Another long trip, possibly their longest, for the Chiefs as they make the 300 mile trip across the breadth of the country to the county of Suffolk to face Bury St. Edmunds. We’ll have the team news in a minute but if you don’t fancy the long haul yourself then why not make the much shorter trip to Pottington Road where we have not one but two matches to delight you entry free just the purchase of your favourite poison is all that’s needed. Today Barnstaple Athletic hope to wipe away the disappointment of last week’s very narrow loss at Ivybridge where just a solitary point separated the two team 25-24 and the Colts who welcome Okehampton Colts hoping to bounce back from two defeats on the road. Both games kick off at 2.30pm so don’t be late.
So how does the Chiefs shape up for their encounter with Bury who themselves have not had the best start, at least by their standards, having only won two of their opening four games. Loses at Worthing and Ding’s have shown a dip in their form away from home but on their own soil they are still a solid outfit with a 100% record beating both Rochford Hundred and Canterbury. Needless to say Barnstaple will need to work hard and keep patient to get something out of this one. Historically the Chiefs have scored well at Southgate Green with scores in the high twenties on both occasions and though they lost both those games they were close with the first meeting in 2016/17 losing by just 6 points. So we know that the Chiefs like to score at Bury however that was 4-5 years ago so let’s not get too carried away.
The team today will as I said need to be a lot more focused and patient especially with the weather front threatening to move in to the East on Saturday. While North Devon will experience about an inch of rain in the morning it looks likely that the storm is threatening to deluge the east in the afternoon with the worst of it around kick off time, happy days. So safe hands and lots of mud.
There are three changes to the starting line-up with Matt Gohl in for Flynn Elworthy, Luke Berry starts in place of Kyran McManus and Sam Roberts replaces Jake Murphy in the centre. Here then is the team to play Bury St. Edmunds
1. George Snell.
sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
2. Nat Bayet
sponsored by MLPA Surveyours
3. Martinas Dromantas
sponsored by Peter Jeffery
4. Jake Childs
sponsored by SITIM Solutions
5. Ben Hilton
sponsored by Kas Crane Hire
6. Matt Gohl
sponsored by Queen’s Theatre and Landmark Theatre
7. Ryan Smale
sponsored by Artisarni Resturant
8. Dan Lee
9. Josh Pilkington
Sponsored by Ocean Shade-Canopies & Awnings
10. Luke Berry
Sponsored by Ian Baker
11. Dan Johnson
Sponsored by Tom Johnson Decorators
12. Johny Carter
Sponsored by Fields farm shop & Butchery
13. Sam Roberts
Sponsored by My Favourite Cottages
14. Will Topps
Sponsored by Barricane Solutions
15. Ryan Lee
Sponsored by Access an Area
16. Josh Davie
sponsored by Martin Hammett Associates
18. Dominic Robson
sponsored by Harry’s Café
19. Bryn Jago
sponsored by D S Carpentry
20. Robbie Hume
sponsored by Torch Farm Vets
Both the league leaders had a rude awakening and maybe shown a weakness which might plague them all season as both lost away from home last Saturday with Clifton losing by a solitary point to Henley and Esher beaten by Leicester. Both will look to repair the damage at home with Clifton welcoming a Hinckley side that was thumped at home by Redruth while Esher look forward to visiting Barnes, another side struggling for form this season although Barnes confidence might have just been reignited by their 46-12 win over Westcliff, but I do expect the honours to go to the home sides.
Barnstaple’s opponents next weekend Canterbury are preparing to take on a Ding’s side that must be high on confidence following their first home win last week against Bury St. Edmunds, whilst Canterbury’s narrow loss at Rochford means they still only have 1 win so far this season and will need to win this to keep their spirits up. Rochford Hundred have the enviable task of facing table toppers Worthing and this will be a difficult afternoon for them despite last week’s win. Westcliff welcome a Henley side that is also proving to be a strong outfit after their win over Clifton and I fully expect this to go the way of the visitors.
Guernsey will be celebrating their 3 wins out of four on the road today with their first home game of the season against an impressive Leicester Lions today. Will the lions continue to impress or will the travel get the better of them and Guernsey continue their run to make it 4 wins on the trot and secure or even improve on their current 5th place, tricky one to call but I expect this one will be a great game. Finally Redruth continued their unbeaten start to the season as they saw off Hinckley with a crushing win away from home 7-41, today at home they will be looking for a similar performance against their first real test of the season as they take on Old Albanians who will be licking their wounds after losing to Worthing at home.
That’s it for National Two South good luck to the Chiefs at Bury. Don’t forget next week the Chiefs are back home to face Canterbury kick off 2.30
Barnstaple Athletic, Bucc’s and Colts
As I said Athletic will be hoping to erase their loss last week at Ivybridge in what was a terrific game. Tries from Connor Swann (2), Ben Jago and Euan Kent, with Tylor Gordon-Oke converting 2 of them they came to within 1 point of the more experienced Ivybridge Vandals 25-24. The Tic’s played well with a really good defensive shift and the backs were electric with the ball in hand. The forwards too worked hard and battled well against a more experienced pack.
This performance and the resulting 2 bonus points should provide a good platform for the Tic’s to build on as they prepare for their first home game of the season against Devonport Services kick off is 2.30pm.
Also kicking off at 2.30 is the Colts who take on Okehampton Colts and will be focusing on pulling together what they have learnt from the defeats at Kingsbridge and Newton Abbot but there has been improving performances for this young Colts side and the visit from Okehampton will be another chance to hone everything they have learnt on the road.
As for the Bucc’s they are off to play Withycombe 2nd XV.
Good luck to everyone today