Alas not a great day at the office for Barnes 1st XV last Saturday, as we lost 12-14 in a game we started so well in the first quarter but then lost our way, and stayed lost for the remaining three quarters.
And it all started so brightly, we came out of the blocks with passion, flair and pace, the first ten minutes was Barnes putting pressure on the visitors from Cornwall, and this effort resulted in a try from a driving maul at the lineout which Rupert Crossland scored and Josh Hammett converted, simples. We then defended aggressively on the half way line for 20 phases, turned the ball over but then from a loose pass put ourselves on the back foot and five minutes after we had taken a 7-0 lead the Reds were baack in the game at 7-7. It was really sloppy.
The rest of the first half was not spectacular. We had oodles of chances to score, but didn’t we dropped the ball, gave away penalties, missed two attacking lineouts on our own throw, it was just one of those days. No one played badly, then no one shone out either, we looked surprisingly flat and bemused by Redruth’s concerted campaign to slow the ball down, which they did mightily effectively. We held our own against their big pack, but we didn’t assert ourselves, I think we just settled for parity in the tight.
And so the first half petered out with barely a whimper….7 all at the break, Redruth were much the happier with that score.
We started the second half slowly, much like we finished the first, but after Tom O’Toole was denied a try by a last ditch tackle the ball was spun wide and Matt Cornish smashed over on 48 minutes and Barnes took the lead at 12-7.
The game sparked into life on 56 minutes after one of the Redruth props head butted Al Ryan twice and was shown a red card, quite rightly too! That act of foul play unfortunately also resulted in Al leaving the pitch, and with Johan van de Poel also inured, 14 man Redruth were then galvanised into raising their own game, as so often happens when you lose a man. From a brilliant cross kick by the Reds fly half, Jack Oulton, the winger gathered the ball and scored. Redruth lead 12-14 with 20 minutes to go so there was plenty of time for Barnes to hit back, but we didn’t and couldn’t. In the last play of the game, Robbie Martey burst through the Redruth defence and it looked as though he was going all of the way. But for a desperate tap tackle he would have done, but he didn’t. And there it was, our first defeat in five games.
It was a very very weird afternoon, I guess sometimes sh*t does just happens!
But we will take it on the chin, move on and repair our aching and bruised bones and move onto this weekend, when we travel to play Clifton. Whilst Clifton are a couple of places below us in the league we will do well to remember just how proud this team is. They will be confident after their 13-17 away win against Bury last week, something we failed to do, and we will need to be very much on our mettle in order to win on the road.
As I have often said, the Barnes boys are a resilient and talented band of brothers. We will dig deep, and learn from last week’s disappointment, and on Saturday, we will be ready to resume battle.
Other results last weekend
The Vets were the only shining light last weekend, winning a really close encounter on Friday night under the lights 33-36 away to Cobham Vets.
On Sunday, Barnes Ladies 1st XV failed to overcome East London Ladies, losing in the end 24-37.
This weekend there is a full fixture list of games that look like this:
Saturday 1st December
• Clifton 1st XV vs Barnes 1st XV - 2pm KO
• Barnes 2nd XV vs Chinnor 2nd XV - 2pm KO
• Occies vs Teddington 2nd XV - 2pm KO
• Esher Vets vs Barnes Harrodians Vets - 2pm KO
Sunday 2nd December
• Bracknell Ladies vs Barnes Ladies 2nd XV - 2pm KO
So that's all for this week, we look forward to getitng back to winning ways this weekend, and let's have a brilliant weekend of Barnes Rugby.
Onwards and Upwards!
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC