Welcome back my friends to another Mighty Barum blog and plenty for us to get through this weekend as there is a week’s break until the 6 nations restarts. In a hectic weekend with all four teams playing, we start with another road trip for the Chiefs, this time to Old Redcliffians and hopes of grabbing a bonus point or two there. Athletic still pumped from their win against Tavistock, take on another leading team, 2nd placed Torquay, who visit Pottington Road for the first time in a long long time. Both the Bucc’s and Colts are also on their travels with the Bucc’s of to Exeter and the Colts away at Honiton.
Before all that though the juniors are looking for a Coaching Co-Ordinator, interested then check out the advert below and click on the poster if you wish to apply or want to know more.
We start today with Barnstaple Athletic who play host to Torquay at Pottington road having beaten league leaders Tavistock last Saturday in what was their best team performance so far this season, particularly in the first half where Athletic dominated possession and territory scoring three excellent tries to go in at the break 19-5 to the good. A fabulous solo try from Troy Willis was complimented by 2 excellent team tries finished off by Alex Penny who, scoring his first tries in competitive rugby at this level having come into the team from the Colts this season, shows how good a prospect for the future Alex is. The second half Athletic had to do a lot more defending as Tavistock threw the kitchen sink at them, even so the more decisive attacks came from Athletic having absorbed the pressure with some excellent tackling and a further try each, Athletic’s coming from a well worked short lineout to give them an easy run in to the line early in the half, left the home side enjoying a well-earned bonus point win 26-12 and becoming only the second side this season to beat Tavistock.
This result also elevated Barnstaple to 3rd in the league just eight points behind their opponents today, Torquay. So, much more of the same is needed as there is no let up for the Tic’s. This one has an added benefit for Athletic in that if they can produce a similar performance they can reduce that lead Torquay have to just three points in the league and pile on as much pressure as they can in the hope Torquay have another slip up or two. Even so, if Athletic can remain in third, and there is absolutely no reason they cannot, then that alone is a massive achievement for the club in their first season of competitive league rugby.
There are a number of changes to last week’s squad with a huge boost for the team as Ryan Smale returns after a long absence beginning his return from the bench. Here then is Athletic for todays game.
No luck at Luctonians for the Chiefs and it was always going to be a struggle against the best defensive team in the league. Today is the tricky contest against Old Redcliffians, who are 2 places above Barnstaple in 10th place on 33 points, seven points ahead of the Chiefs. Now it would be a massive bonus if the Chiefs can do the business at Bristol and would be a great moral boosting bonus for the team if they can get a really good performance from this one going into the crunch game against Bournville at Pottington Road next weekend.
Earlier in the season Old Redcliffians took the honours at Pottington road winning 14-20 in an evenly fought match. At the time I felt that Barnstaple on this occasion just came up short and at that time they didn’t look to have that extra 5-10% needed. That all seemed to change during December and early on in January, but the wind does seem to have gone out of their sails more recently. We don’t score many points that’s for sure and the Chiefs really need find a way through these defences on a more regular basis. Hopefully today will be the day it all starts to click in place, it will need to if they want any points from this one and if they do get the win all the better, but I will be happy with a solid performance from the team this Saturday.
This Saturday’s team sees a number of returning players including Jake Childs who is on the bench for his first game of the season. Tyler Gordon-Oke returns to the fly half slot and Will Topps is back to the wing. In the pack Ben Hilton is back for another game and also on the bench after a long absence is Brandon Moore to add a further boost to the team, here then is the squad travelling to Old Redcliffians.
Bucc’s and Colts.
Both the Bucc’s and Colts are on the road today with the Bucc’s off to Exeter Saracens after their century winning score against Tiverton last weekend and the Colts travel to Honiton to continue their quest for a place in the Merit Shield trophy.
That about raps it up for me this weekend, Next week Barnstaple Chiefs are at home in a crucial bottom of the table fight with Bournville who visit North Devon for the first time, kick of is 2pm for this must see fixture which maybe just determine Barnstaple’s fate come the end of the season. Athletic too are at home against Exmouth Nomads whilst the Bucc’s and Colts are both on the road.
Enjoy the game today which I think will be absolutely awesome and should not be missed and good luck to all our teams playing this Saturday.