Ouch that one hurt as Ding’s most definitely brought their ‘A’ game to this one and the Chiefs beaten on another road trip 48-24. The highlights soon but before all that just want to thank Dryrobe for their massive support they have given to the club and the outstanding product they have which you can purchase from their site https://dryrobe.com/
So Barnstaple headed off on their shortest journey of the campaign just a mere 2 hours to face a Ding’s side that have had their ups and downs so far this season and as it turned out this was most definitely an up day for them. It took 16 minutes before anyone scored and first blood went to Ding’s after a sustained series of scrums resulting in penalties each time and a yellow for the Chiefs finally saw dings score through their no.8 off the scrum for their first. However some sustained pressure from the Chiefs resulted in first a penalty about 10 minutes later and then a back to fifteen men a try for Winston, yes he’s back to where he left off from last season, driving in from less than a yard out after the Chiefs kept pressing with a succession of pick and go’s, which gave the Chiefs the lead at 7-10. Then it seems the wheels just came off as almost immediately a penalty and then 2 tries in as many minutes in the last couple of minutes of the half, the home side left the park at half time 22-10 up.
The second half started with Ding’s increasing their lead after just a minute when as Barnstaple pressed with some good rugby Ding’s intercepted a pass to run it in and extend their lead, now the Chiefs turn it was birthday boy Will Topps who scored from a pick and go at the base of the ruck to squeeze the ball over to close the gap to 29-17 and a glimmer of hope that a cracking second half performance might just wrestle this game back. The disaster as three tries including a penalty try and two yellows for the Chiefs in 15 minutes sealed the game for Ding’s. Down to 14 men the Chiefs still kept their heads up and played their rugby which rewarded Mitch Turner with his first of the season but with just a minute left it was not enough to earn the Chiefs any bonus points.
So there you have it another loss on the road but the performance not as bad as the score line would suggest, but the Chiefs really need to start getting some bonus points from somewhere even if it’s to reward all their good work. At least they have a week off next week to reflect then it’s off to Herefordshire and Old Albanians. The Chiefs are at home to Leicester Lions, another tough match, on November 20th and remember kick off times have changed as this one will be 2pm as will all subsequent kick offs until the clocks are back to summer time.
Photos by Derek Parnell you can see more from this game on the Barnstaple Rugby facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BarnstapleRFC
Two of the top three teams meet for the first time as Guernsey welcomed Redruth to their Island for the clash of the week and it was the Cornishmen who emerged victorious after two tries in two minutes gave them a 14-27 lead and despite a fight back by Guernsey held on to win 21-27. Worthing snatch victory in the last two minutes to beat Barnes at home 34-32 and move back to the top spot.
Another top six clash saw the early pace setter Esher and Clifton lock horns and it was the home side Esher who came out of this victorious 32-12 to push them back into the top three. Old Albanians slaughtered Westcliff 0-89 to go fifth. Elsewhere, Leicester Lions grabbed their second victory on the road in a very tight game beating Rochford Hundred 19-20, Canterbury lost at home to Henley and Bury St. Edmunds had a satisfying win over Hinckley 40-25.
Barnstaple Athletic v Exmouth 2nd XV
Any of you that read the team news for the weekend will know that I really did think this would be a suitable test for our young Tic’s and boy was I wrong. Exmouth really didn’t have an answer to the Tic’s who thrashed them 67-0. The speed of the young backs and the determination to get on to the ball quickly must have stung the visitors into a startled mess as I have not witnessed an Exmouth 2nd XV so utterly beaten. Which is a shame as this Athletic team could really do with some better opposition to really push the youngsters as I know several of them really want to be pushed to show they are capable of taking that next step into the Chiefs but you can only play what is in front of you and Athletic certainly did that well.
This now sees Barnstaple Athletic still in second place but now on equal points and performances like this will surely keep them right on Ivybridge’s coattails. Of course the highlight of the game was seeing Barnstaple legend Phil Gordon-Oke come on for the last 10 minutes to play with his son Tyler. Athletic are back at Pottington Road next Saturday and as the Chiefs are not playing it would be awesome to have as many of you there as possible trust me you won’t be disappointed, kick off is 2pm and they welcome Okehampton 2nd XV and let’s hope they provide sterner opposition.
Photos by Bob Collins you can see more from this game on the Barnstaple Rugby facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BarnstapleRFC