the composure of all players remained firm until that final whistle was blown.
Final Score 13-9.
Man Of The Match was warded to Chris Warner for his solid scrummaging, ball carrying and his presence in the loose. A close second was Tom Wall who I'd like to think was the quiet assassin around the park all game.
Next Week we travel to the dark depths of Somerset to take on league leaders Wiveliscombe.
Burnham On Sea 1st XV 91 Hornets 2nd XV 0
After last weeks epic win over Nailsea & Backwell, The Stags were looking to continue there fine form and entertained Hornets 2nd's at The Pit.
The Burnham Faithful turned up in their droves on this wet and breezy Saturday afternoon but it was well worth it as The Stags started the game superbly and put Hornets straight under pressure and were awarded a penalty in the away 22. This allowed the home forwards to show what they are capable of from a set peace and a driving maul gave Stef Pierce the opportunity to score The Stags first try which Tim Piper converted. 7-0.
From the restart the forwards recycled the ball quickly out the backs and outside centre Ryan Beard showed what speed he had to break away from within his own half but was brought down on the 5m line.
The Stags continued to put Hornets on the back foot with quick recycling of the ball and Flanker Luke Gowan saw the gaps appearing in the Hornets defence but was tackled just short of the try line and the supporting Sam Lewis gathered the ball from the tackle and dived over the line. Piper adding the extras.14-0
Shortly after the restart Piper chipped the ball over the Hornets defence line and winger Eoghan Westhoff sped down the wing, collected the loose ball and was tackled by the away fullback. The ball worked its way down the line and across the pitch to fullback, Ryan Rossiter, out on the wing to score the third try of the game.19-0.
Hornets were struggling to deal with the Stags style of play and scrum half, Sam Lewis, showed his silky skills to score two quick tries to get his hattrick.29-0.
Second Row, Birkan Gunduz, carried the ball well throughout the match as he could sniff the Man of the Match award from Match Day Sponsor, Nando's and extended The Stags lead with a try just before half time. 34-0
Now the second half started pretty much the same as the first. Ash Cutter pounced on a loose ball on the Hornets 22m line and scored near the posts. Piper converted. 41-0.
The away forwards began to tire in the set peace, and The Stags engine room went full steam ahead in one scrum, forcing Hornets back over there own line, to give Sam Wall chance to score. 46-0
There was a period of 10 mins where Uncontested scrums had to happen due to a Hornets front row player being Sin Binned and the replacement was off injured.
The Stags took advantage of 14 men and it was at this point the tries just came one after the other. Thomas Harris scored out on the wing to take the points over the fifty mark. 51-0.
Adam Peters made it 58-0 with Piper doing his bit, Ryan Beard scored soon after, 65-0 and it was then at this point I lost all track of who scored from the various phases of play for the last 15 minutes and after consulting my fellow team members can confirm that further tries were scored by Captain Keckers, who got two, Henry Bigwood with one and Sam Wall who also scored two totalling a mass of 15 tries.
Yet again, The Stags showed why they are not far behind the league leaders with a fine display of open flowing rugby.
Final score 91-0.
MOTM - Birkan Gunduz
Match Day Sponsor - Nando's
Nailsea & Backwell RFC 1st XV 24 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 25.
The Stags took the short trip up the M5, and over a bit, with what some would say a weaker starting match day team due to many injuries within the squad, sustained over recent weeks, but think again as the story unfolds.
A welcome return to the club and team sheet was Henry Bigwood, who thought he'd be on the bench but due to a late change in the centres, found himself starting alongside Tim Piper at inside centre. David Harris also returned and slotted in at second row with Captain Kecks.
The Stags started up the slope and it wasn't long before second placed N&B, who also hadn't lost a home game so far this season, put the first points on the scoreboard with a try in the far corner. 5-0.
It didn't take long for The Stags to reply and with some pressure from the forwards in open play allowed Sam Lewis from the back of a driving maul managed to stretch his silky arm over the line for a try which Piper converted. 5-7.
N&B started to use the slope and wind to there advantage and pin The Stags in our half for next 20 mins and managed to score two quick tries and take a 17-7 lead.
Bigwood & Eoghan Westhoff were The Stags eighth centre partnership of the season and were causing problems all over the park, probably because they are actually both Backrow players, with great line speed and solid defence which put N&B under pressure and the forced errors.
The Stag were playing some superb rugby with ball in hand and from a phase of play just in the N&B half the ball worked its way along the line and found itself in the hands of No 8 Ash Cutter who ran wide around the oncoming winger to score with 5 mins to go before half time.17-12.
The home side appeared to be a little shaken by this and there own poor discipline gave The Stags another 3 points by Piper just before half time.
Now playing down the slope The Stags could sense the disarray in the home team and piled on the pressure pushing N&B deep in there own half.
Now unfortunately there was a passage of play that I missed due to nature calling and as I returned I saw us celebrating our third try scored by Cutter for his second of the match. Piper added the 2 points to take the lead 17-22.
The Stags played many periods of this game as planned and were brutal in the loose against a larger set of players and matched N&B up front. The cracks began to appear for N&B and discipline let them down again which gave the visitors another 3 points to extend the lead 17-25 with 10 mins to go.
Now N&B are second in the table for a reason which showed in the last 10 mins of the game as they marched up the pitch with several phases of play to score a well worked converted try with only a few minutes left on the clock. 24-25.
As you can imagine they could see that victory could of been snatched off The Stags in the dying minutes of the game but our defensive line was just to quick and strong for N&B and forced some handling errors and seal a superb victory.
Travelling away with a depleted squad, riddled with injuries, many may have thought that Saturday's result would of been a different one but this just proves how far we have come as a club, who have plenty of depth, quality, character and tenacity to win vital games.
Joint MOTM were Henry Bigwood & Dave Harris.
Next week we take on Hornet's 2nd XV at The Pit. KO is at 2.30pm.
Burnham On Sea 1st XV 20 Weston 2nd XV 13
The Stags entertained Weston 2's in the local derby on Friday night in front of a large crowd from both clubs.
Now this was always going to be a tough, physical encounter between the cubs and after just a few seconds into the match the Weston Flanker was binned for a high tackle on Sam Wall.
Weston's defensive line was quick and clinical, albeit it being offside several times, and The Stags found it difficult to break the line during the first 20 mins of the game.
Weston pushed The Stags back into there own half with several phases of play and The Stags were caught offside at the maul which gave Weston the chance to put first points on the scoreboard and take the lead 0-3.
From the kick off The Stags were awarded a penalty themselves for offside and Piper slotted the ball between the posts to level the score 3-3.
Shortly after this Ash Cutter found a gap in the Weston line to break through but was brought down in the 22, and quick ball from Sam Lewis at the breakdown gave Jude Donnelly to show his speed and strength on the wing to score in the far corner. 8-3.
Discipline at the back foot was poor from both teams for many periods of the game and The Stags were awarded a penalty which was kicked to touch. The Stags lineouts have been solid so far this season and it was a clinical catch by Gowan to get the maul going forward. The ball was worked back several times and Gowan found himself at the back with ball in hand to score just before half time. Piper did his bit. 15-3. HT
The second half started well for Weston who had plenty of possession and were quick at the breakdown. The Stags were penalised at the breakdown and Weston kicked the 3 points. 15-6.
Weston were then kept at bay and Lewis managed to find that gap to break through the line. The stags had several phases of play but weren't clinical enough to come away with any points.
The stags kept the pressure on Weston as there forwards began to tire which was evident in the scrum at times but the backline of Weston had other ideas. They broke the home sides defensive line several times but quality tackling by many of The Stags kept the visitors away from the try line.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock the boys relied on the useful catch & drive at the lineout and Stefan Pierce scored with Piper adding the extra's 20-6.
Weston came straight back at The Stags and a lapse of concentration at the ruck was pounced upon by Weston who scored with only minutes left on the clock needing a converted try to level the game. 20-13.
Burnham held out the remaining minutes to win the match 20-13.
Next Week we travel to Nailsea & Backwell.
Imperial RFC 1st XV 28 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 22
After The Stags emphatic win away to Yatton two weeks ago positive vibes were echoing at The Pit but as many know travelling to South Bristol and taking on Imperial was never going to be easy.
The Stags lost three players due to injury in the win over Yatton, who all happen to play centre, but thankfully the depth within the squad can over come these tricky situations.
The game started well for The Stags with ball in hand and hitting the middle channels with several rucks before we were awarded a penalty after 5 mins which Tim Piper slotted over to take a 0-3 lead.
It wasn't long before Imp's got on the score board with a penalty for offside.3-3 who were also playing a similar style of rugby as The Stags and managed to keep possession of the ball for many periods of the first half.
The Stags ill-discipline at the back foot gave Imp's another three points and converted try and put themselves in a ten point lead after 25 mins.
From the resulting KO, Imp's cleared away from within the 22m to find touch. The Stags lineout has been pretty solid so far this season and an off the top ball by Luke Gowan to Piper who saw Sam Chillingworth running at pace, passed, and he broke the Imp's defensive line but was brought down by the full back on the 22m. During the ruck, Imp's conceded a penalty for an infringement and Piper kicked for touch.
That well drilled lineout came into use with a catch & drive ball from 5m's out allowed Birkan Jagameister to score. Piper slotted the extra's. 13-10.
The tide changed for Imp's and The Stags had more possession of ball. Piper found space deep in the Imp's 22 with a kick over the top. Felix Grandfield chased and charged down the clearing kick and Captain Kecks gathered the loose ball from 5m out but was held up on the try line.
Imp's cleared away from within there 22 area but didn't find touch and gave the ball straight back to The Stags and with a couple of quick passes down the line, winger, Ryan Beard ran in from 30m to score. 13-15.
At the restart, off we went again with ball in hand, through the motions and were awarded a penalty for holding on at the ruck. Piper found touch about 8m's out and you may already know the next bit...…….Gowan collected in the lineout, and a well worked driving maul moved at pace for Stefan Pierce to score with Piper doing his bit before half time. 13-22.
It was a shame that half time whistle came as the visitors began to gain momentum but a 10 minute break didn't do us justice.
Imp's were straight back in the game with a try from the inside centre close to the posts. 20-22
The remainder of the second half was a stark contrast to the first as The Stags were starved of possession of the ball due to a little ill-discipline but mainly because Imp's looked after the ball in the rucks and mauls.
That said, nothing should be taken away from The Stags as they defended immensely for many periods of the second half and putting there bodies on the line.
Tom Stevens was like a typical Jack Russell snapping at anything that moved and steeling the ball on his own 5m line.
With Imp's piling on the pressure, mistakes were made and Imp's were awarded a penalty for a high tackle and took the lead 23-22.
Piper was told off by The Ref for back chat (last time I saw Tim told off was at school.....priceless) and to be honest it was a little unfair.
Imp's could now taste victory and scored to put themselves 6 points ahead with an unconverted try 28-22.
This left a glimmer of hope for The Stags but all hopes were dashed when a failed kick to touch in the Imp's 22 went in the dead ball area.
Final Score 28-22
Credit should be given for how The Stags defended for many periods of the game and the D worked well. The set peace was perfect throughout but this was a tough defeat to accept.
The Stags next match is this Friday night at The BASC against Weston 2nd XV. KO is at 7.30pm
Yatton 12 Burnham 51
Burnham finally produce a performance they have been promising.
The stags went into this game on the back of an unbeaten month which included 2 away wins and with yatton on the back of a poor run themselves the stags were full of confidence.
Playing with the slope and a strong wind Burnham knew they had to build a score line to use that advantage.
Yatton started the strongest using the ball well and strong carries from their 13 and 8 kept them in burnhams half, but some resilient defending and crucial turnovers pushed yatton back down to their 22.
Winning a penalty and kicking to the corner the forwards set up what is now a strong weapon for them in the shape of a maul.
Driving the opposition to the line Tim Piper sniped from the back to go over. 0-5
From the kick off which Burnham are now dealing with with great confidence power runs from Adam Peters and phases got the blue hoops back into the 22 and from resulting phases and their number 4 being penalised for not rolling (which won't be the first time) inspirational captain Ross Cameron called for posts and piper duly obliged. 0-8
From now you could sense that Burnham had some confidence building and again from the resulting kick off Jude Donnelly set off on a barnstorming run falling just short quick recycle at the ruck from Sam Lewis to piper who then gave it to Joshua Holder who was lurking out wide to score in the corner. 0-13
Yatton then got control of the game and had ball for a good 10 mins testing burnhams defence using the width of the pitch and their pacey back 3. Stand out tackles from Russ Pike Ryan Beard Alex Watkins kept them at bay.
Burnhams defence in this game was as good to watch as their attacking play.
5 mins to go before half-time they got their 3rd try after good work down the wing from Alex Watkins (we won't mention the easier pass alex) saw Tom Stevens go over 0-20
The final passage of play before the halftime whistle saw yatton spread burnhams defence from one side to the other and it looked an almost certain try for them until Ryan beard from all the way the other side of the pitch made a try line saving tackle with the aid of veteran pike. A crucial moment of any game is right before half-time and this shows the commitment and what it now means to be a part of the squad.
Coach kevs message at the interval was to be more direct keep ball and hard line runners.
Samuel Wall came on for James Havercroft who's game has gone from strength to strength certainly in defence and lineout, to then bring on Sam who's like for like in defence and then add to that his breakdown work and ball carrying it makes a great impact player which showed within the 1st 30secs as he won a penalty.
The second half was an outstanding 40 minutes of rugby from the stags.
Offloads of the ball, supporting runners, big ball carriers, quick hands and more importantly quick rucks.
Jude got himself onto the score sheet with a try after a bulldozing run from Sam.
Piper then got himself a double from a quick tap classic show and go to score.
Yatton responded well with a try.
Injuring Josh in the process so young Eoghan Westhoff came on to play in the centre and showed his strength and class again out there even though he's a back rower.
The next score was the try of the game.
New signing Sam Chillingworth broke about 4 tackles to break free then set off chipping the fullback and get caught just short of the line. From the ruck Stefan Pierce smashed his way over. 7-39
Again yatton hit back out wide but credit to eoghan for his commitment to make sure they scored there trying to chase him down.
Next up scoring was eoghan after again great play from man of the match Birkan Gündüz who smashed, rucked and even showed and went himself a few times throughout the game. What a player he's going to be.
Eoghan finished it in the corner assisted by Jude
The final act of this enthralling game went to Tom Wall who with his giraffe legs powered over to score. 12-51
A game where all the hard work from training has paid off but still an awful lot to improve.
Credit to coach Kevin innalls for sticking with his style of play from last season and pushing the lads in training.
A special mention to Royston Grimstead who sat on the bench but told Ross to only use him if needed.
Tim piper x2
Conversions Tim piper x4
Man of match Birkan gunduz sponsored by Somerset leisure ( Henry Bigwood )
No game next weekend.
BOS RFC 1st XV 27 Old Red's 2nd XV 10
The Stags entertained Old Red's 2nd XV at The Pit on Saturday who were currently sat one position below the home team in the league standings.
The game got underway a little late due to Old Red's forgetting to bring the team kit with them but they amends by arriving with four in the front row!
A brief shower just before the game made conditions slippery for both sides which proved throughout the game with many handling errors from both teams.
Reds were gifted a penalty after just 3 mins and perfectly timed gust of wind swept across the goal posts to force the ball wide.The Stags cleared there lines with kick over the top which was caught by the Red's winger who managed to evade a couple of tackles down the wing and score the first try of the game. 0-5
From the kick off The Stags forced an error in The Reds 22 and were awarded a scrum. Red's were by far the larger pack but you'll be surprised what our svelte young men can do in the set piece as we held our own scrums well and this allow enough space and time for Sam Lewis to get the ball out Will Hopkins who manged to dance his way through forwards and score Burnham's first try. 5-5.
Smoked Bacon, Birkan Gunduz if your wondering who I'm referring too, returned to the fold after his Cardiff shenanigans the week before and was superb throughout the game with ball in hand and took the ball over the game line at every opportunity.
The first half was full of handling errors from both teams due to the conditions meaning the possession was exchanged on several occasions which disrupted our game plan but shortly before half time a penalty was awarded for not rolling away and Tim Piper, leading scorer I'll have you know, gave the home side a 8-5 lead at Half Time.
Coach Kevin Inalls worked his magic with some verbal diarrhoea to the players at half time and shortly into the second half made some changes with Sam & Tom Wall coming on for Havercroft and our over 40 robot Donk.
The two Walls linked up well throughout the second half and some direct running from Sam Wall gave a good platform for the forwards to start clicking.
Penalty advantage was given for off side and Piper set off but was tackled short of the line and Dan Berry, who was in support, gathered the ball from the base of the ruck, saw the gap, took a few strides and stretched for the line to score our second try of the game. 13-5.
The forward began to play simple direct rugby and went through the phases producing some quick ball for the backs then Hopkins did what he does best and took the ball at pace to score his second try with Piper adding the extra's 20-5.
Old Red's began to feel the pressure and The Stags began to play some open rugby. Fullback, Alex Watkins, caught a clearing kick on the half way and at speed opened the Red's defence, created the overlap himself and with only one player to beat he glanced to his left, spotted our loose head prop, Stefan Pierce on the wing in support but a poor pass to Stefan was the end of probably the best move of the game. I will just add that Stefan is only the third speedy prop I, and many others, have witnessed out on the wing and dam that boy can move rapidly for a prop! The other two I was referring too are past players Ollie Streeter & Sam Coles.
The stags spent many minutes deep in the Reds 22. At one point, Tom Stevens stole the ball at the lineout, a good 5m drive from the forward, then The Walls were off at pace linking well with each other and Sam was brought down just short of the line.
Several minutes later Piper popped up from somewhere and scored (sorry I missed that phase of play) and slotted over his own try to put The Stags 27-5.
From the kick off, Reds put some pressure back on the home side and at one point, Jude Donnelley & Captain Kecks had a leg each of the Red's prop to ensure he wasn't going any further. Red's managed to score a consolation try late on in the game and the final ended up 27-10.
MOTM was Sam Wall who made an impact in the loose, made ground and carried the ball well.
Next Saturday we take a short trip up the A38 to Yatton. Kick will be 2.30pm now that the clocks have changed.
See you there!
Bristol Harlequins 1st XV 8 Burnham On Sea 1st XV 22
After last week's cup win over Tor the Stags were back in League action and travelled up too Bristol Harlequins who are currently sat just above relegation in the league standings, however, this was a club that has proved to be a challenge over recent years.
The Burnham Faithful arrived in there droves to support the lads and also brought with them the glorious sunshine which, as we know, can benefit us seasiders or so we thought anyway.
With numbers short for various reasons The Stags had only two replacements and we also welcomed back Sam Chillingworth after his long sabbatical at North Petherton who started at outside centre along side the ever improving rock of Will Hopkins.
The game underway and the Stags were awarded a penalty after 2 mins for not rolling away but Piper's horsepower boots didn't come up with the goods so he was given another chance just 3 mins later a bit closer to the posts this time and put the Stags 0-3 in the lead.
For the next 25 mins The Stags had plenty of possession and Quins were over committing at the break down leaving gaps but several handling errors and miss passes in the loose gave Quins the ball back at times.
The set peace was solid for both teams and The Stags lineouts were well executed to provide a solid platform for the backs but those pesky handling errors were costly at times.
As always, Jim Havercroft was his nuisance self, disrupting at the breakdown and tackling everything that came at him. Bieb's Lewis at 9 put the most ridiculous hit on the Quins No 8 at one point and the whispers on the side lines was....who just did that!!!
Shortly after that, Hopkins was penalised for holding on and Quins levelled the score 3-3
With half time looming The Stags could sense the white line and from the resulting kick off Josh Holder sprinted into the Quins half, rose like salmon and slapped the ball backwards to give The Stags possession and with several phases of play were awarded a scrum 5m out. The ball was whipped out to an oncoming Hopkins who forced his way over the line just to the side of the posts. Easy conversion you'd think...…..think again as the Quins Voodoo Spirits swept across the foot of Piper and forced the ball to hit the post. HT 3-8
Some stern words were said by Captain Kecks at half time and it was clear to say the lads heard what was said but it took 10 mins to sink in as Quins levelled the score in the second half. 8-8.
Now that it had sunk in, The Stags took the game to Quins and pushed them deep into there own half with quick ball from the breakdown, one, two, three phases, gaps appeared and then came long the marauding Russ Pike to score under the posts and he didn't miss the conversion this time.8-15.
Quins had other ideas for 10 mins and kept The Stags camped on the 5m line but the D worked well and the defence kept Quins at bay which goes to show how far things have come for this young team since last season.
Changes were made with 20 mins to go and Nick Mcken made way for Stef Pierce at prop and Pike for Dan 'Bruce' Berry. Chillingworth moved to fullback to allow Berry in at centre who took several crash balls and made over 20m in territory which is a good Stat for only 20 mins on the pitch.
The stags controlled the remaining 10 mins of the game and Berry (not me I'm afraid) took the ball at speed (again definitely not me) was brought down on the Quins 22m line, Piper was at 9, Biebs at 10 who passed to Ryan Rossiter out wide but was brought down just short of the line and then Hopkins, at immense speed, ran straight through the Quins pack with ball in hand and smash his way over the line. Piper made up for the easy miss and converted to put The Stags 8-22 up.
Quins came straight back at The Stags but a lost lineout on the visitors 5m was the last chance for the home team.
Final Score 8-22
Next week we entertain Old Reds 2nd XV at The Pit and KO is at 3.00pm.
Avon RFC 1st XV 37 BOS RFC 1st XV 31
The Stags took to the road this week and travelled to the outskirts of Bath to take on Avon RFC.
With several key players missing due to injury or unavailability various changes were made with Nick McKen returning after playing for Deaf England the week before, Tom Wall, Luke Gowan and Ash Cutter back in the forwards, Chris Warner and Jake Allen on the bench and also the debut appearance of new signing Eoghan Westoff who proved his capabilities throughout the game.
The sun was shining in Bath and from the kick off The Stags attacked the Avon line and before we could all blink Westoff turned over the ball the ruck and was awarded a penalty for holding on. Piper chose to go for posts but the ball fell agonisingly short.
From the 22 restart the stags took the play back into Avon's 22 but after several phases of play lost the ball on the 5m line, but not for long as the forwards turned over the ball in the ruck, Tom Talk Talk Wall gained ground quietly, to the marauding Captain kecks who kindly popped the ball to the supporting Tom Stevens to score under the posts. Tim Piper with the extra's 7-0.
From the KO Avon were straight back into the game and camped in the stags 22. Avon's fullback somehow wriggled his way through several Stag's to score and level the score. 7-7.
Then it was the stags turn from the KO and Ash Cutter, somehow with ball in hand, had to turn on the gas and sprint for the line from the 10m line to evade the chase Avon players to score under the posts. Piper converted 7-14.
You'd of thought that the stags would take note from the previous KO of what was coming but nope and gave away a penalty to allow Avon back in the game. 10-14.
This seemed to change the mind of the visiting stags who started to play some very attractive, quick and simple rugby going through the motions, left to right, one, two, three phases which opening up the gaps and winger Jude Donnelly finished what was a sublime phase of play. 10-19.
The stags seemed to have fallen asleep a little, again, from the KO and Avon scored an unconverted try 15-19.
This was end to end stuff and with half time looming Captain Kecks ripped the ball from an Avon player in the tackle and set up a ruck, Sam Lewis passed to Piper who slipped the ball to Ryan Rossiter running some crazy line and broke the Avon defence. Jude Donnelly was soon to be supporting Rossiter who committed the last man to give Donnelly his second try. 15-26 HT
10 mins into the second half changes were made with Warner, Allen and Royston Grimstead coming on for Wall, Stefan and Mcken in the pack.
The stags scrums became more steadier but unfortunately the poor discipline crept in and the score line changed 27-26.
Several words from Kecks were given and the stags showed Avon what they were good at with quick ball, using the width of the pitch and Rossiter running them crazy lines who deservedly scored after several phases to retake the lead. 27-31.
With 10 mins left on the clock the stags knew what was coming and through some ill-discipline Avon kept the stags in there own 22 and forced several errors. Those errors awarded them a further 10 points to snatch victory with the final score 37-31.
The stags were by far the better team for many periods of the game and the positives will be taken from the periods.
Its sure too say that we have nothing to fear in this league and teams will struggle to cope with the style and flare we bring to the pitch.
MOM was Ryan Rossiter.
Next Week we entertain Bristol Barbarians at home. KO 3pm.
BOS RFC 1st XV 19 WIVELISCOMBE 1st XV 22
After last weeks epic away win at Minehead, and not to forget our first away win in 889 days, The Stags entertained Wiveliscombe at The Pit, who were yet to loose a game so far this season.
It appeared that Wivvy brought the weather with them, from the dark depths of a somewhat strange part of Somerset, which suited them for periods of the game.
The Stags started well pinning Wivvy in there own 22 and Piper found touch with a deathly hallow ball over the top. The resulting lineout was lost on the 5m line by the visitors and the home pack took advantage with Birkan Gunduz (we call him Bacon) crashing over the line after 10 mins with Piper adding the extras. 7-0
The Wivvy pack must of had a good stone per player advantage over the svelte Stags, donning the new attire, which showed at various points of the game.
Despite the weather The Stags lineout was precise and well executed throughout the game and provided good possession of the ball. Jim Havercroft was exceptional in the loose, spoiling what he could, tackling like a man possessed and doing what Flankers are meant to do.
Wivvy forced several errors in the loose and were awarded a penalty in the centre of the park and took the scrum. With the ball out the 10 chipped over the top of the oncoming Stags found space and forced a lineout in the Stags 22.
The lineout was won and with several mauls formed going forward they found a way through the home defence to score. 7-5.
With the rain continuing to lash down, this seemed to spur on the Stags and it wasn't too long until they found themselves back in the Wivvy 22 going through the motions. Slow ball, pick n go, tight channels and bingo, Jude 'Mop Top' Donnelly found a gap through the centre of a ruck and dived over the line. Unfortunately Pipes missed that one. 12-5.
Wivvy were straight back in the home 22 from the resulting KO but the Stags held out for the half time whistle.
Wivvy's tactics changed in the second half and they used the forwards to there advantage and kept the ball tight with some good old fashion up the shirt rugby which The stags struggled to defend and allowed the visitors to score a second try 12-10.
Within several minutes, an intercepted pass by someone in our own half (no names mentioned) allowed Wivvy to score a third try under the posts to them 12-17 up.
Captain Kecks must have gave the lads some clear, yet stern instructions, while stood under the posts. The Stags had several phases of play just inside the Wivvy half and Will Hopkins, somehow, wriggled, slipped, crunched and bulldozed his way through 5, yes that's right 5, players to score just to the side of the posts. Piper converted 19-17.
Donk came on for Bacon with Sam Wall moving to the front row and Lee Vaughan for Russ Pike.
Donk made an instant impact by steadying the scrums and provided a firm platform in the loose for replacement Scrum Half, Mitch Kingston, who came on for Justin Bieber AKA Sam Lewis.
With the changes made, The Stags were awarded a penalty between the 10m & 22m lines and Piper opted for the posts. The ball fell short by a couple of meters and thankfully the Wivvy player who attempted to catch the ball dropped it for the knock on. Scrum 5m out. The ball was won in the scrum but then lost in the loose, that said, the Stags hunger continued in Wivvy;s 22 for the next 10 mins but poor execution, white fever and some handling errors meant they left with nothing.
With only 10 mins left on the clock, Wivvy kept hold of the ball, slowed the game down and made ground through the home sides 22m area to force a penalty. Scrum down and the Stags were penalised for wheeling the scrum and awarded Wivvy another penalty. This time the Wivvy pack stayed tight going forward and the No 8 scored in the last 5 mins of the game.
Final Score 19-22.
It was tough to take but had it been a dry day the players and the home crowd all knew the score line would of been different.
We go again and next week we travel to Avon RFC.
MOTM was Jim Havercroft.
Burnham 1st XV 41 St Bernadette Old Boys 7
On what was meant to be a wet dreary Saturday afternoon at the BASC turned out to be dry and pleasant day which was perfect for The Stags to produce some quality rugby on home turf.
St Berns came to The Pit on the back of good home win against Old Reds the week before and The Stags were looking to improve on last weeks performance away to Oldfield OB's
The game started well with inside centre, Will Hopkins, making the first tackle and steeling the ball from hand and gain possession.
Stefan Pierce took the ball at pace, the only one he caught all game at pace, and broke the St B's back line only to be tackled inside there 22 and St B's were penalised resulting in Tim 'Veteran' Piper adding the three points 3-0.
From the kick off The Stags gained moment again to find themselves back in opposite half and after several phases of play were awarded another penalty which Piper came up with the goods again. 6-0
This seemed to spur on St B's who managed to put The Stags on the back foot who conceded a penalty on the 5m line but nothing came of it for St B's.
Burnham continued to keep good possession of ball and gained good territory only to give the ball away when the white line was in sight.
Ash 'block' Cutter was being his normal self with some solid tackling and gaining good ground when ball in hand.
A scrum was awarded to St B's but Hooker, Adam 'wobbly line, Peters took it against the head for the ball to be fed through the backs, Piper created the over lap, side step the on coming back and popped to Russ 'I'm back' Pike to score his first of two try's. Piper Converted 13-0 after 30 mins.
Some dubious refereeing decisions allowed St B's to keep possession and force a penalty in Burnham's 22 for not rolling away and a quick tap n go gave St B's some points on the board 13-7 before half time.
Coach, Kevin Inalls, gave some stern words to troops at half time and clearly it worked.
From the KO, Tom 'quiet as a mouse' Wall caught the ball, took into contact and after two phases of play, Sam 'hot stuff' Lewis whipped it to Piper who committed his opposite number, passed to Josh Holder, who's nose pointed in the right direction and led the way for a supporting Hopkins to be given the ball but still had 30m to go.........he made it and Piper converted. 20-7.
Cutter carved his way through several St B players during one phase only for Captain Butter Fingers Kecks to drop the thing....tut tut!!!
From the resulting scrum, St B's No 10 kicked away to clear his line but straight down the throat of Full Back Alex Watkins who caught the ball at pace back into St B's half side stepped his opposite number and passed to Pike for his second try. Piper Converted 27-7.
A high tackle by Ryan Rossiter, plus the little scuffle after, put him and one St B's both in the bin for 10m.
Burnham continued to play good attacking rugby with ball in hand and after several phases of play were awarded another try from Conor 'Flat Top' Howard who forced his way over the line to score The Stags forth try and Piper did you know what. 34-7.
With the game coming to a close St B's ran out of options with little ball they had and The Stags finished with some simple quick ball to Tom Stevens who managed to stretch himself far enough to score near the posts and yes, you've got it already, my old school buddy, the ever faithful Mr Piper did the business to complete the score 41-7.
Next Week we travel to Minehead for what will be a tough match against The Other Stags
MOTM - Ash Cutter
Match Day Sponsor - Brean Leisure
Report by Lee Berry
Oldfield Old Boys RFC 41 Burnham On Sea RFC 14
Burnham's 1st XV league campaign started with a scenic drive to OldField OB in Bath on Saturday. The Stag's have had several new players join during pre-season including Tom Chaffey who returned to club after a 4 year absence.
Burnham started the game well with ball in hand and having good territory in OB's half but after 10 mins the Stags lost the ball to OB's winger who sidestep the returning Chaffey and broke away to score a converted try. Unfortunately for Chaffey, the over stretching and aim to prevent the opposing winger from passing resulted in a dislocated shoulder............welcome back Tom! Bizarrely, in the same incident, Josh Holder had collided his nose into something so the Stags brought on the Havercroft Brothers to replace Tom & Josh.
Several minutes passed and the Stags ill discipline crept in resulting a a penalty for OB. Score 10-0
The Stags gained momentum again and Piper found space in corner with a perfectly weighted kick to find touch. The resulting line out was fumbled by OB and new veteran Royston 'Donk' Grimstead gathered the loose ball to force his way over the line for a debut try which was converted by Piper. Score 10-7.
From the kick off, Captain Keck's caught and produced the most sublime second row side step from the oncoming OB's winger and off loaded to Piper who found space over the top to put OB on the back foot.
Several phases of play had passed with the Stags having good ball possession and from a well executed Lineout, scrum half, Sam Lewis whipped the ball to Will Hopkins, who was at pace and broke the OB line and popped to the supportive Piper who scored under the posts for a converted try 10-14. Holder's nose was given the all clear which allowed him to return to the pitch and Flanker, Luke Gowan , was nailing anything that moved around the Park so clearly the pep talk from Michael Eavis the night before had worked.
Piper's penalty before half time just fell short but the scoreline reflected a well deserved 1st half performance dispite two early injuries.
The second half started and the Stags conceded an early converted try 17-14. Holder went off for a second time but this being a yellow for a very dubious tip tackle and was binned for 10 mins.
OB's took advantage of 14 men and ran in two quick consecutive try's and a penalty pushing the score to 34-14. The stags had good territory at the time but gaps in the back line allowed OB's to break away.
When back to 15 men to game settled a little but only for the stag's defence line to be broke again with the final score 41-14.
The score does not reflect the performance put in by The Stags and we go again next week with a home win against St Bernadettes. #upthepit #stags
Click here to see match reports from 2017-2018 season