Third week in a row Barnes lose in the last minute or two, after scoring early.
This time, despite playing 85% of the game with only 14 men and leading until the 78th minute, a penalty sank them.
(Barnes 2nd team played Henley 2nds half an hour before. In the early minutes Barnes were 8 – 0 up and repulsed 2 Henley attacks. Barnes 2s won 34 – 10)
Immediately after Henley had received the visitors' kick-off they were turned over; after 5 phases Barnes were penalised for crossing. Henley ran the ball, varying their recycling for 8 phases, before their put-in at the first scrum on their 22. From that they broke blind and kicked ahead after recycling 3 times. Barnes' fullback brought the ball back then after one recycle scrumhalf Reeves kicked over a short-flight up-and-under that wing Martey caught and went to the line at 5 minutes. Fullback O'Toole added.
The visitors cleared the restart to touch 14 metres from halfway; from their line-out Henley released to centre where the ball was dropped. After the second scrum O'Toole kicked to touch at the opposition 22. From this line-out Henley advanced keeping the ball close to get a penalty 15 metres inside their half. They ran this and advanced strongly with two breaks within 4 phases to get to 5 metres from Barnes' line where they got the next put-in and the visitors had to replace a prop. The ball came out at the side of the scrum and was regained by Henley. Their forwards kept the ball tight and got close to the line where defending a ruck a spontaneous, potentially dangerous but actually not, reaction by a Barnes player was judged by the Ref. worthy of a red card.
This happened at 14 minutes after 2 minutes of injury time; Henley chose to have another 5-metre scrum which resulted in their free-kick and another put-in. From that they went wide then were forced back to near the 22 before being turned over. The visitors kicked ahead to the other half and the ball was run back at them. Henley recycled 4 times before kicking; Barnes dealt this that and got a penalty at the first breakdown 15 metres inside their half. The kick gained them 20 metres and where their line-out was stolen. A forced error after 6 phases gave possession back to the visitors; wing Carlisle started Barnes' counter-attack and after the ball went down the line, 3 recycles got Barnes a penalty at the 22 at the end of the first quarter of playing time. O'Toole kicked the points.
Barnes soon kicked back the restart; Henley ran the ball for 16 varied phases before chipping to touch 5 metres from the visitors' line. From the line-out Barnes cleared to touch 17 metres out then were awarded a scrum after the following line-out. From that they advance to their 22 and an opposition put-in. Henley went wide from that and recycled 3 times before passing forward 14 metres out. Barnes broke close to the scrum and got a penalty 4 metres ahead then kicked to touch at halfway. Following the line-out they recycled twice before kicking into the 22; Henley started to run the ball before an error gave the visitors another scrum, now 18 metres out. Going blind from that with a no. 8 pick-up they then advanced recycling 6 more times to get another penalty 5 metres out in front of the posts and O'Toole kicked for a 13 point lead after the half hour.
Henley regained the restart and put together 9 phases, advancing very strongly, before being penalised for crossing at 10 metres from their opponents' line. Barnes kicked for a line-out 12 metres from halfway. From their line-out they first kept the ball in then broke blind and recycled close 3 times before trying an up-and-under. Henley got the ball and went wide but almost immediately an error gave the visitors a scrum 18 metres from the home teams' goal line. Barnes kept the ball close but not tight with their best sequence of retention of the game, 16 phases in all, to get a penalty 7 metres out not wide of the posts and the fullback made it 0 - 16 before the halftime whistle.
In the interval Henley were told that 9-man rugby would win them the game. Two kicks followed the second half restart before the first scrum to the home team on halfway. They got a free-kick at that and ran the ball with a very good set of 10 close or tight phases before 2 wider ones then chipping towards the line. Barnes had to clear to touch only 11 metres out. Henley's pack drove from the line-out and went over wide-out with hooker Emery on the ball at 4 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Henley secured the restart and recycled twice before kicking ahead; Barnes kicked back then Henley sent the best kick into touch 17 metres from the visitors' line. The line-out resulted in a Henley put-in; they kept the ball in and moved 2 metres to get a penalty which was kicked for another line-out 5 metres out. There wasn't a drive but they kept the ball close for 5 phases to get to the line but an error gave Barnes a 5-metre scrum. After it and a couple of recycles they cleared to touch 25 metres out. From the resulting line-out Henley did drive and when this went down they got a penalty 18 metres out. They drove from their 5-metre line-out; at the second attempt they crabbed sideways to go over with replacement flanker Hall on the ball after 14 minutes. The conversion kick hit a post and stayed out leaving the score at 10 - 16.
Henley kicked back the restart; Barnes ran the ball with 4 phases to get a penalty 5 metres into their opponents' half. The kick took them to just outside the 22. From the line-out they tried a drive then released to centre; they were penalised for not releasing after a half-break in midfield. Henley ran the ball from their line-out 5 metres inside their half and got a penalty at halfway and kicked for a line-out 11 metres from the opposition line. They did not drive; they recycled close 4 times before they were penalised 16 metres out. The kick took Barnes to 12 metres from halfway. After the line-out and a couple of recycles an up-and-under was regained before they were forced into touch at halfway. From the line-out Henley, having decided that they no longer needed to play 9-man rugby, went wide and advanced well near the other touchline. Having got to the 22 the ball went through the hands again then after 2 closer recycles went wide again. One more recycle found the defence scattered and Hall went to the line unopposed for his second at 25 minutes; the conversion missed.
Henley ran the ball from the restart; again going wide they quickly broke into the other half and then further before being forced into touch 16 metres from Barnes' line. The line-out was thrown not-straight; after the scrum Henley did not get a drive going and were turned over after recycling close once. The visitors cleared to touch 16 metres from halfway. Henley kept the ball close from the line-out for 4 phases then going wider for 2; an attempted intercept by an opposition player gave them a put-in 14 metres into the visitors' half. They got a penalty at the scrum and kicked to 14 metres out. The line-out resulted in a Barnes' scrum at which they were awarded a free-kick. They cleared to touch 2 metres from halfway. Henley went wide from their line-out and again with more wide phases before chipping through the line. Barnes fielded this and recycled twice to get a penalty 15 metres inside their half. The kick took them just into the other half by 3 metres then they had their line-out stolen. After 2 recycles and 2 kicks, Henley ran the ball to get a penalty 5 metres inside their half. A very good kick took them to 13 metres from the opposition line where their line-out was thrown not-straight. After Barnes' scrum Henley soon forced a turnover and their forwards kept the ball for 7 phases before going wide and advancing to get to 5 metres out. The pack recycled 4 times to get a penalty 6 metres out, halfway between the posts and touch. Scrumhalf Jackson's 4th kick went through the posts at 38 minutes for the lead.
An error at the restart gave the home team a scrum back at halfway. After that and 2 phases the Ref. blew for full time.
The game, on a good pitch, started with light drizzle that fizzled out during the game. The wind increased towards the end.
Obviously it's very hard to play most of a game with only 14 men; as the French know from this weekend when they played a whole game without a fly-half. They did have a man on the pitch with no. 10 on his back but apart from kicking 3 penalties he was nowhere to be found.