Risky play by WP is their undoing
WP though struggling have beaten Guilford and gave Tring "a run for their money".
This was the 11th game between these teams; in each of the previous seasons there was a win and loss for both teams. Of those the average score was WP 24 - 21 B; there were 3 games with 1 point difference and 4 games with 4 or less points difference. WP had the biggest win 3 years ago, 38 - 10 at home. Two of today's Barnes' team played in the first match 8 years ago.
At halftime in this game there seemed little between the teams except Barnes' converted try advantage. But 10 minutes into the second half, after another Barnes try, Westcombe Park started rather risky play that they could not sustain and was their undoing, resulting in 2 tries around 60 minutes and 2 more just before the end
Two kicks followed the home team's kick-off resulting in a line-out for the visitors 14 metres into the other half. From that the ball was kept close for a few phases before going wider to advance into the 22 then the Ref. went back to a penalty 24 metres out in centre field after 2 minutes. Fullback Wicks kicked the points.
The visitors secured the restart and ran the ball back to an opposition line-out 2 metres past halfway. Four kicks then ensued before another line-out for Westcombe 18 metres ahead. This was stolen and Barnes tried an up-and-under that their opponents collected. They kept the ball close recycling 3 times to get a penalty 9 metres inside their half. A very good kick took them to a third line-out 14 metres from Barnes' line. From there their forwards drove to the line with flanker Fox on the ball and the defence rather loose at 7 minutes; scrumhalf Zanirato converted.
They dealt with the restart, launched an up-and-under then won a turnover after Barnes had the ball for a moment. Next they broke through well then put together 9 good mixed phases to get a penalty again in centre field and the scrumhalf kicked the points to make it 10 - 3 at 11 minutes.
The visitors were penalised for a high tackle soon after the home team had secured the restart and ran. The kick took them to 4 metres past halfway then the line-out resulted in a free-kick for their opponents. Barnes ran the ball and made yards with 7 phases before an incident not requiring the ball and Ref. had to have words. The game was restarted with a scrum for the visitors just outside the opposition 22. Barnes kept the ball close for 4 phases before the fly-half chipped through to the line. The defence took the ball over to give the attackers a 5 metre scrum. From this scrum the ball was recycled tight 3 then recycled a bit wider to centre Butler, who as often in other games seemed to be stopped but forced his way over near the posts at 18 minutes. Wicks added.
Two kicks followed the restart before a simple mistake gave Westcombe a put-in 20 metres into the visitors half. After it they attacked wide and made good ground then the ball was dropped after one recycle. The opposition fly-half kicked it long to the other half; 5 more kicks followed, 3 of them high. Next Barnes were penalised catching the last and the kick to the home team from 6 metres inside their half to 4 metres outside their opponents' 22. Their pack's drive from the line-out made ground then went down 8 metres out; they didn't get the ball out and the Ref. gave the opposition the scrum there. After a no. 8 pick-up Westcombe were penalised 13 metres out and the kick took the visitors to 17 metres from halfway. Another penalty at the line-out gained them another 30 metres. From the resulting line-out Barnes after releasing to centre then recycling close twice they were awarded a third penalty 2 metres ahead and kicked for a line-out 13 metres out. Their line-out was stolen and Westcombe kicked for territory; Wicks replied with an up-and-under. The home team got the ball then were turned over before they forced an error from Barnes. The Ref. then went back to give the visitors a scrum outside the opposition 22. From that they moved the ball rather better, with injury replacement Foster looking dangerous, and after 7 phases got a penalty inside the 22 that was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. At this the defence was awarded a free-kick and they kicked to touch almost to halfway. From this line-out Barnes put together a good set of 10 mostly close phases to get to 5 metres out with Foster again prominent. Under pressure they got the ball away and recycled close twice before being turned over. Park cleared to touch; a quick line-out was taken and Barnes ran the ball wide. A half-break by Foster then one recycle and a pass from lock Hind sent outside centre Cornish to the posts at 35 minutes. Wicks added.
The visitors dealt with the high restart then after one recycle kicked out on the full giving Westcombe a line-out 11 metres from the try line. Barnes held the forward drive and it went down; Westcombe recycled 5 times with varied options to get a penalty 13 metres out and kicked for a line-out 5 metres out. They threw that not-straight before the half-time whistle. At this point there seemed little between the teams other than the 10 - 17 score.
Barnes kicked-off the second half to the 22; Westcombe ran and immediately broke though and kicked ahead after recycling once. The visitors replied with an up-and-under that resulted in a penalty against them for a challenge in the air, 18 metres inside their half and not far from centre field. Westcombe chose to kick for the points but this missed (it also seemed a sign of lack of confidence). After the 22 drop-out the visitors intercepted a pass and might have got away but for a foot in touch. From the line-out 9 metres past halfway Westcombe kept the ball close for 3 phases before being penalised some metres back. A very good kick by Wicks took the visitors to 11 metres out and from the line-out the forwards' drive made a bit of ground before going down. The ball was recycled close twice then sent wide and after one more recycle flanker Van Der Poel crossed wide out at 7 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Westcombe regained their restart and made ground before passing forward outside the opposition 22. Barnes' scrum was under pressure and resulted in another for them just inside the 22. They got the ball away this time and kicked after a couple of close recycles. Park then had the ball and soon went wide before kicking into the 22 where the replacement fullback easily marked. Barnes ran the ball rather than kicking then after 2 recycles launched a long up-and-under. Westcombe decided to start throwing the ball about much more then after 5 phases they kicked ahead. The visitors replied with another up-and-under which was dropped by the opposition and resulted in a penalty against them 15 metres inside their half. The kick took Barnes to 7 metres out and from the line-out they kept the ball close for 7 phases. The defence was good and Barnes sent the ball through their backs' hands to the far side where Westcombe forced an error to get a scrum put-in 17 metres out. They went wide from that and advanced then after 2 close recycles they were penalised 23 metres out in centre field and Wicks was asked to kick the easy points after 15 minutes.
The restart resulted in a scrum for Barnes 17 metres inside their half; they got the ball away and kicked ahead. Westcombe kicked out on the full giving their opponents a line-out just past halfway. That was thrown not-straight and after the scrum they got a penalty and kicked for another line-out 16 metres from the visitors' line. This was stolen and the ball cleared to touch just outside the 22. From the next line-out Park kept the ball close at first then put together five phases, twice going wide. The last time they were intercepted by wing Martey who ran from inside his 22 to the posts at the end of the 3rd quarter. Wicks added.
Westcombe regained their shorter restart and recycled twice before being turned over. The visitors kicked well to the opposition 22 where Westcombe decided to run the ball. They were turned over after the first recycle and scrumhalf Reeves ran to the corner 2 minutes after the previous try. A very good conversion from Wicks followed.
From the restart Martey ran to the other 22 where Barnes were dispossessed after one recycle. Westcombe cleared to touch 14 metres from halfway where they stole the line-out. They continued to play adventurously and made nearly 30 metres before dropping the ball. From the scrum Barnes kicked to touch 16 metres into the other half. From this line-out, more extravagant play from the home team advancing strongly with 7 successful phases ended with a forward pass 18 metres from the visitors' line. After the scrum, a second bout of activity without the ball and another scrum, Barnes kept the ball for 6 close phases before launching an up-and-under. Park got the ball and tried another risky wide attack with 6 phases before a third unnecessary interaction between the teams. This resulted in a penalty for the visitors 11 metres into the opposition half. That was kicked for a line-out at the 22 and from the line-out they went wide to send Martey to the corner for his second at 38 minutes. The conversion missed.
Westcombe regained their short-taken restart but were straight away dispossessed and Barnes' Will-o'-the-wisp, similarly to his earlier runs, raced off as if starting to throw a girdle round the earth in forty minutes and in seconds was under the posts. Wicks converted before the whistle.
Cool and damp, some wind; overcast with grey cloud, brightening later.