Two tries scored in injury time added a bit of gloss to an otherwise below par performance by Sidmouth RFC, defeating a spirited Burnham side which is propping up the league by a final score of 38-5, writes Terry O’Brien.

Burnham had the better of the early stages and deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes when their left winger profited from a couple of missed tackles to sprint in from 30 metres out. The try was unconverted.

The Chiefs were soon on the attack from the restart kick and looked likely to score until they were penalised, allowing Burnham to clear the danger. However, they levelled the scores at the next attack when Shaun Malton touched down from a quickly taken tap penalty.

The Chiefs had the better of the second quarter and eventually took the lead when Rory O’Brien sprinted from his own half into the opposing 22 to set up Sam Heathcote for a try converted by Jake Allen.

Late in the half, a fine handling move was finished off by Dan Armstrong to make the half-time score 17-5, and some welcome breathing space in a tricky contest.

The kick-off to start the second half failed to reach the ten-metre line, giving Burnham a scrum. For the next 20 minutes, play was confined to the Sidmouth half. This gave the defence a thorough test, which they passed with flying colours.

When they did eventually cross the halfway line, their time there lasted less than a minute. But, when Tom Hodge made a clean break into the Burnham half, he set up a try for Cameron Grainger to ensure a bonus point. Jake Smith added the conversion.

The Chiefs finished the game strongly with Rob Griffin peeling off a lineout maul to crash over before Shaun Malton scored a similar try. Both were converted by Jake Smith.

On Saturday at the Blackmore Field, a Sidmouth XV entertain Welsh tourists Narbeth, kicking off at 2pm. At Sidford, the Over 35s take on Crewkerne, kicking off at 1pm. The Colts travel to Topsham.