Avon's climb continues with sparkling victory over Burnham-on-Sea
A sparkling 30-19 victory over Burnham-on-Sea continued Avon’s climb away from the Western Counties North relegation places.
The firmer pitch helped Avon’s ball-handling forwards to impose their style on the game, while Rob Fitch pulled the strings at fly-half and young centres Zak Harwood and Stuart Dilloway excelled in attack and defence.
But the difference between the two teams was most notable in the back row, where skipper Kai Harwood was back to his rampaging best and flanker Scott Book stole the honours with an effervescent man-of-the-match performance.
Fitch negated two Burnham penalties with one of his own and a drop goal in a close opening quarter.
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The visitors intercepted a loose pass to regain the lead with a converted try but Avon responded immediately when a well-worked lineout catch and drive resulted in the predatory Ben Hurd’s sixth of the season.
Burnham extended their lead with a penalty before Avon again levelled the scores after a charge from Harwood and Book on the left created quickly recycled ball which was spun wide across the field. Chris Mutlow was caught short of the tryline before Book pounced in the opposite corner.
Another penalty gave Burnham a 19-16 interval lead but Avon took a stranglehold of the game in the second half.
With an abundance of possession in the tight and loose exchanges, they started to threaten their opponents and forced Burnham to concede penalties in an attempt to slow down the ball. Each transgression was ruthlessly punished as Fitch coolly added another three penalties at to build up a healthy lead.
Another Book turnover from an attacking lineout gave Harwood the ball in his favourite position – charging at pace on a powerful run deep into the opposition defence. He ran in for a barnstorming try to seal a comprehensive win.
Avon will look to complete a league double at Matson on Saturday.