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Barnes 1st XV - Match centre

Barnes
Old Elthamians
Sat 6 Apr 15:00 - SSE RFU National League - SSE National League 3 London & SE Full time

Last minutes' recovery

"Revenge" for big defeat at Old E's - but only just

By the end of the 1st quarter Barnes had scored four tries. Three of these came from penalties against Elthamians which the home team used to go for a line-out near the corner and a forward drive. Flanker Malaney who had very good game got the first and third; scrumhalf Reeves got the second. Old E's were always keen to throw the ball wide and the fourth try came after Barnes forced an error in midfield. The ball was released from a scrum near halfway to Sagar on the wing he ran, chipped over and regathered and sped down the touchline to the corner. Gower converted two of these. Barnes had a significant advantage in the line-outs stealing several.

Then the game changed. Barnes continued to attack but were twice thwarted then Elthamians got their passing right and got their first good attack going. They went from their 22 drop-out into the other 22 with one kick back by Barnes in between. Then from a scrum their back row went blind and released to their wing Bennett who has scored more than 3 times as many tries as anyone else in his this season. He went to the corner after 25 minutes. Barnes attacked then were penalised 6 metres out for not releasing. Another Barnes' attack was stopped then at a third good tackle forced an error. Elthamians moved the ball quickly and scored from their own half with the defence in disarray generated by some very good passing and this sent wing Smith to the posts at 35 minutes. White added. Now the visitors scored again almost immediately; this was 2 minutes after the previous try. As before it started with Barnes attacking; before this try they had secured the restart and kick an up-and-under. The home team dealt with this and advanced to the 22 before dropping. Advantage was played and the visitors got ball wide and to Bennett who went ¾s of the pitch to score at the posts. White added. Elthamians secured the restart and threw ball wide. It took only 3 recycles to get to the opposition 22 and a penalty near centre field was converted by White before the halftime whistle with the score 24 - 22.

Barnes lost a man for 10 minutes early in the second half and White kicked for the lead. Most of the third quarter was stalemate then at the start of the fourth White increased the lead with another penalty. In the final quarter Elthamians won several turnovers and showed strong advantage in the scrums but could not score again. Towards the end Barnes got their final attack going but were penalised at their scrum and Elthamians kicked for a line-out but still well inside their own half. Malaney came away with the ball from that and the rest of the forwards went further to get a penalty inside the 22. Of course this was put into touch for a 5-metre line-out and another penalty followed that with the added advantage of an extra man for a minute or so. The next line-out was also 5 metres out and that resulted in another man advantage. From the last line-out Malaney got his 3rd try and Gower added before the whistle.

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longer version :-

The visitors secured the kick-off and soon tried a longish up-and-under. Barnes dealt with this and attacked with ball in hand, recycling 5 times before chipping over the defence. The ball bounced into touch for a defensive line-out 5 metres into the opposition 22. They stole that first line-out and at first kept ball tight then released wide, with Hersey at outside centre advancing again then the ball was recycled blind at the other side of the pitch getting to 4 metres out when the Ref. awarded a penalty against the defence. This was put into touch for a line-out and drive that resulted in another penalty, 2 metres out, to be followed by the third line-out. The defence held the drive but flanker Malaney broke off to touch down further in-field at 3½ minutes. Gower converted. The home team secured the restart and soon kicked over the line. Elthamians threw ball wide and wing Bennett made his first break in mid-field. The ball was recycled twice before kicking; they got a scrum outside their opponents' 22 when the ball was knocked-on. They got a free-kick at that and chose another scrum. Barnes were penalised for wheeling that and Old E's chose to go for the 3 points but missed. They ran back the long 22 drop-out a bit and got the next scrum. They release to the backs from that but immediately dropped the ball and this resulted in another penalty for Barnes. Of course this was kicked towards the corner and the kick was very good taking the home team to 12 metres out. The drive resulted in another penalty then another line-out, now 7 metres out. Scrumhalf Reeves took the ball from the drive and went over on the blind side at 13 minutes. The conversion was wide.

Three kicks followed the restart and an incident occurred at Barnes' 22. The visitors claimed a foul at a ruck when the Ref. was looking away. Barnes played to the whistle and picked up the ball and ran while the opposition hesitated. Very soon after Elthamians lost a man for 10 minutes, giving Barnes another chance for a line-out and drive. This time another good kick got them to 6 metres out and this time the pack did drive over with Malaney on the ball at 17 minutes and Gower then added. Barnes' 4th try came 3 minutes after the 3rd. Gower had kicked the restart back well and Old E's, trying wide ball, dropped it after 3 recycles. From the scrum near half way, Barnes released wide to wing Sagar who chipped over and regained and scooted down the touchline to the corner. The conversion was wide.

After this with 4 tries in the bag the game was to change completely. The visitors regained their high restart and sent ball wide; they soon dropped it and Sagar ran off with it but this time was caught. Barnes recycled at the breakdown and kicked for their other wing to run onto but he was judged offside at the kick. Elthamians kicked to touch just outside the opposition 22 then had their line-out stolen. Barnes attacked again then kicked but too far resulting in a long 22 drop-out by the visitors. The home team soon kicked then Old E's kept ball in hand and recycled 3 times before kicking. They got the next scrum put-in at the ruck 5 metres into the opposition 22; their back row went blind and released Bennett to go to the corner after 25 minutes.

The restart bounced into touch for a line-out to the visitors. This was stolen; Barnes kept ball in hand with some good recycling before the defence forced an error. Advantage was played and Old E's kicked high; Barnes dealt with this and attacked strongly. Two breaks were made before they were penalised 6 metres from the goal line. Elthamians kicked well to touch then dropped possession after the line-out. Barnes attacked again and got a penalty in E's 22 and kicked for a closer line-out. This time their line-out wasn't good and the visitors got a scrum after forcing Barnes back almost to the 22. They cleared to touch from the scrum. From their line-out Barnes recycled tight 3 times before a good tackle forced an error. Elthamians moved the ball quickly and scored from their own half with the defence in disarray generated by some very good passing and this sent wing Smith to the posts at 35 minutes. White added. Now the visitors scored again almost immediately; this was 2 minutes after the previous try. As before it started with Barnes attacking; before this try they had secured the restart and kick an up-and-under. The home team dealt with this and advanced to the 22 before dropping. Advantage was played and the visitors got ball wide and to Bennett who went ¾s of the pitch to score at the posts. White added. Elthamians secured the restart and threw ball wide. It took only 3 recycles to get to the opposition 22 and a penalty near centre field was converted by White before the halftime whistle.

Barnes kicked back the second half restart; Old E's dealt with this and set off attacking, recycling close twice then once wide before chipping. Barnes cleared to touch just outside their 22. From the line-out Elthamians kept ball in hand and advanced quickly to 5 metres out where they got a penalty after 2 minutes in centre field and a man advantage for 10 minutes. White kicked the 3 points for the lead.

The visitors kicked back the restart very long resulting in a 22 drop-out by Barnes. E's soon dropped the ball that was snapped up by Barnes who got the next put-in after one recycle. Elthamians forced a turnover then kicked out on the full giving the opposition a line-out just inside E's half. From the line-out Barnes set up a drive and advanced a bit more than 10 metres to get a penalty. This got them a line-out 12 metres out, but it was thrown not-straight. Old E's kept ball tight from the scrum before clearing to touch. Barnes released to centre where they were turned over. The visitors advanced then were forced into touch. Barnes next threw a line-out too long and their opponents got the ball. They were soon turned over and a Barnes' forward kicked out on the full but the Ref. went back to a previous error giving the home team a defensive scrum just outside their 22. They kicked for territory; Old E’s kicked the ball back, dead. The 22 drop-out led to a Barnes' line-out inside the other half. They were forced back from this but to their put-in. A penalty soon followed that they kicked well into the other half. Next the ball was dropped at centre and from the following scrum Elthamians kicked long to touch, 5 metres from Barnes' line. The home team won this line-out and launched an up-and-under which they regained then kicked to touch still well inside their own half. They forced a turnover soon after the line-out and kicked for territory. The visitors fielded this and got the next scrum and a penalty at that. They kicked for a line-out in the other half and won another penalty at that after 22 minutes. Now White kicked to increase the lead.

The home team regained their restart and advanced into the opposition 22 with wide ball before the defence forced a penalty for not releasing. A good kick took the visitors to their line-out in the other half but an error at the line-out gave their opponents a scrum put-in. Barnes kept ball in hand recycling 5 times before being turned over. E's sent ball wide and White made yards; this resulted in a line-out for the visitors after which they recycled twice before kicking ahead. Gower kicked long then White kicked this back to touch just outside the opposition 22. Barnes threw this line-out not-straight then got a penalty after the following scrum and were able to get into the other half for a line-out. There they varied their play before being turned over again but very soon had the next scrum put-in. They were forced back under pressure at the scrum yet retained and recycled tight 4 times before centre Butler made a half break and got ball away. They advanced to get a line-out inside the opposition 22 and advanced 5 metres to get the next put-in. They were then penalised at the scrum and Elthamians kicked for a line-out but still well inside their own half. Malaney came away with the ball from that and the rest of the forwards went further to get a penalty inside the 22. Of course this was put into touch for a 5-metre line-out and another penalty followed that with the added advantage of an extra man for a minute or so. The next line-out was also 5 metres out and that resulted in another man advantage. From the last line-out Malaney got his 3rd try and Gower added before the whistle.

50% blue sky, dry with some wind; the pitch firm.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Bishop's Stortford 26 106
2. Dorking 26 105
3. Westcombe Park 26 96
4. Barnes 26 93
5. Tonbridge Juddian 26 86
6. Old Elthamians 26 73
7. CS Rugby 1863 26 70

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