Phil Gordon-Oke leading the Chiefs to a win over Newbury Blues January 2012
Morning everyone and today see’s the Chiefs heading off to Berkshire to take on Newbury Blues, a team Barnstaple have not played against since the 2011/12 season where the Chiefs did the double over the Berkshire side. The game at Monks Lane though was a very close affair with Barnstaple winning by just four points 21-25 and today’s game could also be a close one even though it is top v bottom. Newbury have had some close results where if the rub of the green was a little more favourable they could easily have had more than just the solitary win to date, which was a 25-15 home win over Exmouth. On the road loses to both Maidenhead and Ivybridge, which were within just three points, do show that Newbury are up for the challenge and so nothing can be taken for granted in this game, this is the proverbial classic banana skin waiting to happen.
Back to 2011/12 season and back then there will be a few familiar faces that are playing today and although I don’t have the team sheet for the game at Monks Lane back then, the Pottington Road match between these two also involved a very young Will Topps who made his debut for the Chiefs that season. Luke Berry scored in that game and as usual Winston James found himself in the middle of everything. All three start today as does Ryan Carter although it was another Carter that held the centre ground that day his brother Johnny.
Winston James, Will Topps and Luke Berry playing against Newbury Blues January 2012
Hopefully the Chiefs can keep their discipline and be patient with the ball, their handling last weekend was very good as was highlighted with a move both started by James Starkey on our 22 and finished by him crossing for the try. More of that coupled with our superb defence, again showed at it’s best against a very powerful Maidenhead, and we should be on course for another win. Any complacency though and today could very well be the battle the Chiefs could do without.
So there is very little change this weekend which is good news as I always prefer seeing a settled team. Although Jake Childs takes a break we see the return of a fit again Oli ‘the Stag’ Mason which is fantastic news. Of course Martinaz and Kyran McManus are out following concussion at Launceston and hopefully will be back out for the Okehampton game in two weeks. Here then is the team to face Newbury Blues
- George Snell – sponsored by Webbers Estate Agents
- James Starkey – sponsored by Slee Blackwell Solicitors
- Mitch Turner – sponsored by the Union Inn
- Adam Lloyd – sponsored by Mike Brends Groundforce
- Oli Mason – sponsored by Barry Hews Autos
- Nat Bayet – sponsored by the Corner House
- Winston James – sponsored by Brewer, Harding and Rowe
- Matt Gohl – sponsored by SPR Services
- Robbie Hume – sponsored by Torch Farm Vets
- Haydn Lidstone – sponsored by Rubita Construction
- Ryan Lee – Sponsored by Access an Area
- Ryan Carter – sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
- Kyle Speare – sponsored by ZERO 7
- Will Topps – sponsored by Barricane Solutions
- Luke Berry – Sponsored by the Mortgage Hub
On the Bench
- Josh Davie – sponsored by Martin Hammett Associates Ltd.
- Brendon Darley – sponsored by DS Carpentry
- Tom Clark – sponsored by K & J Electrical
So next week the Chiefs have a breather before facing their final South West Premier home fixture of 2019 on December 7th. The Chiefs then go on the road for their next two matches before the Christmas break. Their opponents on the 7th are Okehampton who today face a visiting Weston Super-Mare currently second in the league having secured some strong wins under their belt. However WSM do go into this game facing a side that are undefeated at home and if WSM’s visit to Maidenhead is anything to go by might just freeze given the large vocal support Okehampton commands and WSM might just be Okes biggest scalp yet since promotion.
There are no Devon derbies this weekend but Exmouth will be looking to further improve on their turnaround after their away win at Camborne 8-17, finally laying to rest a three match losing streak which saw them drop into the bottom half of the league. Today they face a visiting Drybrook who are just one place below them having also won four matches, two on the road, so no easy task for the Cockles and should be a good game for the fans to watch. Ivybridge face a wounded Camborne at home today having lost at Brixham last week and both teams will be wanting to make certain of the win today just to help them overcome those defeats and to keep pace with the top three.
Brixham will be jubilant right now with two wins on the trot after their horrendous start to the season. In particular that 40-29 win over Ivybridge last weekend was a welcome boost and should give them confidence as they make their way over the border to face a Launceston side who have lost their last three games since beating Okehampton over a month ago. Finally Maidenhead will be looking to recover from their loss to Barnstaple as they prepare to take on a visiting Bracknell side that appear to be improving having won two of their last three games and will prove to be stiffer opposition this time.
Barnstaple Athletic and Colts
Athletic are back at Pottington Road for just the second time this season as they continue their surge up the table and will be looking for their fifth straight win as they prepare to face Crediton 2nd XV, kick off 2pm.
Last weekend’s result will be particularly satisfying as again the Tic’s registered another 50+ score away from home, this time beating Newton Abbot 3-68. Josh ‘Bolt’ Davies again featured in this win, this time playing at centre scoring two tries and creating several others. It was another team display though with great intensity and commitment adding to a very cohesive team that is always in support of each other.
Josh again starts today in another settled line up that has just a couple of changes from last weekend.
- Connor Robson
- Max Lees
- Casey George
- Cal Ford
- Bryn Jago – Sponsored by Solar PV Tech Devon
- Matt Phillips – sponsored by Artisani Resturant
- Alfie Pennyfield – sponsored by Phil Sherborne Gas Services
- Zac Davie
- Luke Knight – Sponsored by Evans Heating & Plumbing
- Harvey Rostock – Sponsored by Just Office
- James Owen
- Josh Davies – Sponsored by Advanced Scaffolding
- Ed May
- Tom Swales – Sponsored by Howdens
On the Bench
- Domonic Robson
- Curtis May
- Ross Swales
The Colts have also got a game at Pottington Road today against Ivybridge Colts and will be eager for this one as last week’s game at Exmouth was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch. This is again a friendly as the Colts do not play competitively until December 21st, again at Pottington Road where they face Cullompton Colts.
Well that’s it for today good luck to all our teams and lets bring back a hat-trick of wins today which will put a big smile on a few dour faces this winters day.