As last week a better performance, but -
not even a table bonus point for another week.
The hosts dealt with the visitors' kick-off and advanced keeping the ball for 5 phases until dropping the ball which was hacked on to the 22 by Barnes. Clifton dealt with that but were kept in their half for some time while there were several exchanges of possession. When they got out of their half after their scrum, kicks were exchanged and the third kick by them led to a 22 drop-out by Barnes. After that Barnes forced a turnover then got the game's first penalty that they kicked for a line-out at their opponents' 22. They kept the ball for 6 phases progressing some metres before they were turned over. This resulted in a defensive scrum 13 metres out. Soon Clifton cleared to touch to 13 metres from halfway. After the line-out kicks were exchanged giving Barnes another line-out 16 metres further back. They kept the ball close after that and caught the defence offside. Barnes' kick didn't find touch; several more kicks followed before the visitors threw a line-out not-straight at 15 metres inside their half. Clifton's pack kept the ball in the scrum and pushed Barnes back to get a penalty 27 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out 5 metres out and from that the pack drove over with hooker Williams on the ball at 18 minutes. A good conversion from fly-half Barnes followed.
Clifton soon returned the restart with an up-and-under; this resulted in a scrum put-in for Barnes 9 metres inside their half. After that kicks were exchanged then Barnes had a run into the opposition half before losing possession. Clifton went wide and made ground back to halfway then recycled twice close to break through the defence. They went wide where flanker Luxton went through the opposition three-quarter line to the corner untouched at 22 minutes. An excellent conversion from no. 10 Barnes followed.
Barnes dealt with the up-and-under that followed the second restart. They put together 6 good attacking phases before the defence forced an error to get a put-in 17 metres inside their half. Barnes dealt with another up-and-under and got a penalty at halfway. They ran this and soon kicked into the 22. Clifton cleared to touch with a good long kick. The visitors took a quick line-out and again kicked into the 22. This time the clearance kick went into touch 28 metres out. From the line-out Barnes set for a drive but were held and they released to centre then recycled 5 times before chipping over. The Ref. went back for a penalty 12 metres out. This was put into touch for a line-out 6 metres out from which the pack started a drive then lock Hind broke off to go over at 31 minutes. The conversion slid by.
Barnes soon returned the restart to touch 11 metres inside their half. Following the line-out and 4 recycles the visitors hacked ahead a loose ball and got a scrum 5 metres into the opposition half. From that they went wide and chipped into the 22 and over the line resulting in a 22 drop-out. Barnes ran the ball back for 5 phases then Clifton won a turnover and kicked ahead into the other half. Where the ball stopped there was a scrabble on the ground for it and Clifton got it. They sent the ball wide and flanker Bayliss ran to the posts for an easy conversion by their no. 10.
Clifton secured the shorter, flat restart and recycled 3 times before kicking towards touch. A runner was in front of the kicker giving the opposition a penalty 16 metres into Clifton's half. The kick for the points missed before the halftime whistle with the score 21 - 5.
Barnes cleared the long second half restart to touch 18 metres inside their half. Clifton, from their line-out, advanced keeping the ball close at first then put together a very good sequence of 18 mostly close phases that were well-defended by Barnes. Then Clifton kicked over the defence to the line; the Ref. had to speak to an assistant to decide for 22 drop-out. After that two more kicks preceded a Clifton line-out 25 metres out. The home team recycled the ball four times to get a penalty 29 metres out in centre field. They kicked this for another line-out 6 metres out. This resulted in their scrum at the same place; from it the recycled again, this time three times close before they were penalised 11 metres out. Barnes kicked for a line-out 27 metres out but threw that not-straight. From their scrum they put together 4 phases before catching the opposition offside. The kick took them to another line-out 10 metres out. After that they recovered from an error before being penalised 8 metres out. The kick took the visitors to 15 metres from halfway and after the line-out they soon launched an up-and-under. Clifton dealt with this and recycled 4 times before kicking; two more kicks followed, the second to touch. Barnes took a quick line-out and kicked to touch 10 metres from halfway. Clifton advanced recycling once wide and once blind from this line-out then were penalised. The kick took the visitors to 9 metres into the other half; after the line-out and three phases Clifton got a scrum just inside their half and a penalty at that. The kick took them to 26 metres out where their line-out was stolen. A couple of players had an extended unfriendly embrace; this was followed by a Barnes' put-in at the same place. They advanced from that to halfway with 3 phases but then lost a replacement, who had only recently come on, for 10 minutes. This was early in the 3rd quarter.
The kick took Clifton to a line-out 27 metres out from which they progressed to 6 metres out with a drive and one close recycle. There they were penalised and the visitors kicked for a line-out 13 metres inside their half. After that kicks were exchanged leading to another line-out for Barnes near halfway. From this one centre Cornish broke through in midfield and Barnes then put together 9 phases to get a penalty at the opposition 22. The kick took them to 6 metres out and from the line-out their pack kept the ball and were awarded another penalty that got them another line-out 5 metres out. Clifton prevented Barnes from getting the ball out from what was half a maul, half a ruck and so got a scrum 5 metres out. They got a penalty at that and intended to clear to touch but didn't find it. The visitors ran the ball wide and after recycling once got a penalty 15 metres into their opponents' half. A very good kick took them to their line-out 5 metres out; their pack drove to the line but were judged held up over the line. From the 5 metre scrum they released to inside centre then recycled close 3 times before Cornish went through a gap to the posts at 34 minutes. Fullback O'Toole added.
Barnes secured the restart and advanced to get a penalty 8 metres inside their half. The kick gained them 20 metres then from the line-out they put together 5 phases but without advancing until the defence forced an error to get a put-in 4 metres from halfway. An error straight after that resulted in a put-in for the visitors nearby. From this one Barnes three-quarters put together their best attack of the game and, with a couple of breaks and 7 phases in all, got close to the line then the Ref. blew for full time.
100% overcast, dull and grey with light rain throughout; the pitch soggy.