Stortford’s defence was excellent.
The visitors found it hard to defend Stortford’s ability with short range passing to put a player through a gap.
BS conceded only one penalty goal and one converted intercept try.
Barnes have the consolation of having held this very good team to a draw previously.
Bishops Stortford are the only team to have beaten the league leaders this season and did so both at home and away. On Saturday many things clicked for them while few did for Barnes. Barnes scored first with a penalty kick after breaking out of their 22. An error just after the restart resulted in a penalty for Stortford that gave them a line-out not far from the visitors' line. As later in the game from such close range they soon found an easy way over. At the end of the first quarter Barnes stole a line-out 6 metres from their line to prevent a try. In the second quarter Stortford defended well an attack into their started from an interception in the other half. After that they worked their way back to set up a second try for their loose head prop. Following the restart Barnes' inside centre Holmes intercepted to score at the posts before the half-hour. The conversion added the visitors’ last points. Five minutes before halftime, there were several almost frantic switches of play that included breaks from which both sides might have scored and Stortford did, resulting in 19 - 10 at half time. Stortford broke out of their half immediately after the restart to score a very good try. Nine minutes later the fifth try came fairly easily. A penalty against Barnes when defending put the home team into a good position to score another try before the end of the 3rd quarter. After that Stortford stole a line-out 5 metres out to prevent a score from Barnes. The last try came from another strong attack 5 minutes before the end.
The visitors secured the very high kick-off and cleared to touch 30 metres out against the wind. From the line-out Stortford released to centre then were soon penalised. Barnes ran this and recycled once blind until forced into touch just inside their half at the other side. Again the ball was released to centre where it was dropped. From the scrum the visitors went blind and kicked ahead; Stortford kicked back to touch 7 metres into the other half then stole the line-out. After recycling twice they tried an up-and-under that wasn't caught. A player from each team had a hack at the ball then Barnes kept possession. They advanced strongly recycling close 6 times then offloaded; next the defence forced an error to get the first scrum put-in 19 metres from their line. Stortford recycled 3 times then broke the line; after another 3 recycles they kicked long to touch 9 metres from the opposition goal line. The visitors launched an up-and-under from their line-out then forced a turnover and soon kicked ahead. Stortford ran the ball wide and passed forward just inside their half. From the scrum Barnes went blind and got a penalty that was kicked to touch just outside the opposition 22. From their line-out they released to centre and made a few metres to get another penalty 20 metres out in centre field and fullback O' Toole was asked to kick the points at 12 minutes.
The visitors secured the high restart before almost immediately being penalised for obstruction in a maul. The kick took the opposition to a line-out 13 metres out. Their pack drove for the line; this broke up 6 metres out and Stortford recycled close 4 times. Barnes seemed to win a turnover but were penalised 7 metres out. Stortford ran the ball and after it was recycled once centre Neville was put prop Roberts through a gap to the line wide-out after 15 minutes. The conversion missed.
Stortford returned the restart with a long kick; the visitors recovered from an error and soon kicked ahead. Stortford broke through running the ball back; after recycling twice the defence forced an error to get a scrum 14 metres from their line and from that they broke out of their 22 going wide. The opposition forced an error, after 2 recycles, to get put-in 26 metres out. The visitors were penalised after the ball was kept in and this sent them back to defend a line-out 6 metres out. It was thrown to the back and Barnes came away with the ball. After recycling twice they tried an up-and-under that resulted in their scrum put-in still 16 metres inside their half. After releasing to centre and recycling once, three kicks followed resulting in a line-out for their opponents now 13 metres inside the visitors' half. Stortford went wide; after 3 phases they broke through then were intercepted by opposition wing Carlisle who broke away into the other half. After a pass and a recycle fly-half Williams-Davies broke the line and got his pass away. More yards were made before the visitors were forced into touch 18 metres from Stortford's line. From the line-out the home team released to centre then recycled wide; an offload put a man through a gap and away. Their possession continued after an error by each team with a scrum 28 metres from the visitors' line. After an arm-wrestle they released to centre where they broke through. The ball was recycled close to Neville who sent Roberts clear for his second at 27 minutes near the posts. Fly-half Cullen added.
Two kicks for territory followed the restart; Stortford threw the ball wide. Opposition inside centre Holmes anticipated the pass and intercepted and ran unopposed to the posts. This a couple of minutes after the previous try; O'Toole added for the scoreboard to show 12 - 10 but this was to be the visitors' last score.
Barnes secured the restart, recycled twice then regained an up-and-under. After three phases the opposition forced an error to get a scrum at halfway. After first keeping the ball in they broke blind before being penalised just before the visitors' 10 metre line. Barnes kicked for a line-out 11 metres into the other half then were adjudged to have thrown their line-out not straight by about an inch. They were penalised at the scrum that followed. Stortford's long kick didn't find touch and it was kicked back. The home team ran wide then the first pass was forward 4 metres into the visitors' half. After the scrum Barnes kept the ball close before they got a penalty 6 metres backwards. The touch kick gained them only 20 metres then from the line-out they released to centre. After two phases they failed to get the ball out or to ground giving the opposition a scrum, having gained a metre from the line-out. After the put-in, at 35 minutes, Williams-Davies intercepted then the visitors were turned over after recycling once. Stortford went wide and recycled once before kicking for territory. Barnes kept the ball in hand, from the second phase their fly-half made a half-break and they advanced recycling 4 times before being turned over. Stortford kicked long; Barnes tried an up-and-under that the opposition dealt with. After the ball was recycled Cullen chipped through and regained and made yards then two more phases sent Neville to the posts. Cullen added before the half-time whistle to make it 19 - 10.
Stortford secured the second half restart and immediately broke out and away to the far corner after 4 phases. After 2 recycles a few metres out, a lateral kick all the way to the other side (at least 2/3rds of the width of the pitch, and almost parallel to the goal line) set up a 3 to 1 overlap and a catch and one pass sent the other prop Edwards over wide-out at 2 minutes. The conversion was wide.
The visitors regained their restart and recycled the ball to Cornish at outside centre who made yards before being forced into touch just outside the 22. Soon after the line-out and going wide and advancing, Stortford dropped the ball. From the scrum 20 metres into the opposition half, Barnes put together 10 phases until the ball was dropped in a tackle giving the home team a put-in 26 metres out. From this they quickly broke out and away into the opposition 22 after 4 close phases. After recycling close once they were penalised close to Barnes' line. The visitors cleared to touch 28 metres out and from the line-out they advanced strongly in midfield to 11 metres into the other half. When they did not get the ball out of a maul or to ground, the opposition got a scrum put-in. Three phases took them to a penalty 6 metres into the other half. The kick took them to their line-out at the 22; from the line-out they released to centre, recycled blind then made yards. After one more recycle the ball was passed to Neville who beat defenders to touch down at the posts at 11 minutes. Cullen added.
Stortford secured the restart and were soon back in the other half after recycling twice then an error gave the visitors a scrum 5 metres inside their half. From that Carlisle broke through; after 4 recycles Barnes were turned over. Kicks were exchanged then Stortford ran and kicked again. This went into touch off an opposition player 26 metres from Barnes' line. They attacked strongly from the line-out with a break through at centre after the first recycle. After two close recycles 5 metres out then being forced back, they recycled twice close before an opposition forward was caught out handling the ball on the ground. The penalty kick took the home team to 5 metres out. There was no drive; one recycle after the line-out put replacement Banks over at 18 minutes and Cullen added for 38 - 10.
Barnes regained their restart and recycled twice. This got them a penalty 27 metres out and the kick took them 13 metres further. Their pack set up a drive but not for long; they recycled 6 times to get another penalty that got them another penalty 5 metres out. They tried a drive which went down then recycled twice to get the next penalty and line-out. This time they drove to the line but not over. The Ref. consulted an assistant and yellow-carded a defender. Stortford then stole the line-out and cleared to touch well to 14 metres from halfway. Again they stole the line-out and put together 5 phases. Barnes appeared to win a turnover but were penalised and the kick sent them back to 17 metres from their line. Now Stortford set for a drive and they got to the line with the defence breaking up. There must have been an error since the Ref. gave Barnes the put-in. From that they advanced to the 22 where a dropped pass gave the opposition a scrum. After this one Stortford chipped through to the line and nearly got the ball but knocked-on. From the next 5 metre scrum they kicked to touch but missed. The opposition dropped the ball resulting in another scrum 16 metres out. Next, after 3 phases Cornish broke out and away into the other half before an error resulted in another scrum for the home team at their 10 metre line. At this they first kept the ball in then released to centre then broke blind and wing Rae ran to score not far from the posts at 35 minutes. The following kick hit one of those and bounced out.
Stortford kicked soon after the high restart; the visitors put together seven phases but conceded possession by not getting the ball to ground or out. From the last scrum Stortford went wide then passed to ball into touch for the final whistle.
Dry, bright, near 100% blue sky at the start then mostly cloudy at the end, some wind; the pitch mostly firm.