Blackburn 21
Upper Eden 14

DINO Radice insists Blackburn must improve to keep their play-off hopes alive ahead of Saturday's showdown with in-form Whitehaven at Ramsgreave Drive.

Blackburn were made to fight for the points in Cumbria last weekend against a spirited Upper Eden outfit and, realistically, only a win will keep them in the hunt for the end of season shoot-outs now.

“We played badly and we have work to do in training over the next few days before we meet Whitehaven,” said Radice.

“We’ve done well this season, but we need to focus and remain calm. We still have a chance.”

Burn spurned several early opportunities, and lacked the composure to really dominate a plucky Cumbrian outfit who certainly were not there to make up the numbers.

It was nip and tuck in the opening stages before Burn forged ahead, Matt Hughes going over after excellent work by Chris Lowden.

Sam Morgan, hit the post with the conversion attempt, though.

Blackburn were made to pay, with the visitors taking the lead through a try and a conversion with their first venture into Burn’s 22.

Blackburn were back in front quickly, though, Sam Morgan kicking a penalty.

Further home pressure saw Morgan firing over a second penalty a few minutes before half-time to edge Blackburn in front 11-7.

Morgan’s trusty boot converted another kick as Blackburn looked set to overwhelm their opponents, but Upper Eden then enjoyed their most productive spell of the contest.

Blackburn’s cause was not helped as Lee Acton was shown a yellow card, and a couple of minutes later Upper Eden grabbed the try that brought them back into the game.

The conversion was successfully kicked to level the scores as the visitors took advantage of the extra man.

Blackburn only had themselves to blame for not re-establishing the lead, however, missing three penalties, two by Morgan and the other by Owen McDermott.

With both sides looking for the decisive breakthrough, it was Blackburn who went over as Danny Holland, scoring under the posts to put them back in front.

This time McDermott made no mistake, successfully kicking the conversion and Blackburn held on for a narrow victory.