The team that made less mistakes won,
Barnes had their chances, a couple were squandered then an interception ensured the result.
The visitors secured the high kick-off and immediately after recycling once had a kick charged down; this resulted in a scrum for Hertford 25 metres out. Their forwards recycled the ball twice then it was released to the backs. After breaking through at centre, Sloan touched down near the posts within 2 minutes of the start. Russell converted.
Barnes regained their restart and recycled 4 times to get a penalty 16 metres out in centre field before 4 minutes. Before this their three-quarters had broken through the line and recovered from an error, forced or unforced, I wasn't able to tell. That might have got them a try but they had to settle for 3 points kicked by fullback O'Toole.
The visitors returned the restart with an up-and-under and then forced a turnover; they sent the ball wide then kicked ahead. Hertford cleared to touch to 18 metres inside their half. From the line-out Barnes put together a very good sequence of 10 phases before they were turned over. Hertford recovered from an error and cleared to touch just 9 metres from their own line. From the line-out the visitors advanced tight but the defence held close to their line and got the ball from an uncompleted pass. Four quick kicks resulted in a Hertford line-out 14 metres from their line. They threw the ball to the front and set up a drive before kicking up field. Barnes kicked the ball back into the 22 and this was cleared to touch well 9 metres inside the home team's half. Hertford stole this line-out and kicked ahead after 2 recycles; this was kicked back long resulting in a 22 drop-out. Barnes ran the ball and a diagonal kick after 2 recycles led to another 22 drop-out. After the kick Hertford were penalised in the opposition half. The penalty took Barnes to their line-out 15 metres inside Hertford's half. This was thrown to the back and Hertford got it but they soon passed forward. The visitors were penalised at the scrum and the kick took Hertford to a line-out 7 metres into their opponents' half. They released to centre, recycled once close and again wider then sent a low grubber kick ahead close to touch and replacement Kelly won the foot race to score at the corner after 16 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Hertford secured the restart then kicked out on the full giving the visitors a line-out at the 22. After that Hertford forced two errors with a high kick from them in between leading to their line-out 17 metres inside their half. From this they put together 6 phases before being penalised for not releasing on halfway. The kick took Barnes to a line-out 29 metres out. After keeping the ball in they recycled 4 times before the defence forced an error 15 metres out. Hertford got a penalty at the following scrum and cleared to touch almost to halfway. After the line-out their backs threw the ball about well advancing until penalised 27 metres out. The kick got the visitors back to halfway. Barnes released to centre from this line-out but were turned over after recycling once; an error then gave them a scrum 9 metres inside the opposition half. They quickly released from this and their three-quarters broke through for wing Alkin to go over quite far out at 28 minutes. O'Toole added.
The visitors just secured the restart, recycled the ball once tight then wider; the Ref. gave signalled a forward pass that wasn't then had to speak to Barnes about dissent. After the scrum 19 metres into the visitors' half, Hertford released wide and. This was followed by an incident; the Ref. spoke to both captains and Hertford lost a man for 10 minutes. The kick took Barnes just past halfway. From the line-out they launched an up-and-under that was comfortably marked by the opposition in their 22. A very good kick went into touch 27 metres from Barnes line off a Barnes' player giving Hertford the line-out. From this no. 8 Belton advanced strongly and they kept the ball tight for 4 phases to get a penalty 6 metres out. They chose a scrum but an error just after it gave the opposition a put-in at the same place. From this the visitors kicked to touch, still 18 metres inside their half. After Hertford's line-out an error gave the visitors a scrum nearer halfway and after a back row pickup they were penalised for not releasing 8 metres inside their half in centre field. Just before halftime the kick for the points missed but with most of the yellow card's 10 minutes up.
Two kicks followed Barnes' second half restart. After one recycle Hertford's no. 9 broke through before his team were forced backwards and 2 more kicks resulted in their line-out 28 metres from their line. An error then gave Barnes a scrum near the same place and their pack kept the ball in advancing 5 metres to get a penalty. This was kicked for the corner but went dead over the line instead of into touch for a 22 drop-out. The penalty might have been kicked for 3 points and the lead.
The visitors ran the ball back and their backs recycled twice; a ball stripped in a tackle was judged to have been knocked on giving Hertford a scrum 15 metres inside their half. From this they kicked long and Barnes had to clear to touch 17 metres into their half. From the line-out Hertford kept ball close then chipped to touch 13 metres from the opposition line. Soon after the line-out Barnes had a kick charged down; they recovered and cleared to touch 27 metres out. Hertford kept the ball in and advanced 4 metres to get a penalty and kicked this to touch for another line-out, now 5 metres out. Their pack kept the ball tight with 4 recycles to get another penalty at the same place. This time they chose a scrum at which the Ref. had to speak to 2 props. After the reset and 2 close recycles prop Prince got over and touched down at 12 minutes near the posts. Russell added.
Hertford kicked back the long restart well to touch into the other half. After Barnes released wide from the line-out and recycled wide again Hertford were penalised. The kick took the visitors to a line-out 17 metres into the other half at which they got another penalty that was kicked for a second line-out 14 metres out. They kept the ball in a maul which was halted and then they released wide and recycled twice close before being forced into touch. Hertford took a quick line-out and kicked; two more kicks followed. Barnes ran the ball through the hands and 3 phases until Hertford grabbed a dislodged ball then recycled and kicked long. Barnes kicked this back then Hertford ran the ball and recycled 5 times before trying a drop-goal that missed. After the 22 drop-out 5 kicks followed, the last an up-and-under. Hertford dealt with this then soon kicked to touch at the opposition 22. Barnes launched an up-and-under after keeping the line-out ball in and got a scrum soon after from an error by their opponents, this just inside their half. After recycling close twice Barnes tried another up-and-under; Hertford kicked the ball ahead and then Barnes ran the ball and broke through the line. After 5 recycles, 3 inside the 22, a pass was intercepted by Russell who ran all the way to the posts at 24 minutes then converted his try.
Hertford kicked back the restart; Barnes ran the ball through 5 phases until an error resulted in a penalty for the defence 13 metres into Hertford's half. A good kick led to a line-out 28 metres from Barnes' line that was thrown not-straight. Hertford were penalised at the scrum. The kick resulted in another scrum for Barnes 15 metres into the other half. The visitors made 20 metres with a good break by centre Holmes before the defence got a penalty for not releasing. This was kicked for a line-out at Hertford's 10 metre line and at this they were awarded a free-kick plus 10 more metres. They chose a scrum and advanced a bit from that to get a penalty that Russell kicked for the points at 32 minutes.
The restart was followed by 4 kicks resulting in a line-out for Hertford 5 metres into their half. They released wide then recycled once, again wide, before a dropped ball was hacked ahead by Barnes. Hertford recovered well and kicked for territory. The visitors ran the ball then after two recycles with an offload in between they got a penalty still just inside their half. They ran this and recycled 3 times before the defence forced an error to get a scrum 11 metres into Hertford's half. At that they got a penalty and kicked to touch 18 metres into the visitors' half. From the line-out they put together 7 phases to get another penalty 19 metres out in centre field and Russell added another 3 points before the end.
Conditions: Grey, very misty, damp, with drizzle before the game; the pitch wet and soft but not soggy; hardly any wind; played under floodlights. No rain and brightening a bit during the game.