A first close encounter of the 2nd kind
Old E's will be kicking themselves
The visitors returned the kick-off with a good up-and-under; Barnes dealt with this and recycled a couple of times before chipping over the opposition three-quarter line but directly into the hands of Elthamians' wing Dowsett. The visitors recycled 5 times to get a penalty just inside the opposition half. A good kick took them to their line-out 9 metres out. The ball was kept by the forwards but the defence held to get a penalty 10 metres out. After the kick got them a line-out Barnes kicked downfield. Elthamians sent the ball wide to Dowsett who raced along the touchline then in the 22 cut inside beating the last defender to go to the posts after a 60+ metre run at 5 minutes. Fly-half Surman added.
The restart was returned with an up-and-under that resulted in a scrum for the visitors 6 metres into the opposition half. They were penalised at that and the kick took Barnes to a line-out 20 metres further ahead. After it at the next ruck the visitors were again penalised and fullback O'Toole kicked the points at 9 minutes.
Barnes secured the high restart and kicked; a low chip over by Elthamians was hacked on by Barnes to the opposition 22. The visitors kicked again then Barnes ran the ball but were penalised at the next breakdown. A very good kick took Elthamians to another attacking line-out, this time 11 metres out. This time they immediately went wide and recycled 3 times to get a penalty 7 metres out near centre field at 12 minutes and Surman kicked the points.
The next restart was followed by 3 more kicks preceding a Barnes' line-out 13 metres inside their half. Three kicks followed this, the last out on the full by the home team. Elthamians' pack kept the ball after the line-out but were soon penalised 26 metres out. The kick took Barnes to their line-out 14 metres into the opposition half. After keeping the ball tight momentarily the ball was released to centre then recycled 6 times before the visitors got a penalty for not releasing. The kick didn't find touch and Barnes ran the ball out of their half before kicking long; this resulted in a 22 drop-out. The visitors took this short preventing the opposition from getting the ball but soon an error gave Barnes a scrum 14 metres into Elthamians' half. From it they went wide, recovered from an error then were penalised 9 metres into the visitors' half. The next touch kick didn't go far resulting in a line-out just inside the other half. From this one they kept the ball tight and recycled 4 times before centre Golledge was put through a hole to the 22. The ball was recycled 4 more times to get another penalty 15 metres out at the start of the second quarter. Surman went back to improve the angle but his kick missed.
The visitors ran back the 22 drop-out and put together a string of phases until turned over. Barnes kicked ahead; Elthamians ran the ball back until the defence forced an error to get the next scrum 27 metres from their line. The ball was kept in the scrum to get a penalty that was kicked to touch near halfway. This time the ball was kept tight then released to centre to get another penalty 9 metres into the opposition half that was kicked for a line-out 18 metres from the visitors' line. From this their pack drove to the line and over with flanker Malaney on the ball near the corner. The conversion failed.
Elthamians regained their restart and put together 5 phases getting to the 22 before being forced back and penalised 30 metres out. The kick didn't take Barnes far before they threw the line-out not-straight. There was an error at the visitors' scrum resulting in another for the opposition. From this they released to centre then recycled close twice to get another penalty 9 metres into the opposition half. The kick took them to a line-out 15 metres out after which the pack kept the ball tight to get another penalty and a man advantage for 10 minutes. The next line-out was 5 metres out and from it the pack drove for Malaney to get a second at 36 minutes near the corner. A very good conversion from O'Toole followed.
Barnes returned the restart with an up-and-under then were penalised after the visitors had secured it. Elthamians kicked for a line-out 14 metres into the opposition half. At the line-out their pack kept the ball but were forced backwards. Then they released to their backs and centre Golledge set off on a curving solo run evading or shrugging off all defenders. The conversion missed before the whistle.
The visitors regained their high second half restart and put together a very good set of 7 phases, mostly close, to get a penalty just outside the opposition 22. They kicked for a line-out 12 metres out then set for a forward drive. This was stopped and they recycled 3 times to get another penalty and then both teams were down to 14 men. At 4 minutes Surman kicked for the lead.
An error after the restart gave Barnes a scrum inside the opposition 22. The pack kept the ball in at first then when the ball was released the opposition were penalised. The kick went into touch 5 metres out. The ball was kept tight from the line-out then after 5 close phases and 4 varied ones there was a dangerous tackle. The Ref. consulted an assistant and Elthamians lost a man for the rest of the game. This was at 7 minutes. From the 2nd 5 metre line-out the pack drove over with flanker Popham on the ball. Another very good conversion from O'Toole followed.
At the restart a Barnes player leapt for the catch and was tackled in the air by an opposition player who got a 10 minute rest. The kick took Barnes from deep in their half to 6 metres into the other one. From the line-out they gave the impression of wanting to keep the ball tight then released to Hersey at inside centre. He broke though tackles in midfield and made very good yards before sending the other centre Holmes on and he forced his way over while tackled. This at 12 minutes and O'Toole added.
The restart was returned with an up-and-under; Elthamians kept ball in hand through 6 phases to a Barnes' scrum on halfway. The ball was kept in and the pack advanced to get a penalty after 9 metres. This took them to their line-out 5 metres out; the drive broke up and the defence got a put-in 5 metres out. Scrumhalf Edwards broke near the scrum then the ball was recycled for an up-and-under. The opposition dealt with this then recycled twice before the defence forced another error, still 14 metres inside their half. Barnes got a free-kick at the scrum and chose another. This was kept in at first but after a no. 8 pick-up the visitors won a turnover. They quickly went wide and broke down the wing with Dowsett then coming in to make Surman's kick easier at 15 minutes. A 3rd try scored from their own half.
Elthamians secured the restart and put together 8 phases including 2 breaks by their centres until the defence got a penalty 2 metres inside their 22. Barnes kicked for a line-out, still 8 metres inside their half. The pack set up a drive but a mistake resulted in a penalty for their opponents. A very good kick took Elthamians to their line-out 5 metres out from which they kept ball in then recycled 3 times then released to the backs. This was followed by a forward pass. Barnes cleared to touch from their scrum to 9 metres into the other half. After this line-out the visitors used 3 wider phases before kicking to touch at the opposition 22. An error after the line-out gave them a scrum put-in at Barnes' 10 metre line. This was wheeled by Barnes and the visitors got another put-in at which they were penalised. This kick didn't go far, only to 4 metres into the visitors' half. They went wide from the line-out then a simple error was turned into a penalty for the opposition. The kick gave Elthamians an attacking line-out at the 22 and from this their pack drove for the line. It didn't get that far before going down but 3 close recycles got prop Cunnew over with 8 minutes to go. They had the lead but the conversion missed.
The visitors secured the restart and kept the ball in the forwards and advanced. The Ref. then judged that they hadn't used the ball or got it to ground giving Barnes a put-in 11 metres into the opposition half. From it they went wide then recycled 3 times close to get a penalty just outside the 22 and near centre field with 5 minutes left. O'Toole kicked the points.
Barnes kicked back the restart; Elthamians ran the ball going wide with 5 phases to get a penalty just inside the 22 in the final minute. Surman's kick was wide.
Dry, sunny, mostly cloudy, no wind; the pitch firm.