This was the first time Barnes have played Amersham & Chiltern.
Their USP is fit young muscle and their general ability in defence was very effective. Barnes had at least 2 good chances to get 4 tries.
An error started Barnes first attack but the visitors defence was good. Two penalties got them into the opposition half then at 6 minutes Barnes stole a line-out in their own 22 and worked their way through many phases to well into the opposition 22. The defence forced caused an error from a ball carrier then Amersham were forced back behind their own line and were lucky to get away with having to defend an opposition 5 metre scrum after some basketball. They did this well but soon conceded an easily kickable penalty before 10 minutes that fullback Clarke converted.
Barnes continued attacking strongly after the restart and Clarke missed with a kick from the 10 metre line at 18 minutes. Following the 22 drop-out Barnes' forwards brought the ball back with 3 recycles to get a penalty just outside the 22 and also a man advantage for 10 minutes. The kick took them to their line-out 9 metres out and from it the pack drove over with flanker Smyth on the ball after 19 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Barnes secured the restart and advanced before kicking for territory and the visitors cleared to touch just outside their 22. A very good driving maul at pace got to 5 metres out before being broken up. The ball was taken on to the line then recycled and fly-half Williams-Davies slipped through the line to score not far from the posts 3&1/2 minutes after the earlier try. Clarke added.
Barnes tried an up-and-under soon after the restart; Amersham dealt with this and sent ball wide to win a penalty near halfway. The kick took them to 29 metres out and from the line-out advanced recycling 3 times to get another penalty 18 metres out in centre field and Kenyon kicked the points after 26 minutes.
Barnes stayed in the opposition half after the restart and the visitors had to clear to touch 27 metres out. From the line-out Barnes advanced to get a penalty 19 metres out and kicked for a line-out 9 metres out. This was followed by a penalty 11 metres out, a line-out 5 metres out, another penalty 5 metres out and another line-out at the same place. The defence continued to hold and Barnes let the ball out then were themselves penalised 17 metres out. Amersham kicked for a line-out then recycled, keeping the ball tight 6 times before being dispossessed. Barnes set the ball wide and broke through in the centre. Three recycles and 2 offloads got them a kickable penalty at the 22 and a second man advantage for 10 minutes. Clarke added the points just before the halftime whistle.
Amersham started the second half stronger; they stopped Barnes first attack then from their scrum kicked well into the other half and this time it was Barnes who had to clear to touch, just inside their 22. The visitors advanced then the defence got a put-in 14 metres out. Amersham came away with the ball from that and put together 9 phases before losing possession at the line to give the defence a 5 metre scrum. At this one Barnes conceded a free-kick after which they were penalised 9 metres out and Kenyon kicked the points after 8 minutes. This despite being a man down and Barnes had failed to take advantage of that.
Barnes forced a turnover soon after the restart and then put together two good sets of phases either side of losing possession that was immediately kicked high by the visitors. The attack was finished with an individual burst for the line by lock Collins at 13 minutes. Clarke added.
Barnes worked their way back to halfway after the restart and got a scrum put-in which Amersham took off them. Despite being turned over twice the visitors worked their way on up field to get a penalty 17 metres from the opposition line in centre field. Now they chose a scrum and a back row pick-up was released to centre then recycled to lock McLennan. Several Barnes players forgot a basic tenet of the game, i.e. play to the whistle. They and some spectators thought that crossing had occurred and stopped. The Ref. thought differently. McLennan went to the posts and touched down at 22 minutes. Kenyon added.
After the restart Amersham cleared to touch. This was soon followed by a turnover by each team. The visitors had a kick charged down that resulted in their 22 drop-out. This bounced off a Barnes player and Amersham then broke out quickly to the other 22. They were forced back some metres and Barnes got the next put-in only for the visitors to get another ball that came out at the side. They advanced before being forced into touch 5 metres out. Three kicks followed the line-out licks then there was a Barnes' scrum just outside their 22. This was followed by line-out for Amersham on halfway; Barnes stole that and attacked wide. The visitors won their 3rd yellow card for what seemed a powerful untackle; the tacklee was unaffected. The penalty took Barnes to a line-out 9 metres out. Amersham defended well and soon got a penalty. They kicked to touch still inside their 22 and kicked after that then an error gave them a scrum just outside their 22. Barnes were penalised at the put-in and the opposition kicked for another line-out now just inside their half. Barnes soon forced an error to get a put-in and from that put together their best set of phases, 11 in all, advancing to get a penalty 5 metres out. They then threw their 5 metre line-out long and not-straight a couple of minutes before the end, missing out on a bonus point.
Weather: fine, cool getting colder on a soft pitch.