Barnes ran out of steam against Clifton last week at Barn Elms, having led for most of the game, and being 10-0 up at half-time, courtesy of two Robbie Martey unconverted tries.
These misses, so uncharacteristic from the normally ever-reliable boot of Barnes fly-half Josh Hammett, proved costly for Barnes as Clifton scored twice early in the second half to take a 10-12 lead.
Barnes fought back and Tom O’Toole bustled over to give us a 15-12 lead, only for the visitors to level the score at 15 apiece with 10 minutes to go. A yellow card against Russell Nimmo proved costly as Clifton scored with five minutes to go and win the game 15-22.
Both sides were even-stevens throughout this scrappy game, but ultimately Clifton proved to be better at the denouement. Barnes missed crucial tackles on one try, knocked-on over the Clifton line, and missed all our conversions, something we have not done in any game I can remember in many years at Barn Elms.
I guess it as just one of those things, the rub-of-the-green was not ours on the day, on another day it could have so easily gone in our favour.
So let's draw a line under this one and move the coming weekend.
With three games to go, we travel away to play the resurgent Birmingham and Solihull, in a crucial game for both teams (I seem to have said that a lot in recent weeks).
Barnes are in 10th place in National League 2, eight points ahead of the Bees in 14th place, and 4 ahead of Dings Crusaders, and 3 ahead of both Old Redcliffians and Worthing, in 11th and 12th place respectively. Bees are the form team right now, with a gutsy away win last week against Worthing 26-29 and a resounding win 45-32 against Old Albanians the week before. We lost at our place in a poor performance earlier in the season so we are going to have to produce our A game for 80 minutes this week if we want a relaxing end to the season.
I know that this group of Barnes players are a special bunch of lads, and I know they will give it everything and the kitchen sink this weekend to get the right result. There will be no room for complacency, that is for certain, and I back them to the job, it may not be pretty, but they will knuckle down and, fingers crossed, with a steely determination they will bring home the bacon
The Occies and the Vets
The Occies slipped up last week and were ambushed at Barn Elms 27-43 by Battersea Ironsides 3rd XV, but despite this result they maintain their place at the top of their league.
The Vets rounded off their season in some style winning 41-24 in a typically robust game against arch-rivals, and good friends Richmond Heavies. Barnes Vets were confirmed as Vets Division 1 league champions. Many congratulations to skipper Rich Fenech and Vets Manager, Angus Graham, for their tireless dedication to the cause. Also our best wishes for a healthy recovery to the Welsh wizard, Ozzie who broke his leg in four places and has spent four days in Chelsea and Westminster hospital getting it repaired.
This weekend’s fixtures
In addition to the 1st XV’s away game against the Bees, Barnes 2nd XV have a 3pm kick-off, away against Esher.
Good luck to both tams this weekend in these two incredibly important games.
Go and play in the original spirit we hold dear at Barnes RFC, and bring those wins home!
Onwards and Upwards Barnow!
Michael “Rhino” Whitfield – Chairman Barnes RFC