Hertford force errors from Barnes
Great 2nd 1/2 comeback and great defence from Hertford in last 1/4.
The visitors kicked off and immediately created some pressure before Barnes cleared to touch and then stole the line-out. They got into the other half with the help of a kick out on the full by the opposition and soon after their line-out got a penalty. This took them to their second line-out just outside the 22. Their pack set for a drive then scrumhalf Fouracre broke blind to go to the line early before two minutes were up. The conversion was wide. Barnes kicked back the restart; Hertford secured this and straight away got their first penalty. They kicked to touch and after the line-out got another following a couple of recycles. Added to this was a yellow card for one of the home team's backs. This was just inside the 22 in centre field at 7 minutes and fly-half Martin took the points.
Barnes regained their restart and advanced before kicking into the 22. The visitors marked this and cleared to touch, nearly to halfway. From the line-out they first kept the ball close then made a break out wide then were forced into touch at the opposition 22. Hertford took a quick throw-in (the first of several) and kicked well into the other half towards the other touchline. A good chase got them a line-out 29 metres from their opponents' line. They released wide from the line-out and attacked strongly before the defence forced an error and got the first scrum of the game 9 metres out after more than 10 minutes of play. Fouracre kicked over then Hertford put together an excellent sequence of nearly a dozen phases before the defence forced an error to get another put-in, this time 11 metres out. Barnes cleared to touch but not further. From the line-out the visitors advanced to the line keeping the ball close and got the put-in 5 metres out. At this scrum Barnes created the pressure and then won a turnover; they kicked high and Hertford dealt with this comfortably. After two recycles, from halfway a chip over the opposition line (by ?) was regathered; this was passed to no. 8 Macdougal who fed fullback Brown to touch down at the posts on 19 minutes. Martin added.
The visitors secured the restart and launched an up-and-under that the opposition dealt with then we had a Hertford scrum at halfway. After 3 recycles the ball was kicked out on the full giving Barnes a line-out not far into the opposition half. From that they soon put the ball into touch but still well outside of the 22. Hertford kicked over from their line-out to get another 20 metres up field then threw that not-straight. Barnes got a penalty at their put-in and kicked for another line-out, now 13 metres from their opponents' line. Hertford stopped a rolling maul from forming; Barnes released to centre but lost possession in a tackle. Wing Kelly ran well to halfway then a couple of recycles sent centre Sloan to the line wide-out after 24 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Two kicks followed the restart resulting in a line-out for the visitors 18 metres inside their half. Barnes stole the line-out and sent ball wide; after 3 more recycles they got a penalty just outside the 22 and kicked for a closer line-out, back to 13 metres out where they had been a minute before Hertford’s' previous try. Again the visitors stopped a forward drive and soon got a penalty for not releasing. They kicked this to touch still just inside their half. From their line-out they released to centre, recycled once at the breakdown then were turned over. Lock forward Chance kicked the ball to Hertford's line and centre Lewis won the race to touch it down at the half-hour. The conversion was wide.
Barnes secured the restart and advanced to their line-out 5 metres inside their half. From that they tried a break blind but were forced into touch. The visitors wrong-footed the opposition with another quick throw-in and kick for territory to touch. Barnes failed to secure their line-out and Hertford got a put-in 28 metres from the opposition line. Barnes' defence prevented further advance while Hertford recycled 6 times before Martin tried a drop-goal that didn't go close but it did result in another try for the visitors. The ball was kicked up field and Kelly comfortably broke through near the touch line to go on and touch down at the posts at 35 minutes. The result of the restart was a penalty against Barnes. This was kicked for a line-out 14 metres into the home side's half. Martin tried a chip over after at first a forward drive then 3 recycles. Barnes had a kick charged down 5 metres out. At their 5-metre scrum Hertford were awarded a free-kick and Macdougal took this and quickly went over. Martin missed one he would have expected to get before the half-time whistle.
The visitors dealt with the second half restart and launched an up-and-under. They forced an error after 2 opposition recycles to get the put-in 16 metres into Barnes’ half. From the scrum they released wide then recycled 3 times to forwards standing out to get a penalty 28 metres out and ran this with wing Crompton cruising to the line, just after 2 minutes. Martin converted for the visitors' final score to put them 24 points ahead.
A high restart from Barnes got them a scrum just outside the opposition 22. Fly-half McIntyre kept ball close to the forwards the brought Lewis in and he fed wing Adams who crossed near the posts 3 minutes after Hertford's try. McIntyre added. Barnes secured the restart and advanced into the other half to get a penalty. Their kick took them to a line-out just inside their opponents' 22. The visitors’ hooker ran through onto tapped ball; kicks were exchanged then .half. They ran this then advantage was played when the ball was dropped. Two more kicks were exchanged then Barnes sent ball wide and chipped into Hertford's 22. The visitors cleared to touch. From the line-out Barnes got ball wide and advanced to get a penalty 19 metres out and a man advantage for 10 minutes. The penalty was kicked for a 5-metre line-out and from that the pack drove over with flanker Smyth on the ball at 12 minutes. McIntyre’s conversion just crept over; 10 points behind with plenty of time left.
Barnes cleared the restart to touch but not far. They held the opposition's attempted drive. The visitors then recycled 4 times to get a penalty 30 metres out then kicked to touch 18 metres out. From the line-out they recycled 3 times without advancing and Barnes got the next put-in and a penalty as Hertford tried a wheel. The penalty was kicked to touch just inside their own half. From the line-out play was switched twice to get another penalty but further back. The touch-kick didn't get them far into the other half and from their line-out they tried wider ball before passing forward. However they got a third penalty in a row at the scrum near halfway and ran this one; Hertford didn't allow the play and were sent 10 metres back. This time they kicked to touch but didn't find it; Hertford kicked this back and Barnes threw the ball about for a change and wing Adams crossed at the corner early in the final quarter. The conversion was wide and was the last score of the game.
The visitors restarted longer but Barnes were quickly back attacking until stopped 15 metres out for an opposition scrum. Hertford tried an up-and-under and got a penalty after the catch. They kicked for a line-out well into the other half and from that soon released wide then recycled 8 more times getting to 7 metres out before being penalised for not releasing. Barnes launched an up-and-under after their line-out and got a scrum in the other half and a penalty when the opposition wheeled it. The next line-out was 14 metres out; the defence was good then Barnes got another penalty just inside the 22. The next line-out was 9 metres out and again the defence was good and got the next put-in 17 metres out. Hertford tried an up-and-under; Barnes kicked to touch 7 metres out. After dealing with another up-and-under Barnes sent ball wide then passed forward 28 metres out. Hertford got a penalty at that scrum; their kick didn't find touch and it was returned with another up-and-under. Now the visitors kept ball in hand with 10 recycles but unable to break out. Next they were penalised in possession just inside their 22 and Barnes ran the penalty but were turned over after a couple of recycles. They charged down a Hertford kick then were awarded the last penalty of the game. They kicked for a line-out in the 22 and again the defence was good. For the last 15 minutes Hertford were on the back foot but held out strongly for a deserved win. Five tries each and the difference was a penalty and a conversion. Two of Hertford’s tries came from Barnes’ errors under pressure.
Conditions: dry, 100% cloud, a bit of wind; the pitch firm.