Possibly denied by self inflicted errors
Good but not quite good enough
Henley’s first try came from a regained kick ahead before 7 minutes. Their second came 7 minutes later from an exceptional set of 26 phases. After those Barnes responded well with a try at the start of the second quarter created by a second break from their fly-half. They continued strongly and scored a third try to take the lead at 33 minutes. With seconds to go before the halftime whistle they kicked a penalty for the points. Henley regained the lead early in the second half following a yellow card. Henley got close to Barnes' line twice after that but were denied. The third time their forwards scored, driving over from a line-out 14 metres out. Towards the end more line-out errors stopped Barnes' attacks and they denied a last Henley attack before the whistle.
Barnes returned the kick-off with a long up-and-under; Henley ran the ball back, soon going wide and making good ground before being forced into touch 4 metres past halfway. Barnes threw the line-out not-straight. From the scrum Henley's no. 8 made yards then an error after another phase returned possession to the home team. They soon used another up-and-under that the visitors secured. Immediately Henley went wider then wide again creating an excellent break down the wing. The defence forced an error to get a scrum put-in 12 metres out and after it launched another high ball. Following two turnovers Henley ran wide before passing, kicking ahead then regaining and sending flanker White to the line half way from the posts to touch before 7 minutes. Fly-half Giles converted.
Henley cleared the restart to touch then got the line-out ball that had been thrown too long. An error soon returned possession to the home team for a scrum 5 metres inside the opposition half. They got the ball away and recycled twice before Henley forced an error and got the ball. The visitors then put together an exceptional sequence of 26 mostly close phases starting with a break and wing Wood finishing out wide before 14 minutes. A very good conversion from Giles followed.
Henley again cleared the restart to touch 4 metres from halfway then stole the line-out. They had the ball for 4 close phases before another Barnes’ scrum near halfway; from that the home team released to centre and recycled twice then fly-half O'Toole broke through the defence in midfield. After 3 recycles in the 22 an error gave possession back to the visitors. They used an up-and-under that Barnes secured and went wider then put together a good set of 8 phases. The fly-half broke through for a second time and passed to wing Martey on his shoulder to go to the posts just after the start of the 2nd quarter. The fly-half added.
Following the restart and the opposition's up-and-under Henley had the ball for a couple of phases before an error gave Barnes a scrum 15 metres past halfway. From that they advanced with 6 close phases before the defence forced an error to get a put-in 25 metres out. Henley went wide to get a penalty a few metres ahead then kicked to touch 6 metres into the other half. From the line-out they recycled close 6 times then broke through before an error gave the opposition a scrum 12 metres inside their half. Barnes ran a free-kick at their put-in; they went wide then after 3 recycles kicked well to touch to less than 6 metres from the visitors' line. Henley kept the ball close from their line-out and made some ground before being penalised 13 metres out. Barnes opted to kick for the 3 points from a narrow angle at the half hour but missed. They ran back the 22 drop-out and were awarded a penalty after 2 recycles, 15 metres into the opposition half. They ran this and after 8 phases that latterly included 2 breaks centre Butler touched down halfway between the posts and the corner at 33 minutes for his team to take the lead. The conversion missed.
The up-and-under after the restart resulted in a scrum for the visitors 6 metres past halfway. From that they used 8 almost all close phases then kicks were exchanged. Henley were forced into touch 7 metres past halfway; from the line-out Barnes kept the ball for 6 phases to get a penalty 11 metres ahead and kicked for a line-out 19 metres out. After 4 close phases they went wider and broke through to get a penalty 5 metres out and a man advantage for 10 minutes. With the whistle imminent replacement Hammett kicked the points.
Three kicks followed Barnes' second half restart; these and an error resulted in a line-out for Henley 27 metres from the opposition line. From that they advanced keeping the ball close for 3 phases to get a penalty 17 metres out and a Barnes' player off for 10 minutes. The kick took them to 9 metres out and from there their pack drove over comfortably with lock Parkins on the ball at 3 minutes. The conversion was wide but they had the lead back by one point.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under; Barnes secured the ball and put together 5 phases advancing into the 22 before an error resulted in a Henley line-out 28 metres from their line. This time Barnes stole a line-out and had the ball for 3 phases before being penalised for not releasing, not having advanced. The visitors kicked for a line-out just past halfway. From that they used wider ball before being penalised after advancing 16 metres with 2 phases. Barnes gained 30+ metres with their touch kick and went wide from their line-out. They advanced into the 22 where they lost possession and the defence got the ball. Henley soon cleared to touch for another Barnes' line-out at the same distance as the previous one. Soon after it and keeping the ball close Henley forced a turnover; they recycled twice then kicked to touch 13 metres past halfway. After this third line-out Barnes used an up-and-under and a clash in the air attempting to get the ball resulted in a yellow card for Barnes at 13 minutes. This occurred 6 metres inside the visitors' half and their excellent kick went into touch 5 metres out. They kept the ball in at the line-out but were immediately penalised; Barnes kicked for a line-out at their 22 then kicked again to touch. The visitors took a quick line-out that was followed by their penalty near halfway. They kicked for a line-out just outside the opposition 22. After recovering from an error they soon passed forward 23 metres out. The scrum took 3 attempts to be completed and after it Barnes used wider ball for 3 phases to advance to an opposition scrum 6 metres from halfway. From their line-out Henley released to centre then recycled twice before having a kick charged down; they recovered and tried an up-and-under. Barnes got the ball and had the ball for 5 close phases before being turned over. The visitors went wide and kicked long; the ball bobbled slowly forward close before the line. A defender touched down believing it had just crossed but the officials judged that it had been carried over. This was early in the final quarter; after Henley's 5 metre scrum was held and they released they were turned over. Barnes soon used an up-and-under; Henley quickly went wide and put together 9 mostly wide phases to get a penalty 24 metres out. Their kick took them to 14 metres out and from the line-out their pack drove to the line wide out with hooker Emery on the ball at 27 minutes. The conversion missed.
The visitors secured the restart and kicked; next a Barnes' error gave Henley a put-in 4 metres inside their half. After it a good kick was sent to touch just outside the opposition 22. Barnes used an up-and-under after their line-out and that resulted in their scrum 18 metres from halfway. From that they broke blind and advanced with 3 close recycles to get a penalty 13 metres ahead; their kick gained 21 metres. They threw the line-out long and their opponents got the ball. Henley kicked for territory; Barnes ran back and broke through well to Henley's 22. After a couple of recycles the defence was penalised; Barnes kicked for a line-out 9 metres out. Again the line-out went wrong and Henley got the ball and broke out. After 3 recycles they kicked ahead; Barnes had the ball for 4 phases before being turned over. Another kick from the visitors resulted in a defensive scrum for Barnes 5 metres out. At it Henley were penalised and Barnes ran to 6 metres from halfway, recycling twice, before being penalised. Henley kicked for another line-out 17 metres out. Their drive was held and a player forced into touch for the final whistle.
Bright & sunny with mostly blue sky & some wind; the pitch softish