“As that kicked sailed over to seal the win the collective Barnes joy was something I will never forget”
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
I warn you that is a long blog this week, so pour yourself a nice drink, snuggle down and enjoy the story of our remarkable win last week as well as what awaits us rugby-wise this weekend - it is going to be a chocker-block rugby cracker barrel of a few days ahead!
At 1 am last Sunday morning I thought to myself “What the f**k am I doing sitting here in Brixton eating a Maccie D?” After getting back to Barnes, and having had some well-needed sleep, I began to unravel my mystery.
But first, thank God this week I don’t have to say again: “so close but yet so far”, or “Barnes in heartbreaking narrow loss” or “what a valiant effort by Barnow”.
Although, if Josh Davies hadn’t slotted the last kick of the match to snatch victory in the final act of a pulsating game, I might well have been searching for other phrases to lift the collective Barnow spirits.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. As I stood next to Head Coach Joe Gray on the touchline as Josh lined up the kick, I asked him “Have you seen Josh kick before?” “No came the immediate response” from Joe with a worried grimace on his face.
So we stood like lemmings on the cliff, peering over into the abyss, for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for Josh to rumble up to the ball and make contact. It looked like he took a nine iron, as a large divot of turf and the ball lifted off the ground, as if in slow motion, and meandered their way towards the posts, eventually bisecting the uprights. And, in that second, the world turned upside down, the ref blew the whistle, the Barnes massif erupted in joy, players and supporters collided, as one, on the pitch. The TJ’s lads dropped to the ground in exhaustion, having put in such a brave defensive shift, Al Ryan joined them, the emotion overcoming his gentle heaving frame, tears running down his cheeks.
And that was that.
Barnes recorded their second win in their 7th game of the season 20-21, 7th heaven indeed! Cue multiple bottles of wine and pints of Guinness! Which is of course why I ended up in Brixton at the Golden Arches, eating a quarter pounder with cheese and a bucket of chicken nuggets!
At the start of the game, Barnes started slowly allowing TJ’s to dictate for the first ten minutes of the game. After 25 minutes TJ’s lead 6-3 after swapping penalties. Barnes were gradually taking control of the game and it was then that live-wire Josh Davies took a quick tap penalty and waltzed through the TJ’s defence to put Barnes into a 6-8 lead at halftime.
Barnes continued to put pressure on TJ’s, who’s defence was resolute throughout the second period. Suddenly Charlie Wick’s kick was charged down, we were slow to react and TJ’s took the lead 13-8, 10 minutes into the half. Barnes were straight back on the front foot and from a driving maul Ciaran Smyth scored, and in windy conditions Wicksy missed the extras and Barnes were all square at 13 apiece as we went into the last quarter. A defensive error let TJ’s through for a soft score and, with the conversion successful, TJ’s took a commanding lead 20-13. Barnes camped on TJ’s line and, with four minutes left, Jack Garrett drove over, taking us to 20-18, with the kick to come. With Wicksy off the pitch, Tom O’Toole took the kick, but the ball sailed agonisingly past the posts.
But patience was Barnes watchword on the day, and patient we were as regathered the ball from the kick off and picked our way up the field. Scrum to Barnes, two minutes left, 40 metres out, pressure from the Barnes pack, and up went the ref’s hand.
PENALTY TO BARNES!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
A well-deserved win, against a very worthy opposition. We have been building for this all season, and all of that hard work, all of that training and planning, well it paid off last week.
This weekend we entertain Old Redcliffians at Barn Elms. We have never played them before in the league but, looking at their form so far this season, they look to have had many close calls, against tough opposition, just like us. Make no mistake, this is going to be a very close encounter, of that there is no doubt. We will forget last week’s euphoria, we get our game faces on, and we will treat the Bristol boys with the respect they deserve as we go about our Barnow business, and in search of our third win of the season.
Good luck to the lads!
Some other great results last weekend for Barnes RFC
The 2’s were on the road at Old Elthamians, and at halftime trailed 31-7. A rocket from the pocket rocket, Will Armitage, at the break transformed Barnow. In a pulsecond-halfnd half display, Barnes clawed their way back and eventually drew 38-38.
With the Occies game cancelled, the only other game on Saturday was the Vets Cup game away to Esher. Many times a banana skin side for the Vets, but not this week, with a resounding 60-14 thumping. A brilliant result, which you can read all about in Skipper Rich Fenech’s blog below:
The Ladies 1st XV [/b were very unlucky on Sunday, losing narrowly away at Battersea Ironsides 27-14 on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Under 14’s won convincingly 55-24 against Teddington, with[b] Simon “The Legend” Curran helping out on the coaching side. In our tenth year of Minis and Juniors at Barnes RFC you can really sense a big step up in performances across all age groups, a testament to the dedication of both the coaches and players, which is wonderful for your ageing Chairman to see.
At Barnes RFC Friday Nights Are Full Of Rugby Fun
doubleheaders the first of this Winter’s double headers this Friday, with the 2's playing Wimbledon 2nd XV on Friday night at Rosslyn Park, preceded by the 2nd Girls Tag Tournament, hosted by Barnes RFC.
Barnes Ladies will be there in full support of their junior charges, leading the tag event, and providing the match referees. The Minis coaching staff will be there too, helping teachers to marshal the fifteen teams taking part. We are delighted to see six more teams this year, all from local schools, introducing more girls to rugby, and enabling the schools to develop larger squads for the season ahead.
This event builds on the success of the inaugural girls only festival in April this year which Barnes created, and ran. The quality of the rugby then was first class, enjoyed by parents, teachers and children alike, and clearly benefited from the boys not getting in their way!
Please do come along and enjoy a rugby night to remember which reflects our special Barnes Rugby’ “One Club” culture. We kick off at 6pm, with the 2nd XV kicking off at 8pm. There will be food and drinks available, and you might even get a welcome pint from Chris Williams!
So a big weekend ahead at Barnes RFC. Here are the full details:
Friday 19th October
• Barnes RFC Girls Tag Tournament - 6pm KO at Rosslyn Park
• Barnes 2nd XV vs Wimbledon 2ndXV - 8pm KO at Rosslyn Park
Saturday 20th October
• Barnes 1st XV vs Old Redcliffians - 3pm KO
• Old Tiffinians 2nd XV vs Barnes Occies - 3pm KO
• Barnes Harrodians Vets vs Henley Vets - 2.30pm KO
Sunday 21st October
• Barnes Ladies 2nd XV vs Hackney Ladies - 2pm KO
What an amazing weekend ahead, two games on Friday at Rosslyn Park, three on Saturday, with the 1st XV and Vets at home at Barn Elms, and the Ladies 2nd XV at home on Sunday.
You have absolutely no excuse to come and see Barnes play, why not come on all three days!
Here’s to a brilliant weekend of Barnes Rugby, all played in the original sprit which we value so much here at Barnes RFC.
Onwards and Upwards.
See you at the weekend
Michael “Rhino” Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC
Updated 16:49 - 8 Nov 2018 by Michael Whitfield