Evening everyone and welcome back to another weekend, I hope you all had a restful weekend off last Saturday and ready for some high-octane rugby as we have, hopefully, all four of our teams in action. There is some doubt about the Bucc’s game at Exmouth as the Exmouth Nomads have only played one of their five fixtures so far this season.

First up though is the big one and that’s Barnstaple Chiefs encounter with Ivybridge which kicks off at 2.30pm. Before that there is The Colts fresh from their 1st win of the season to take on Topsham Colts at 1pm. On the road is the Bucc’s as mentioned but also Athletic who are also on their way to Exmouth to face third place Exmouth Quins which will be a tough game for them.

Before that that we do have some sad news as we have lost a great supporter of the club Peter Drew.

 

Peter “Boswell” Drew

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of long-time supporter Peter Drew who passed away at the North Devon District Hospital on Saturday the 30th September aged 76 years.

Peter will be remembered as a genuine, friendly gentleman who was always good company to be with and liked by everyone who knew him. Often seen after the match at the bar enjoying a drink with his good pals Tony and Martin dissecting the game.

The funeral will take place at the North Devon Crematorium on Thursday the 19th October at 2.20 pm.

There will be a minute’s silence held in his honour before today’s game. Peters’ wife, Mary, and their family will be present and our heartfelt condolences go out to them at this sad time.

World Cup

What a world cup we have had so far and now it’s the knock-out stages with the quarter finals this weekend and semi-finals next. Of course, the clubhouse will be showing all of them beginning with the Wales v Argentina at 4pm today followed by a fantastic game featuring Ireland and New Zealand at 8pm. Tomorrow there is the England match against Fiji which has all our nerves jangling, that kicks off at 4pm and then another big clash as France squares up to South Africa at 8pm.

Next weekend after Barnstaple Athletics top of the table clash with Torquay, we will be showing both semi-finals and the following weekend the final.

There are specials offers throughout the matches with Carlsberg and Tribute just £2.50 a pint and for the youngsters we will be offering a can of Coke Zero and a packet of snacks for just 80p. These offers are during the games only and you won’t find better deals anywhere else.

Today we will be celebrating the 100th appearance for two of Barnstaple Chiefs stalwarts Ashlee Crouch and George Snell who actually played their 100th game for the Chiefs against Exmouth last weekend. To that end I’ll let Ashlee and George describe their journey

 

Ashlee Crouch

It Feels amazing and I’m honoured to have done it for such an amazing club while I’ve been bouncing around the world. As colts we got changed in the light shed. Once while waiting an unexpected Billy Teape got drop kicked through a plaster boarded wall by someone. Not me though because that’s definitely not something I’d do… not blaming anyone though but whoever did it definitely had Scott Warren in his ear whispering ‘do it’ just in their defence. Again wasn’t me!

All my colts lads have been and moved on it’s just me and Scott floating about these days

1st game for chiefs was after I played my first game for colts and got a call up to some village Bristol squad… didn’t know any calls, moves… nothing, properly thrown in the deep end and in Kev Squires’ words ‘don’t worry you’ll be fine’ …. I was not in fact fine. Final whistle, goes in on all fours trying to find my nose somewhere across my face jaw two inches to the left… but god do I love games like that now

Favourite moment was definitely Tonbridge away in the play off getting a scrum pen and Jp kicking it for promotion into Nat 2. That feeling as the ball went through the posts was like no other… beers tasted a little better that day to

No final thoughts but a joke for everyone Do you know you can’t run through a campsite it’s physically impossible because you can only ran through a campsite….. because it’s passed tents

 

George Snell

I feel old and proud to have played the game at a great club for so long, It has been a enjoyable journey. Starting at Bideford it was when I had just played for Devon and enjoyed playing a more professional standard and from then on Barnstaple was the only choice.

I joined Barnstaple Rugby club for the start of the 2018-19 season and my first game was at home against Bracknell who we thumped if memory serves me well but other than that I don’t remember too much about it. My most memorable game though was a few years ago when we played western super-mare in a top of the table clash, I split my eyebrow open but we won and I got man of the match.

 

 

My favourite moment was getting promoted, having my son on the pitch after we won a home game and of course winding up Verity before every game. it has been a privilege to play and captain such a well supported and professional club.

 

BARNSTAPLE CHIEFS

So, a fortnight ago the Chiefs travelled to Exmouth with high hopes and came away with a bonus point win which head coach Winston James termed an ugly win, but aren’t they always ugly wins up there. I can’t remember when there wasn’t, whoever won. What was important is that the lads came away with the bonus point that pushed them above Exmouth into 4th place just a mere three points behind leaders Chew Valley.

What would have impressed any who went to see the chiefs was an excellent defensive effort. Exmouth opened the score with a converted penalty but after that the Chiefs did not give up a single point whilst two first half converted tries by Brandon Moore and Conner Swan with Jake Murphy adding the extra points gave Barnstaple a 3-14 half time lead. The second half Exmouth were completely shut out with Barnstaple scoring another 12 points with two further tries from Dan Johnson and Ross Swales plus 2 further points from a Jake Murphy conversion gave the Chiefs a deserved 3-26 win.

It always gets a bit messy as I’ve said up at Exmouth and I’ll take an ugly bonus point win there any day, especially keeping Exmouth to just three points, you can’t have any complaints there. Today though is a potential banana skin, aren’t they all, as we welcome Ivybridge to Pottington Road and if you can remember that far back they were the only team to do the double over the Chiefs in the championship winning season of 2019-20, winning 12-15 here at Pottington Road.

Ivybridge have not had the best of starts winning just one of their five fixtures so far this season, although that win did come a fortnight ago against St. Austell with the narrowest of victories 36-35. As we well know Pottington road has always been a happy hunting ground for Ivybridge whether it is taking on the Chiefs, Athletic or the Colts, they do seem to do well against Barnstaple and the Chiefs have to be mindful of that label of boogie team because you can guarantee they will come here fired up and ready to get stuck in, remember Ivybridge were the only team to do the double over the Chiefs when they won the Southwest Premier and promotion to National 2 in 2019-20 season.

The are several changes to the team that faced Exmouth with New Signings Ben Beattie and Callum Davies getting their first starting places with the Chiefs. For Ben this will be his first game whilst Callum was on the bench for the previous two games. Adam Lloyd returns to the second row. here then is your Chiefs to face Ivybridge this Saturday.

 

barnstaple ATHLETIC 

Barnstaple Athletic continued their winning streak with a tough and highly entertaining game against Devonport Services II a fortnight ago, just edging the visitors 29-24 in what can only be described as a game of two halves.

The first half Athletic came out firing on all cylinders with a strong wind behind them and dominated the half with three tries, the first of a brace from Scott Incledon coming in the third minute converted by Cameron Grizzle-Johnson and his second just before the break. Ben Beattie scored the first of his two tries between these scores to give the Tic’s a comfortable 17-3 half time lead.

The second half was all Devonport who, with the wind behind their backs made the most of Barnstaple’s ill discipline as the Tic’s amassed 5 yellow cards, all technical yellows as this was a very cleanly fought game, but it did mean that almost the whole half Athletic were playing with just 14 men and  Devonport made the most of it. However, it was Joe Messenger for Athletic who early on scored to extend the Tic’s lead to 22-3 and secure the bonus point Eventually the pressure Devonport exerted told and three tries in 10 minutes gave the visitors the lead at 22-24 and with the wind against them Athletic were in real danger of losing this one as their defence was pushed to it’s limits. Not giving any quarter the Tic’s started to work their way back into the game in the final ten minutes and with just five minutes on the clock, Ben Beattie scored his second try, converted by Cameron to make sure of a bonus point win in what was for the Tic’s a heart pounding battle which they prevailed.

A good result against the undefeated Devonport Services II team who are still in second place despite that defeat. Barnstaple Athletic though remain in fifth but are now just 2 points behind Devonport and 7 points behind leaders Torquay, that’s how important the game against Devonport was.

But it doesn’t stop there, absolutely no rest for the … as Athletic travel to another top tier team, Exmouth who are in third place just two points ahead of the Tic’s having lost just once so far this season, although that was at home which should give Barnstaple some encouragement. Athletic are going to need to be at their very best for this encounter and the team to do just that have a number of changes with Mitch Turner joing Josh Hill and Scott Incledon from the start, Louis Beer returns to the Tic’s as does Ross Swales to add their experience to the team. Here then is your Athletic squad travelling to Exmouth.

Bucc’s and Colts

Another highly entertaining match between Barnstaple Buccaneers and Ilfracombe resulted in yet another bonus point win for the Bucc’s with nine tries coming from across the team with Jay, George Pavior Coward, Jamie Arnold (2), James Lewis, Rob Parsons, llewyn Jago, Ed Brogio and Fin Body getting on the scoresheet.

Tis weekend the Bucc’s are on the bus with Athletic to hopefully face Exmouth Nomads in what is sure to be a thrilling match against a team that currently has only had 1 match and that was a 7-7 draw away to Crediton 3rd XV. It remains to see what sort of opposition they will face at the imperial ground. I expect the Bucc’s will want to make it 4 from 4 and remain at the top of the merit table.

Now for the team of the week and how not to let disappointment throw you of course. After three big losses the lads never gave up and continued to grow and learn and as a result, they earned themselves a fabulous 0-17 win at Devonport. Not just winning but shutting out the home side. Now this should give them plenty of encouragement for the home game against Topsham. 

Here then is your Bucc’s and Colts for this weekends fixtures.

So there you have ladies and gentleman, that’s it for another weekend, don’t forget after the Chiefs games the club will be showing WALES V ARGENTINA at 4pm and IRELAND v NEW ZEALAND at 8pm all at £2.50 for a pint of Carlesberg and Tribute.

Next weekend Barnstaple Athletic are back on home soil in a top of the table clash with Torquay Athletic. This will be a phenominal clash of the Titans which might give us a few clues as to who wants the title most as we head into the winter season and one game none of you want to miss. Also on the Bill at Pottington road next weekend are the Buccaneers against Crediton 3rdXV, both games kick off at 2.30pm

On the road are the Chiefs as they travel to the current 2nd placed team Launceston, another crunch game and one that if they win will firmly cement their path to glory. As for the Colts a much shorter trip to rivals Bideford Colts.

Good luck to all our teams playing today and I really hope everyone has a great weekend catch up next time.

 

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