Burnley Rugby Club’s juniors made a poignant trip to Belgium to pay their respect to the town’s fallen heroes.
The club’s youngsters were experien-cing the first ever tour abroad – taking on two of the country’s best young teams.
But not before visiting the cemetery in Flander Fields in a homage to the men that fell in the First World War.
A wreath was laid on one of the graves while vice chairman Bill Dooley read out the names of the 12 Burnley soldiers that could be found in the cemetery, along with a short prayer.
It proved to be a memorable exper-ience both on and off the pitch for the Burnley youngsters.
In their opening game of the mini tour, Burnley played Gent RC on 3G turf – another first for the team – the host team kept Burnley at bay in the opening quarter in very hot, difficult conditions.
In a real see-saw battle, Burnley hit back and dominated Gent up front and scored tries through Lee Ferrier, Declan Hutchinson and James Henderson only to narrowly lose 24-22.
The second game saw Burnley take on Dendermond RC, a team not far from Antwerp who were considered to be one of the strongest in the area.
And so it proved as the home team began to wrack up the points and run away to victories. But Burnley showed their fighting spirit and tries from Dominic Murphy, James Henderson, Lee Ferrier, Matthew Fordley and Declan Hutchinson brought the teams level.
However, the fight back took it out of Burnley and Dendermond, with fresh legs to call upon, ran out 36-27 winners in another superb game.
Player of the tour awards went to Declan Hutchinson, Chris Pickles and Celyn Lennard.
n Burnley First XV had a bad day at the office after losing 43-10 at St Edwards Old Boys – conceding 21 points in the opening six minutes.
Captain Nino Angelone crashed over for a try as Burnley trailed 21-5 at the break.
Substitute Billy Ingham scored a second try for Burnley after the break.