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Barnes 1st XV - Match centre

Sutton & Epsom
Barnes
Sat 21 Apr 15:00 - London & SE Division - London & SE Premier Full time

Job done.

League won. (S&E have produced an excellent report of the scoring - https://www.suttonrugby.co.uk/latest-1st-xv-match-report-2/)

A penalty for a high tackle just after their kick-off sent Sutton & Epsom back into their half. They stole the not-straight line-out and went wide; kicks were exchanged then they went wide again. After a couple of phases they used an up-and-under; two more kicks were exchanged before Barnes ran from their half near the touchline with several passes to touch down wide out after 3 minutes. The conversion was wide.

The restart resulted in a scrum for the visitors from which the ball was released to their three-quarters to get the second penalty which they ran. After 5 close phases used an up-and-under that resulted in their third penalty 14 metres into the opposition half. The fly-half's kick resulted in a 5-metre line-out. A drive was held then Barnes kept the ball close for 4 phases to get over but held up. At this time a fourth penalty and a yellow card were awarded; the visitors chose a scrum. Sutton defended well but conceded another penalty. From the second scrum, which was also held, the fullback came up and the ball was soon fed to the right wing who scored at 11 minutes. The conversion just missed.

Following the restart the visitors were soon back attacking in the other half. A forward pass resulted in a scrum for S&E 25 metres out; from that they soon kicked long. The opposition fullback ran the ball then two recycles sent the right wing down the touchline to come into the posts for an easy 7 points at 17 minutes.

After this Sutton started to have a share of possession and some time in the visitors' half before losing another man for 10 minutes. After a Barnes' error S&E put together a second good set of phases to get a penalty that was kicked for a line-out 13 metres from the opposition line. That was stolen and the visitors broke out of their 22 running; after some passes the left wing beat many defenders in a diagonal run to the posts from the other half at 32 minutes for the 4-try bonus point. Unless Sutton & Epsom could come back and get a draw or a win Barnes had now won the league.

S&E responded strongly; Barnes had replied to the restart with an up-and-under. Sutton ran the ball and soon got a penalty 8 metres from halfway that was kicked for a line-out at the far 22. From that they ran again before being turned over. The visitors kicked ahead and the home team ran for the third time. Now they did break through and with just two wide phases got to two metres out. After another recycle they were awarded a penalty 9 metres out and chose a scrum. From it with 5 mixed phases but not advancing they got another penalty. This one they ran and their forwards recycled three times close to send lock Harwood over two-thirds out from the posts to touch at 38 minutes. Fullback Hurley converted. The visitors forced an error two recycles after the restart.

The second half was almost entirely played in the home team's half. Five minutes into the half there was some silliness that made the rest of the game much harder for Sutton to compete. After 10 minutes they stopped an attack by the visitors; following a turnover in Sutton's half, a fifth close recycle sent Barnes' no. 8 on a run to the line at 17 minutes for an easy conversion. After another 13 minutes of staying in the opposition half an attack by the visitors consisting of 11 phases was finished by their no. 8 breaking clear at the blind side of a ruck for another run to the posts. Directly from the high restart the ball was fed out to the outside centre who ran near the touch line to score. An excellent conversion from wide-out followed. Sutton stole a line-out to stop Barnes' next attack; after some errors the visitors' full back finished the game with regained chip over to go to the posts.

Dry, overcast and warm before the start and no wind; some sun soon and a little rain later. The pitch firm, dry and patchy.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Barnes 26 111
2. Guernsey 26 110
3. Tring 26 105
4. Hertford 26 105
5. Tunbridge Wells 26 77
6. Westcliff 26 75
7. Shelford 26 59

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