Good evening and welcome to another blog as the Chiefs prepare for another away day this time though they will be on possibly the shortest journey, time wise at least as the journey should only take 2 hours so a nice lay-in for the team before they need to get up. This could be an interesting game for Barnstaple especially if we can take that win last week into this game but more on that later as per usual a couple of announcements for you to kick off the blog with.
Firstly Dryrobe have a special offer for all our members at Barnstaple Rugby Club.
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*Orders must be in by the 31st October and paid by the 5th November to ensure you get yours by Christmas! Please send all orders to Verity at email@example.com and an invoice will be sent via the club.
Prices as below:
Also I would just like to wish Will Topps a very happy birthday and 10th anniversary at Barnstaple Rugby Club. Yes that’s right Birthday boy Will Topps will celebrate 10 years of being a virtual ever-present in the Barum side on Saturday.
Will played for Barnstaple as a junior and was part of the 2006 Devon Colts Cup winning side, before going to university in Cheltenham at 18. While there he played for Old Patesians in National 2 and South West Premier before signing for Bridgwater in National 2. After a year at Bridgwater, where he played alongside Barum back row Jake Childs, Will moved to New Zealand to play for Christchurch High School Old Boys. His last game for Bridgwater was a 24-20 win over Barnstaple at College Way, which he scored in.
After six months in New Zealand as part of an Old Boys side that won the Christchurch Metro competition, Will returned to Barnstaple and made his debut against Bridgwater at College Way on 29 October 2011, scoring the opening try.
Since then he has been an almost permanent fixture in the Barnstaple team and on Saturday will run out at Dings Crusaders in Bristol to make his 239th appearance for Barum, 10 years and a day after his debut, and on his 34th birthday.
In that time he has missed just a handful of games: one when he toured Argentina with HSOB in 2012, three to attend family weddings in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and one due to a bereavement in 2015.
Let’s hope he has a blinder today because we will need some of that inspiration he brings when the Chiefs face a Ding’s side that are not totally infallible and there might be something for the Chiefs in this game. Ding’s Crusaders began the season winning a tight game at Westcliff 25-29 before then losing 2 of their 3 consecutive games at home against top six contenders Esher and Guernsey before beating Bury St. Edmunds and that is roughly how their season has gone so far with another win this time away to Canterbury shutting the home side out 0-17. The last three games have gone the way of their opponents losing to Worthing, Rochford and Old Albanians. So very much an up and down season for Ding’s and it will depend which team mentality is out there on the day that the Chiefs will Face.
So if there was a chance of grabbing their first win on the road then this would seem to be the perfect opportunity and the Chiefs need to grab this chance and play to their strengths. They have every chance of a win today but and it’s a big but, Ding’s are a dangerous side when it all comes together and that was very well demonstrated when they shut out Canterbury, they will have a very strong defence which Barnstaple will have to keep pressing throughout the 80 minutes and the set piece will have to be absolutely bang on the money like it was last weekend. But if we can put it all together and play a blinder then there is every chance of a good result on the day. With just two changes from last week as Alfie May replaces Martinas Dromantas and Bryn Jago comes in for Ryan Smale. Winston Starts and Matt Gohl move the the second row here then is the team to face Ding’s
1. George Snell.
sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
2. Nat Bayet
sponsored by MLPA Surveyors
3. Alfie May
Sponsored by DS Carpentry.
4. Jake Childs
sponsored by SITIM Solutions
sponsored by Queen’s Theatre and Landmark Theatre
6. Bryn-Lee Jago
Sponsored by Longcross Scaffolding Ltd
7. Winston James
sponsored by Brewer, Harding and Rowe
8. Dan Lee
sponsored by Tarka Clinic
9. Robbie Hume
Sponsored by Torch Farm Vets
10. Kyran McManus
Sponsored by Tea by the Taw
11. Dan Johnson
Sponsored by Tom Johnson Decorators
12. Johny Carter
Sponsored by Fields farm shop and Butchery
13. Jake Murphy
Sponsored by The Pride
14. Ryan Lee
Sponsored by Access an Area
15. Will Topps
Sponsored by Barricane Solutions
16. Dominic Robson
Sponsored by Harry’s Cafe
17. Mitch Turner
Sponsored by Wrey Arms
18. Chris Philpot
19. Ryan Smale
Sponsored by Artisarni Resturant
20. Josh Pilkington
Sponsored by Ocean Shade, Canopies & Awnings
So how will the rest of the league fair well let’s start with the top three and after a topsy turvy weekend last Saturday resulting in Guernsey now leading the pack as the only team to have one and today they will be engaged in what I reckon will be the game of the week as they welcome a wounded Redruth side who after an unbeaten run of six games came a cropper last Saturday losing at home to Esher 26-34 so Guernsey will be looking forward to a 8th Straight win although any complacency on their part will be punished by the Cornishmen. Worthing have an easier task today back on home soil and will be looking to dispatch a Barnes side who have not had the best of seasons so far with only two wins under their belt, yet the draw against Canterbury last weekend might give them some impetuous but it will be a tough ask at Worthing.
Clifton who came roaring back into the frame after putting 106 points past Westcliff will be looking for more of that form as they visit Esher and again this could well be an absolute classic as both teams seem to have rediscovered their form last weekend. Henley visit Canterbury looking for the win after scraping a 1 point victory at home last Saturday making it four wins from five while Canterbury’s form has been somewhat patchier so far with just three wins. Bury St Edmunds continue to struggle away from home but with a 100% record at Southgate Green they will always be tough opposition for any visitors and today welcome a Hinckley side finding life difficult in National 2 South with just 1 win to their name.
Finally Rochford will hope for a reboot against a visiting Leicester Lions who have had a good season so far but on the road have looked less convincing with their only victory at Westcliff and will have to put in a big shift to take this one from Rochford, while Westcliff will need to do something radical if they are to get anything out of their home match against Old Albanians who come to The Gables having crushed Ding’s at home 50-27.
That’s it for National 2 South this week next week is a breather for everyone before the Chiefs return with another trip this time to Herefordshire to face Old Albanians.
Barnstaple Athletic and Colts
Athletic is back home this Saturday for a great test for the team as they take on visitors Exmouth 2nd XV who are unbeaten at present. The Tic’s enjoyed a good win at Cullompton winning 7-22 to continue their run and are now just one point behind Ivybridge but with today’s opponents breathing down both teams’ necks. This game will really show what potential we have within the Tic’s especially for potential first team selection in the future.
Kick-off is 2.30 pm and it’s free entry with the bar definitely open, it’s been a great atmosphere over the last two home games of Athletic with over 100 supporters there for each game and the Tic’s are playing some really entertaining rugby so get yourself down to Pottington Road I hear the weather is going to be good.
The Colts also have a very difficult game at Pottington Road as the entertain Exeter Athletic Colts, another test and learning experience for this young Colts side.
That just about wraps it up for this week. Don’t forget to put your clocks back Saturday night as we enter the winter months and all kick offs at Pottington Road will be 2pm until they clocks go forward again.
Also the return of the Roundtable Fireworks is next Sunday 7th November at 7pm gates open at 5.30pm tickets are available here https://www.facebook.com/BarnstapleRoundtable . See you all soon.