“To beat Hertford once in a season is good, to do it home and away excellent!”
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
Well 2018 got off to a very good start Barnes Rugby Club last weekend with Barnes 1st XV taking on high-flyers Hertford and doing the double on them by winning home and away. The 2’s were less lucky going down 24-8 at Old Elthamians, a result that leaves the 2’s in 11th place in Zoo Shield 1. The only other game last weekend was the Ladies fixture against Bury St Edmunds Ladies which they lost 31-7 but still had a cracking time with our friends from Bury and on the road trip back I imagine!
This weekend the 1st XV travel to Dorking with the 2’s playing 3rd placed in Zoo Shield 1 Richmond Saxons at Barn Elms. The Occies take on Old Tiffs, also at Barn Elms, and they are joined by the Vets who are at home to Harlequins Gentlemen. On Sunday Barnes Ladies travel to Old Elthamians Ladies. All of the kickoffs are at 2 pm this weekend.
Before we look ahead to this weekend’s 1st XV league clash against Dorking, let’s have a quick look back at last weekend’s game against Hertford. As I said we won, with a convincing score line of 34-16 at Barn Elms, making it a double having won narrowly at their place in September last year.
With a three week break for the lads, aching and battered bodies had been clearly rested, as the forwards set about their task with the same relish as devouring their jelly, ice cream, mince pies and Christmas pud! With a strong forward platform, our nimble backs had plenty of ball to work with but did squander four or five chances in the first half which meant the score at half-time was Barnes 10 Hertford 13, with tries by Hamish Reeves and Jack Garrett and no conversions, too many mince pies in Charlies Wicks boots to kick them! A key decision in the first half was the dismissal of the Hertford scrum-half after 15 minutes which certainly did play into our hands
The second half saw us move into cruise control and early try from skipper Jamie Collins took Barnes into the lead 15-13. Barnes now attacked at will, and in waves with great lines and from a scrum on their line Robbie Martey popped up to score and at last we got a conversion to make the score 22-13 in our favour. We never really looked back from there, although a period of silly penalties did threaten to let Hertford back in and they reduced the deficit to 22-16. However, in the last 10 minutes, we cut loose with two further scores, including a second for Jack Garrett and one for Ollie Foster.
An excellent way to start the year off, leaving us in 3rd place in London and South East Premier league, one point behind Tring and six behind Guernsey, both of whom we play again before the season is done.
This weekend the 1’st XV travel to Dorking’s Big Field, a veritable fortress for Dorking this season. having only lost their once there on the first game of the season to Westcliff, Their home form is mightily impressive having been one of only two sides to have beaten title favourites Guernsey too, so any thoughts of an easy game need to be ruled out completely and quickly. We played one of our best games this season at our place in October, winning at a canter 64-21, mainly down to an almost faultless second half, but as I say, that was then, this is now and they are a very tough gig at home.
Please do take a stroll down the A3 to support the lads this weekend or failing that one of the three home games should keep you enthralled on Saturday afternoon.
Finally some sad news from our friends at Henely with the news that club stalwart Simon Priestley died playing for their 4th XV last weekend. When you are a rugby player of advanced/advancing years and someone you know dies on the pitch a number of things happen. Firstly you rationalise that it doesn't happen often (but it does happen). Secondly you look to the heavens and say to yourself " there but for the grace of God go I " and then thirdly you put your hand up as a member of the rugby community and say " how can I help Simon's family" I know that many of us feel like that at Barnes Rugby Club right now, Simon Priestley, we salute you , rugby salutes you - you will be missed but not forgotten.
And finally, finally, a reminder of the Barnes games this weekend again:
Saturday 13th January
• Dorking 1st XV vs Barnes 1st XV - 2pm KO
• Barnes 2nd XV vs Richmond Saxons - 2pm KO
• Occies vs Old Tiffs 2nd XV - 2pm KO
• Barnes Vets – Harlequin Gentlemen - 2pm KO
Sunday 14th January
Old Elthamians Ladies vs Barnes Ladies - 2pm KO
Here's to a brilliant weekend of rugby for Barnow and a big win for the 1st XV at Dorking!
Onwards the Green Army!
Michael “Rhino” Whitfield
Updated 12:55 - 10 Jan 2018 by Michael Whitfield
Chairman – Barnes RFC