Good evening, folks and I hope you’re ready for some eagerly anticipated rugby that we have on the horizon. Today’s game at Pottington Road features the Barnstaple Chiefs in a Regional one South West match against Lydney, which is sponsored this weekend by Bray Leino and Partners&, we also have attending as guest of Bray Leino, North Devon Hospice who will be doing the rounds at half time collecting for the Hospice so dig deep people, they have been absolutely fantastic looking after some of our former members in recent years and with your generosity long may that service continue.
Athletic and the Buccaneers matches have been postponed due to the weather so just the Chiefs my friends. We also have Premier Rugby on the big screen with Saracens v Leicester this afternoon.
We do have a couple of big events at the club this month and more on that in a minute but first we just wanted to take this opportunity to say Bon Voyage to Heidi Smythe who is off to work in London. For those who might not recognise the name she has been the ever-present physio on all the Chiefs matches since the start of last season repairing their broken bodies on the field and has been a huge asset to the club.
So, a massive thank you Heidi from everyone at Barum Barnstaple Rugby Football Club and good luck on your ventures in the big city.
Also well done to Josh Sluman who In August this year was contacted by DKMS about being a match for someone with blood cancer and donating his stem cells. Following a medical assessment, some blood tests and a few days of self-injections, earlier this week Josh made his stem cell donation.
Josh joined the registry in 2018. Signing up is as simple as sending off a few swabs of your cheek cells. The chances of finding a match for someone is very small, the more people registered, the greater the chance of a match.
If you’re interested in joining the registry you can do so via DKMS UK.
Just a bit of shopping news this weekend with two fabulous offers the first is Barnstaple rugby Christmas T-Shirts for the festive season, grab yours but be quick as orders have to be in by November 24th details below and to order go to Barnstaple RFC Xmas Tee
We also have a limited number of Barnstaple Rugby Blazer badges for sale behind the bar.
Coming up at Barnstaple Rugby we have the regular Roundtable fireworks display which we know is the premier fireworks display in North Devon, nothing compares. This year the event will be supporting two worthy charities, Children’s Hospice South West and Families in Grief both deserving local charities supporting families and children across the North Devon area.
As ever, with a popular event such as this tickets go quickly so order yours now. Early bird prices are available and you can also buy on the gate to grab your tickets go to Barnstaple District Roundtable fireworks display
There is also Boxing as Barnstaple Amateur Boxing Club present their Remembrance Day show on Saturday November 11th. Doors open at 7pm and as always, a highly popular event. Tickets are on sale now, adults £15 Each, Under 16’s £5, and can be picked up at The Barnstaple Amateur Boxing Club, The Corner House, Ebberly Arms or Big Baps at Pottington. These events are always enjoyable with a high level of skill and talent on show. Full details are on the poster below
Disappointment for the Chiefs in tough encounter over the border at Launceston as they lost 20-17 to the home side. At the end of the first half the home side were 10-5 up with Dan Johnson scoring Barnstaple only points of the half midway through.
Yet from the start of the second half the Chiefs came out fighting and levelled the score within 5 minutes with a second try from Dan Johnson but a penalty later returned the lead to Launceston. A try from Johny Carter gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game and with Kyran McManus converting, the only points from the boot in the game for the Chiefs, Barnstaple took the lead 13-17 with just 15 minutes to go. Now we at the club were all listening to the game as it was being broadcast live and with the Tic’s game finished several of us had our ears glued to phones as the heart-breaking commentary informed us of a try and conversion in the last few minutes to win it for Launceston 20-17.
So a losing bonus point for the Chiefs but it could have been so much more with two conversions and two penalties missed that means they left 10 points out there on the field. Listening to the commentary on Radio Cornwall, the Chiefs didn’t have it all their own way in the second half but they were the more forceful team and it seemed had more possession and territory but alas just couldn’t produce enough points for the win.
Today they prepare to face visitors Lydney who themselves have had an up and down year so far currently sat in 5th place just 2 points behand Barnstaple. Loses to Exmouth, Launceston and Okehampton do show they are not fond of the trip to the west country given the two hour drive they have in front of them. Yet wins against Ivybridge, WSM, Matson and last time out St. Austell does show they have an appetite for winning games and scoring, which the Chiefs will need to be wary about.
there are several changes to the Chiefs line up, principle amongst them is a first start this season for Mitch Turner. Charlie Banfield partners Jake Patrick in the second row. In the backs Cameron Grizzle-Johnson starts at 11 and Ross Swales returns to scrum half. Here then is your Chiefs team to face Lydney
The match against Torquay a fortnight ago was a bit of an arm wrestle to start with as the game started out evenly with both sides probing. As the half progressed Barnstaple became more dominant as they pressed their attack and were by the halfway mark dominating territory and possession. The first try came from a lovely pass to Connor swan who in full stride took the ball one handed and sped towards Torquay’s try line only to be tackled just short, managing to pop the ball up to his support, several pick and go’s finally resulted with Joe Messenger going over for Athletics first, converted by Ross Swales. Then seeing their advantage by this point Luke Knight launched the most perfect cross field kick to Alex Penny who under challenge took the ball at the top of it’s height and landing on his feet fended off a second defender to go over to give the Tic’s a 12-0 lead. One of the best tries I’ve seen this season and it looked for all the money that Athletic where going to cruise this, but Torquay had other ideas and for the last 10 minutes regrouped and mounted a sustained attack which the Tic’s defence repelled to go in at the break 12-0 and looking good for it.
The second half was to be a different story for Barnstaple as Torquay hit the try line almost immediately from the start. Athletic hit back quickly though to return balance as Scott Incledon took the ball from a short line out and ran it to maintain the gap at 17-7. Torquay were not done yet and worked their way to another try to close the gap 17-14 and a tense final 15 minutes ensued where we thought for certain Athletic were going to loss this one at the death as the visitor’s dominated territory and possession. Athletics defence held throughout and just like that the game was over and Barnstaple victorious 17-14.
There was much to admire from Athletics game, in particular the lack of penalties, something that has plagued them recently, and the way they gradually built pressure in the first half to dominate, at least for the first 30 minutes, their opponents. But again, athletics intensity has fallen off a cliff in the second half and rather than demolish teams they have dominated in the first, they have allowed them not only to get back into the match but to take charge, in this case Torquay were able to get to within 3 points, last month Devonport got within 5 points despite Athletic having a been 17-3 up at half time and only a try in the last five minutes won them that match. Against Withycombe same story a big lead squandered in the second half.
But a win is a win and against the top team who at this point were undefeated is a really good win and that has now taken athletic, still third, to within 4 points of the leaders and everything to challenge for.
Today they should have travelled to fourth placed Exeter Saracens unfortunately the weather has put paid to that game. They return to Pottington Road next weekend to take on Honiton and kick off is 2pm
Bucc’s and Colts
Barnstaple Buccaneers continue to march forcefully on as league leaders of Devon Merit Table 1 NE with two big wins, 5-52 at Exmouth followed by a 49-17 win here against Crediton III. This gives them a 9 point cushion at the top. Today’s game at Exeter has been postponed due to the weather. Next weekend they take on Honiton II here at Pottington Road at 2pm
As for the Colts, have they turned a corner following that 0-17 win at Devonport. They are currently on a three game winning streak beating Topsham Colts 28-21 and then at Bideford Colts winning 10-31.
They have a well deserved rest this weekend before playing their final match of this half of the season on the road at Crediton Colts.
Well, that it for another weekend. Don’t forget to dig deep into your pockets and donate to the North Devon hospice this afternoon, they deserve every penny they take. Next weekend Athletic are back against Honiton and kick off will be 2pm
Good luck to the Chiefs and let’s make that Barum Roar count today.