Missed me? I doubt it but unfortunately for you lot I’m back after a very short hiatus, shorter than I predicted as it was supposed to be a weekend off for National 2 South but thanks to the postponed game between these two I’m here to fill your heads with nonsense, bad grammar and plenty of misspellings to boot. Before we get to the game there a couple of important messages for you all and to start with as you are all fully aware of Barnstaple rugby legend Stan Sumners passed away last Saturday, you can read about the man HERE, and for those who knew Stan the funeral is at North Devon Crematorium on Thursday 24th February at 1.40pm. Family Flowers only please. Donations if desired for Barnardo’s may be given at the Funeral Service or c/o W S Gayton & Son,, Pickett Meadow,, Old School Lane,, Fremington, Barnstaple,, EX31 3UP.
The wake will be held after the Funeral at Barnstaple Rugby Club. All Family and Friends are very welcome.
Barnstaple Rugby’s annual Sportsmans Dinner is back on March 10th details below
Finally before we get on to the game with the Chiefs there is another important fixture today here at Pottington road when the Colts prepare to face visitors Tavistock and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record in their first home competitive game of the season. As you know the Colts began their campaign with 2 games on the road in January beginning with a tough game at Bideford winning a thrilling match 12-18 and if you haven’t yet you can read Reuben Faulkners match report just CLICK HERE it’s a very good read. Then last weekend it was Okehampton and with their tails up the Barnstaple Colts shut out the home side 0-22 and currently lead the Ashburton Motor Works Devon Colts Merit Table North Devon. Another win today will be crucial in maintaining that position and kick off is 2pm just your beer money is needed to watch some very good Colts rugby followed of course by Scotland v England which will be shown after the colts game and kicks off at 4.45pm.
So to today’s game with the Chiefs who despite a very inexperienced and depleted squad put up a great showing against Bury St. Edmunds last week, unfortunately despite keeping the first half scoreless, the second half saw the Chiefs playing into the wind, it was always going to be a struggle and whilst the difference between the two sides was minimal it was Bury’s greater discipline which prevailed and they went home victorious 0-17.
As I mentioned it was a great effort by such an inexperienced squad with the likes of Connor Swan (20), Tom Swales (20) getting their first starts for the Chiefs, Arthur Marks (22) and Ryan Smale (18), who have both been a feature in the Chiefs squad since the start of the season and Tyler Gordon-Oke (18) who was on the bench for this one but starts on the wing at Wescliff. This is such a rich vein of potential talent for the future and to see them perform so well at Nation 2 level rugby is absolutely fantastic. This all bodes well for the future as there are many of the regular names on the team sheet who are also under 25 and look likely to be with us for some time yet.
So it’s a day in Essex as the team travel to Southend-on-Sea to face Westcliff, who they beat at Pottington Road back in September 35-17. This season has been tough for Westcliff who are yet to register a win but this will make them doubly dangerous as I’m sure Barnstaple will definitely be on their one to win list and they will be pumped for this game, which makes it hugely important that the Chiefs get a grip of their discipline this time around and force the pressure on the home side to make the errors and be patient. If they are then there is a great chance of coming away with the Chiefs first win on the road, which will be a huge feather in this young side.
The team for today see’s Martinas return to partner George Snell and Nat Bayet in the front row and Dan Lee returns from injury in the back row. Kyran returns to fly half with Jake Murphy not available for this one otherwise there is not a lot of change this week. Here then is the team to face Westcliff
1. George Snell
Sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
2. Nat Bayet
sponsored by MLPA Surveyors
sponsored by Peter Jeffrey
4. Arthur Marks
sponsored by Floor Sanding Services
5. Ben Hilton
sponsored by KAS Crane Hire
6. Jake Childs
sponsored by SITIM Solutions
7. Ryan Smale
Sponsored by Artisani Resturant
8. Dan Lee
Sponsored by Anyweld / Taeka Tennis
9. Josh Pilkington
Sponsored by Ocean Shade, Canopies & Awnings
10. Kyran McManus
Sponsored by Tea by the Taw
11. Tyler Gordon-Oke
Sponsored by Mount Sandford House
12. Johny Carter
Sponsored by Fields farm shop and Butchery
13. Sam Roberts
Sponsored by My Favourite Cottages
14. Connor Swan
Sponsored by Howdens
15. Tom Swales
Sponsored by Howdens
16. Alfie May
Sponsored by DS Carpentry
17. Ashlee Crouch
18. Gav Mitchell
Sponsored by Function Fitness
19. Chris Philpot
Sponsored by Edd’s greengrocers
Lastly at the time of writting this article Athletic’s game at Newton Abbot is still on but with a bare bones squad. It’s a massive chance for them to keep the pressure on as last weeks postponed game at Okehampton did mean they were unable to close the gap. With just six points seperating them and Ivybridge with two games in hand the Tic’s will be heading into this game without some key players, yet their squad is strong and have a great chance today.
Good luck to all our teams today and as ever