Taunton play get-out-of-jail-free card and snatch victory from Barnes in last seconds of the game

Taunton play get-out-of-jail-free card and snatch victory from Barnes in last seconds of the game

By Michael Whitfield
7 March
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Barnes went agonisingly close to overcoming Taunton for the second time this season last week, going down 20-19

The boys battled bravely throughout but were cruelly robbed with Taunton's last throw of the dice
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield

Taunton Titans 20 Barnes 1st XV 19

Last week, our apples were tragically crushed, in the last move of the game by the cider makers of Taunton from Somerset. And, it could have been so different, as we led 17-19 with two minutes to go. Then, we gave a penalty away which allowed the Taunton points machine, Gary Kingdom, to snatch the lead away. With the final whistle beckoning, scrum half Jack Franklin burst away from the halfway line, and charged towards the Taunton line. Tackled 15 metres short of the line, he passed the ball to the charging George Head, who was felled 1 metre from the try line, as he went down the ball was guttingly knocked on, and Barnes hopes of a home and away victories against the Titans were cruelly dashed.

Jack Franklin who broke from near half way to George Head who had 15 plus meters to run who was tackled 1.5 meters out when he passed to Josh Davies when stumbling knocked on as the last play of the match.

Barnes deserved far more, and played with grit and determination throughout, the defence was brilliant and so was the attitude. Earlier in the game Titans went ahead after 13 minutes to go 7-0 up, but Barnes fought back, the live wire George Head touching down after driving maul after 18 minutes. With Josh Hammett slotting the extras, Barnes were back on terms at 7-7. Ten minutes later Titans regained the lead 12-7, but Barnes fought back to make it 12-12 with Al Ryan driving over, only for Titans to regain the lead right on the break, going in at halftime 17-12 up.

The second half was a war of attrition, and great defence from Barnes was turned into attack as the legend that is Danny “Danny” Holmes sliced through the Titans defence, taking a great line to score with 14 minutes to go. With Josh Hammett his normal metronomic self, the conversion was successful and we had the lead, until that fateful 78h minute, and you know the rest. Gutting to lose like that, but it was a bloody good performance.

On Saturday, we welcome old rivals Worthing to Barnes for a vital match for both teams. Barnes are currently in 13th place in National League 2, on 46 points, but only 3 points separate them and Worthing in 10th place. This is a tough old league, the difference between a comfortable end to the season, and squeaky bum time, is paper-thin. We had a very tough game at Worthing at the end of last year, winning a topsy-turvy game 31-39 in the end. We showed great patience, and again strong defence, in that game and we will certainly be looking for that again come Saturday.

Barnes 2nd XV 35 Jersey 2nd XV 22
Both Barnes and Jersey started the game with high intensity for the first 15 minutes, Barnes scoring first with Rob Malaney diving over the line and Ollie Milner with the extras as we led 7-0. Jersey replied with the next score to make it 7-5, which clearly didn’t impress skipper Adam Libbey, so after stealing a lineout, Libbs spotted a gap and cantered towards the posts to make the score, Ollie Milner again with the conversion made it 14-5. Barnes had the last points of the half after a fantastic ruck turnover, with Daniel Dass over in the corner and yet another conversion from Ollie Milner slotted. At halftime, Barnes led 21-5.

Lachie Stewart drove over early in the second half from a driving maul, and with Ollie Millner keep up his perfect conversion record Barnes were now in a commanding 28-5 lead. Barnes took their foot off the game, conceded both a yellow card, with Charlie Wakeford in the bin for 10 minutes, and two trys, which allowed the Islanders back into the contest, closing the gap to 28-17. Jersey were dominating in the scrum and were forcing Barnes back. However, a mistake from an attacking lineout resulted in Barnes regathering the ball and, in the blink of an eye, Conrad Burne scored, and you’ve guessed it, Ollie Milner slotted the extras. Final score Barnes 35-Jersey 22.

In summary, it was a game which the Barnow had in control for the first 60 minutes, with some very strong performances from Daniel Dass, Rob Malaney, Greg Davies and 100% off the tee Ollie Milner to give the coaching staff some selection headaches. This sets us up well for a monster clash this weekend away to Richmond Vikings.

Ladies, Vets and Occies

The Occies won a rip-roaring game last week, 34-35 away to KCS Old Boys, often their bogey side. The Vets too were in winning form, beating Harlequins Amateurs 7-22 and this is skipper Rich Fenech’s match report:


And on Sunday, the Ladies 1st XV was in fine form as they overcame East London Ladies 17 - 20 Barnes.

If only the 1st Xv had not been pipped at the post it would have been another clean sweep!

Here are this weeks’ games:

Saturday 9th March

• Barnes 1st XV vs Worthing 1st XV - 3pm KO

• Richmond Saxons vs Barnes 2nd XV - 3pm KO

• Bec Old Boys vs Mayfair Occasionals - 3pm KO

Please do come down and support the 1st XV his weekend in this incredibly important game. Barnes simply must win to ensure we do not have an anxious end to the season, apart from anything else I don’t believe my heart can take it!

Here’s to a great weekend of Barnow rugby, all played in the original spirit we love at Barnes RFC.

Onwards and Upwards!

Michael “Rhino” Whitfield - Chairman Barnes RFC

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