A Winston James hat-trick helps Barnstaple Chiefs beat Camborne 48-19

Barnstaple completely dominated the game at Camborne this afternoon to come away with an eight try fest to win the game 48-19. I had said that today’s performance on the road would be a marker for how the rest of the season would take shape and boy what a marker that was against a team who have only lost one game at home this season. Now this will be a very short report as I was at Barnstaple Athletics vital top of the table clash against Devonport, but here are the basics of what happened today and thanks to the twitter feeds out there for making my job a bit easier.

The Chiefs came out of the blocks flying for the first half with Captain Winston James grabbing an early brace of tries within the first 15 minutes to put the Chiefs 0-12 up and cruising. An injury in the 20th minute to Brendon Darley then saw the return of Ben Hilton, probably a bit earlier than he would of liked but nevertheless it was to be a 60 minute workout for the big man following several months out of action through injury. By the 30th minute Camborne had got themselves back into the game with a converted try and must at this point felt they were edging themselves into contention but 8 minutes later tries form Will Topps and Matt Gohl put the Chiefs even further ahead and with the last play of the half Winston James completed his hat-trick to put the Chiefs 7-31 ahead with the bonus point secured and I believe that’s his second hat-trick of the season, not bad for a flanker.

The second half started in much the same vein as Ryan Lee scored after less than 10 minutes but it was to be another 25 minutes before Haydn Lidstone scored what I believe is his first try for Barnstaple, I might be wrong, to increase the lead 7-41 and put the game safe. Four minutes later Will Topps scored his second and the Chiefs 8th, but it was probably about now with just minutes to go that the Chiefs took their foot of the pedal as Ben Hilton was yellow carded, welcome back Ben, and Camborne managed to score two tries to try and regain some pride and the final score was 19-48.

So another cracking result for Barnstaple away from home and it looks like another really good defensive display until the last 10 minutes when the team probably relaxed a little too much having already made the game safe, who knows, but it is another big result this season and equals the 48 points put past Brixham, although this time against a much better team. So it’s Drybrook next at Pottington Road on Saturday, kick off is again 2pm, before that massive game at Weston Super-Mare two weeks away on 25th January. Today’s result will give WSM something to think about.

WSM though did get the result they wanted at Drybrook but only just as they ran out winners 8-14 to keep pace with the Chiefs. There was disappointment for both Maidenhead who only managed a draw at Ivybridge 22-22 despite leading 15-22, their 2nd draw in their last three games, and Exeter Uni who lost at home for only the second time as Okehampton beat them to record their second win on the road 16-28. So this see’s Maidenhead still clinging on to their 2nd place but only just as WSM and Okehampton leapfrog into third and fourth places respectively, boy what a season Okehampton is having in its first time at this level.

The big news though is Exmouth’s collapse towards the foot of the table as they again lost at home and just as they did two weeks ago, lost to fellow strugglers, this time Newbury Blues, to further worsen their plight as Newbury beat them 17-20. Newbury though have now recorded their first away win and this has now elevated them above Bracknell who themselves had a massively tight game at Brixham losing by just a single point 11-10, which now puts Brixham 6 points clear of the bottom three.

So, a really good day for Barnstaple Chiefs all round and the fun wasn’t going to stop there as Barnstaple Athletic had themselves a top of the table clash against the only team to have beaten them this season, Devonport Services.


Barnstaple Athletic v Devonport Services Photos

I missed the first 25 minutes as I was shooting the Colts game against Cullompton but no matter as by the time I got to the main pitch the game was still scoreless and from what I could see it’s not only the Chiefs that defend like demons so do Athletic as Devonport poured everything they could at the start only to be stopped in their tracks by some very good Barnstaple defence who not only tackled well but were quick to their feet afterwards to keep the line secure. The team knew that they were in for a huge test after the result they had at Devonport back in September and the Tic’s knew it was going to be very physical match.

As a very good rugby match continued in the first half Athletic started to gain more and more possession as the half progressed. Before the break Athletic were able to build a period of pressure with multiple phases that resulted in Connor Robson (I think I can never tell the twins apart) breaking a tackle to burst over the line for Barnstaple’s first try and with the wind against them and barely any possession the Tic’s went in at the break 5-0 up.

So a tight first half and the second half started again with Devonport being quick out of the blocks, this time though Athletic took the game to them much earlier and started much stronger. A break by Bry Jago to take the ball half way up the field from his own 22 set the tempo that Athletic were now to play with and their second try came from the wing as Josh Davies sped past the defender. With their tails up and some great possession and multiple phases, started to open up the Devonport Defence that struggled to contain them. The Tics ran out winners 31-7 with Robbie Hume, Harvey Rostock and Ed May were the other the try scorers as the Tic’s scored 5 tries to claim all five points and now have started to widen the gap over their rivals with Exmouth and Okehampton 10 points behind, although Exmouth have played 2 games less and could catch Athletic, while Devonport retain their second place but are 8 points adrift. Head Coach Scott Warren had this to say about the performance

“The boys knew it was going to be physical and we would have to be at the top of our game to beat them. The lads accepted that challenge matched them physically and edged them out at set piece time and with the backline we have got at the club they were always going to run scores in on top of our forward dominance. The boys deserve a massive amount of credit for that performance and it’s a huge step in terms of where we want to be at the end of the season,”

The Colts had their first competitive game for a couple of months at Pottington Road today against a visiting Cullompton Colts and the two teams fought out a stalemate with a 22-22 draw in very trying conditions. Next Week the Colts have to face a visiting Exeter Saracens and another difficult test for their coming season.

So wraps up another great day of rugby for Barnstaple and next up is Drybrook on Saturday, kick off will be 2pm so don’t be late this is becoming one hell of a season so far and you definitely don’t want to miss any of it.

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