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The Chairman Speaks

1 year ago By Michael Whitfield

Barnes win crucial game at Canterbury to keep survival hopes alive

“Our most important game of the season approaches - see you on 22nd when the 1st XV take on Clifton” Michael Whitfield - Chairman BRFC

I hope you all had a splendid Easter and are looking forward to this week's crucial game at Barn Elms as the 1st XV take on Clifton in our last home game of the season.

Before we look ahead to that game we have ourselves a 1st XV win to celebrate with Barnes winning 17-11 away at Canterbury before the Easter break. Barnes had a great first half, with skipper Jamie Collins scoring twice, and the try machine Fraser Carlisle notching up another score to make it 17-3 at the break. The second period was a much more dogged affair with the home side scoring the only try of the half and slotting a further penalty. With so many games lost by Barnes from a winning position this season, and the score a dangerously close 11-17 to Barnes in the last quarter of the game, there was a worrying sense of déjà vu from the Barnes RFC WhatsApp group, chattering away online in a crescendo of excitement at Marty’s sometimes teasing score updates (where there are sometimes no team names to indicate who is winning at the time)but that titillation and double-entendre aside, the boys dug in deep, and held on for the lifeline of four incredibly valuable points - but was it too little too late? Well, more of that worrying conundrum later - first a quick update on some other exciting games from around the club.

The 2nd XV played close Zoo Shield 1 rivals, Ampthill, and suffered a rare defeat this season, going down on in 15-7. This leaves Ampthill in 3rd place in the league and Barnow in 4th. With only 1 set of games remaining the 2’s could finish in their highest ever place in Zoo Shield 1 come the end of the season. Their last fisture is away at Bishop Stortford on 29th April, where the 1st Xv are also playing.

I am also delighted to announce that the Mayfair Occasionals, the Occies for short, won their league this season too, the first time ever at this level which is brilliant!

On Friday night under lights, the mighty Vets were equally brilliant and played their semi-final in the Surrey Vets Cup against Esher. In a highly competitive and fierce game, Barnes Vets held out to win, with the final score being: Esher Vets 7 - Barnes Vets 17.

This sets ups a mouth-watering final against either Guildford or Sutton and Epsom Vets, again at Esher, on Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May. I mean what better way than to spend a Bank Holiday than with those you truly love, your mates in the Vets! More details on that to follow and let’s all make a Herculean effort to be there to support the old gits. Before that the Vets last league game is on 22nd April against their fiercest of fierce local rivals, the redoubtable Richmond Heavies. It’s at the Richmond Athletic Ground, with the kick off time yet to be confirmed, as everyone wants to watch the 1st XV play Clifton in a do-or-die-must-win penultimate game of the season at Barn Elms.

I want to finish on the elephant in the room.

Was that win last week against Canterbury too little too late?

Well the answer is that we don’t really know yet.

With London Welsh dropping out of the leagues altogether it means that only the 2 bottom placed clubs from National League 2 South and 2 North will be automatically relegated instead of the normal 3 clubs.

Then the team 3rd from bottom with the worst points total in 2 South or North will be the fifth team relegated.

In 2 South there are 4 sides in the relegation zone. Exmouth are relegated already in last place. Then come Barnes on 45 points, London Irish on 46 and Worthing on 47 points.

These are the games we each have left:

• Barnes are at home vs Clifton and away to Bishop Stortford
• London Irish Wild Geese play Redruth away then are at home to Chinnor, two brutal games.
• Worthing are away to Redinensians and then they have home advantage in the last game to Exmouth

It is very simple now, two games left and Barnes must win one of these games at least to have any chance to staying up in this league, and then it is in the lap of the Gods to see how LIWG and Worthing fare.

This is a summary of all of the games this weekend:

Saturday 22nd April

- Barnes 1st XV vs Clifton - 3pm kick off
- Barnes 2nd XV vs Clifton - 2:30pm kick off
- Richmond Heavies vs Barnes Vets - kick off to be confirmed

Sunday 23rd April
- Barnes Ladies Inaugural Development 7's Tournament - 10am kick off


Onwards Barnes! Onwards the Green Army! To Victory!

Michael “Rhino” Whitfield

Michael "Rhino" Whitfield

Chairman - Barnes RFC

Updated 16:18 - 1 Jun 2017 by David Doonan

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