Welcome back folks to the Mighty Barum Blog as we look forward to another exciting weekend of rugby for our teams. Before we get started I just want to wish Will Topps happy birthday as he will be celebrating his 35th year on Sunday as well as celebrating his return to the Chiefs after an enforced 8 week absence with a broken wrist.
The Big news for this week is the Prospect of an exciting North Devon derby as the Buccaneers welcomes Bideford 2nd XV to Pottington road for what will surely be a bone crunching game of rugby with Both teams at the top of the merit table as the Bucc’s lead at the top with Bideford just a mere 4 points behind in third, more on that in a minute. We also have both the Chiefs and Athletic on the road with the Chiefs visiting Bournville for the first time and Athletic looking to continue their winning ways as they visit Brixham.
We begin however with the main event at Pottington Road where two of the leading teams in the Devon Merit table NE meet for the first time to give us a real derby day atmosphere as the Barnstaple Buccaneers prepare to do battle with Bideford 2nd XV in what should be a fantastic game of rugby. This is going to be a biggie trust me folks as both teams are undefeated so far this season with the Bucc’s leading on 18 points and with 4 wins from 4 games whilst Bideford are third on 14 points and a game in hand.
A fortnight ago, in another North Devon derby here at Pottington Road, the Bucc’s showed how good they are when taking apart a pretty good South Molton 2nd XV in what was a really enjoyable game of rugby to watch, with the Bucc’s taking control during the second half to win 33-14, whilst last weekend, and yes I know I ballsed-up on that one didn’t I, they did actually have a game over in Ilfracombe and in a much tighter match claimed victory over the home side 16-22. For Bideford they already have done the double over Crediton 3rd XV and beat Exmouth 3rd XV away so this is really building into a firecracker of a game which you will not want to miss and it’s free entry to boot what more can I say.
Talking of firecrackers don’t forget next Sunday 6th November it is the biggest North Devon fireworks display around hosted by the Barnstaple Roundtable here at Pottington Road. For more information and to grab your tickets click this link https://www.barnstapleroundtable.com
Before the Chiefs review and team news don’t forget this Sunday between 2.30 and 4.30 it is Barnstaple Rugby archive day. For more details check out this post https://www.barnstaplerugby.co.uk/2022/10/barnstaple-rugby-archieve-day/
Now to the Chiefs and another disappointing loss for our boys who were really up for it to win this one and at least for the first half looked like they wanted it as they dominated possession and territory for the first 20 or so minutes, but could not make the breakthrough they needed to get the first score with one close catch and drive judged to have been held up by the assistant referee. And yet with all the dominance at the start that was the only real threat to Old Redcliffians line as forced passes and lapses in concentration slowly allowed Old Redcliffians back into the game and just before the half hour scored first to take a 0-7 which the Chiefs levelled at the Break as Jon Kelly touched down from the driven maul.
The second half was much more even with the Chiefs taking the lead midway through as Matt Gohl returning from a long absence and on his 150th cap touched down, but an old Reds penalty followed by a converted try with less than ten minutes to go won it for the visitors and I for one felt a bit gutted after that as I was sure this was one for the taking. However, on reflection this was a closely fought contest by two teams who will probably end the season in the lower half of the league and Barnstaple on this occasion just came up short. I do think they have the skills and talent to win these games but just now it doesn’t look like they have that extra 5-10% needed to get the rub of the green in close games. We don’t score many points that’s for sure and today’s game against winless Bournville does show that we need to rectify this situation somehow as Bournville sit above the Chiefs despite not yet winning a game, they even put 41 points on the board in their loss to Dings Crusaders, so they do know how to score, accumulating bonus points along the way and that is the problem facing the Chiefs this Saturday, a team that knows it can score, as do the three teams above us who have all secured at least three try scoring bonus points whereas the Chiefs are yet to secure one this season.
It should be an interesting game though, as these two sides meet for the first time and a win here would be a huge confidence boost for the Chiefs as they head towards a run of games which see’s them face three of the fancied sides for the title this season in consecutive weekends, so they need to shake off last Saturday and play with some purpose, there are enough experienced players there to get this one done, just keep it tight, be patient and remember most of our points so far this season have been on the road.
Talking about experienced players, today see’s the return of Will Topps for the first time since the game against Exeter Uni and a welcome return it is given Will’s impecable timing as always. Tyler moves back to fly half and partners Dylan Gosling who gets his first start since returning. As for the pack no Matt Gohl today but a welcome return for Bryn Jago who has been working his way back into shape, here then is the Chiefs to face Bournville
Now to Athletic and another fantastic win last weekend as they travelled to South Molton to shut out the home side 0-38 and record their 4th win of the season, catapulting them to 6th place just 4 points behind second placed Honiton. Today they travel to Brixham looking to grab another 5 points to continue their challenge and all this coming from an extended road trip, it will be interesting where they stand in the league once they return home on November 26th, but for now another away win would be fantastic. Here then is the team to visit Brixham
Before I go folks there are still tables on ten available for the Christmas event details below.
Finally before i go don’t forget to put your clocks back Saturday night as we entry winter time and that means an end to 2.30pm kick-offs as from next week all Barnstaple kick-offs will be 2pm unless otherwise stated.
Good luck to all our teams playing today and let’s try and make it a hat-trick of wins to drink to tonight. See you all back here next weekend as the Chiefs play the first of two consecutive home games, this one against Leicester Lions followed on the 12th November where we welcome Clifton to Pottington Road and then a well-deserved week off before they travel to Redruth on the 26th, blimey what a schedule, See you at the bar for the Bucc’s game, meanwhile enjoy some on last weeks photos below for the full set visit the Barnstaple rugby facebook page where both Bob and Del’s photos can be seen.