Loose play nearly cost Barnes dearly while they probably deserved the win
Tunbridge got 2 tries from hacking on 3 loose balls; the get-out-of-jail card was needed
Tunbridge started with the apparent advantage of the slope of the pitch. The first penalty, against the hosts, after about 3 minutes at halfway started the first attack. The defence forced an error to get a scrum at their 22; they soon used an up-and-under. Barnes dealt with that and kept the ball for 5 mixed phases to get another penalty just inside the 22 in centre field and fullback O'Toole kicked the points after 8 minutes.
The restart was followed by 7 kicks, the last a clearance to touch at their 10 metre line by the visitors. From the line-out Tunbridge first kept the ball in then released close and hooker Hawkins broke the first line of defence and made yards. The ball was then recycled to lock Earle who seemed to bypass several defenders to go to the line near the posts after 11 minutes. A successful conversion followed.
The second restart was followed by only 4 kicks resulting in an attacking line-out for the home team 14 metres into the opposition half. The visitors got a free-kick at the line-out and ran the ball well with second row Collins breaking through before kicking ahead to the line. Tunbridge got the ball for a 22 drop-out. That was long and Barnes kept the ball in hand but after recycling twice an error gave their opponents an attacking scrum 26 metres out. From it Tunbridge put together a good set of 8 phases advancing to 16 metres out where they were penalised for not releasing. After the kick to touch and the line-out Barnes advanced to another opposition scrum 9 metres from halfway. Tunbridge kept the ball close from that with 3 phases before being penalised again without having advanced. The kick gained the visitors 24 metres and from their line-out they advanced, keeping the ball close, to their put-in just outside the 22. From the scrum they broke blind and made ground with 3 close phases then the ball was recycled to Collins 7 metres out and he stepped his way over nearer the corner than the posts after 24 minutes. The conversion was missed.
After the restart an up-and-under was dropped by Tunbridge and that enable the visitors to attack again. With 14 phases they got over near the corner after 28 minutes with fly-half Williams-Davies touching down and converting.
Following the restart and two up-and-unders the visitors were penalised for not releasing 13 metres inside their half. Tunbridge kicked for the points but missed. After the 22 drop-out there were 3 more kicks then Barnes ran the ball for 4 good phases getting to the other 22 before being turned over. Tunbridge kicked long into the other half; Barnes got the ball 9 metres from their line and the opposition were penalised there. The touch kick got the visitors out of their 22 and used an up-and-under after the line-out. Tunbridge ran the ball wide then recycled 3 times before losing possession. Barnes had the ball for 4 phases ahead of 4 kicks, the last to the visitors' 22. Barnes got the ball and then a put-in just outside their 22. From the scrum they broke through at centre into the other half then put together a very good sequence of 14 phases before trying an up-and-under. Tunbridge dealt with that and went wide before kicking. Barnes had the ball for 3 phases before being turned over. Tunbridge kept it for 7 mixed phases before the halftime whistle. With the score 7 - 15 and use of the slope to come the situation looked promising for the visitors.
Tunbridge cleared the long restart to touch 3 metres from halfway. From the line-out a poor pass was dropped giving Tunbridge a scrum nearby; they penalised after it and the kick took the visitors to 24 metres out. From the line-out they went wide and advanced to 5 metres out with 4 phases to get a penalty. They chose to have a scrum and then kept the ball in to go to the line with no. 8 Hind touching down before 5 minutes. The fly-half added.
The restart was with a penalty and kicked to touch 26 metres from the opposition line. The throw of the line-out was not-straight. After the scrum the visitors kicked to the other half, Tunbridge then ran the ball with 5 phases before kicking to touch 19 metres from the opposition line. From their line-out the visitors soon used an up-and-under; a clash in the air trying to get the ball resulted in a yellow card for the home team. The kick took Barnes to just past halfway and after the line-out ball was released to centre it was dropped. From the scrum 5 metres back Tunbridge kept the ball for 7 phases then kicks were exchanged leading to a line-out for the home team just outside their 22. After that they kicked for territory and got another put-in when the ball was dropped again by the opposition, near where the previous scrum had been. From this one Tunbridge released to centre then recycled once and scrumhalf Spence broke clear near the ruck and kicked ahead to the line and won the race to touch down at the posts after 14 minutes. An easy conversion followed.
Tunbridge soon kicked back the restart before the Ref. had to have words with the captains. The game was restarted with a scrum for the visitors 10 metres past halfway. From it they put together 9 phases before losing possession; their opponents got the ball and kicked to touch 29 metres from the visitors' line. Barnes went wide and made a lot of ground then were penalised for not releasing 13 metres into the other half. The kick gained Tunbridge 23 metres and from their line-out they kept the ball for 4 phases without advancing before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 8 metres from halfway. Two phases after that an error gave Tunbridge a scrum at their opponents' 10 metre line. From that the home team kept the ball close recycling 5 times before chipping ahead. A slip by Barnes' last defender meant that Spence got the ball and he ran to the posts after 23 minutes. The conversion made the score 21 - 22.
Following the restart Tunbridge kicked to touch in error giving the visitors an attacking line-out just outside the 22. From it Barnes put together 6 mixed phases while being forced back to the 10 metre line but did get a penalty there. The kick took them ahead to 15 metres out where an error in the line-out gave their opponents a scrum. Following this there were three kicks with little or no retention between then the visitors had a run with 9 mostly wider phases before an unplayable ruck resulted in another scrum 24 for them metres out. Again Barnes put together phases, this time 8 before the ball was dropped and Tunbridge cleared to touch just outside their 22. Soon after the line-out they forced an error to get a scrum nearby and then cleared well to touch 8 metres past halfway. Barnes released to centre from their line-out then dropped the ball after one recycle. Tunbridge hacked the loose ball to the line and Barnes only just got to it first to touch down for a 22 drop-out. Tunbridge ran the ball back well with two breaks in 8 phases before a high tackle gave them a man advantage for the last nearly 9 minutes. This was 14 metres from the visitors' line; the touch kick took them to 5 metres out. Their pack tried a drive that went down resulting in another penalty and they opted for another line-out. From this they kept the ball close for 2 phases before being penalised for not releasing. Barnes kicked to touch 17 metres from halfway then set up a drive that did advance before going down. That gained them another penalty that they kicked to touch 9 metres into the other half. Not long after the line-out and keeping the ball in they were turned over. Tunbridge went widest and made ground then put together 7 mostly close phases to get a penalty at halfway. The kick gained them 16 metres then after the line-out they recovered from an error and advanced recycling 5 times before at the last ruck they were held up and could get the ball out or down and the Ref. blew for full time.
Dull and cold with some drizzle; not much wind, the pitch soft.