1st xv - Report
Barkers 1st xv march on with a win over local rivals Leamington
This re-arranged fixture against local rivals saw Barkers add another scalp in infatic style.It was only in the second half that Barkers stepped up a gear and move onto a convincing win of 41-12.
Barkers’ Butts v Leamington 25.2.12.
Leamington kicked off down the slope with the wind behind their back. They gained possession of the ball and kicked ahead into Barkers’ 22, the ball was marked and cleared into touch. From the line out Leamington spun the ball wide and the winger touched down in the corner, 2 minutes gone Barkers 0 Leamington 5. Leamington had just 5 minutes to enjoy their lead before scrum half Charlie Mumford went blind from a Barkers set piece to race down the wing to equal the scores at 5 -5. Barkers had the better of the next exchanges with a long penalty to touch from Tom Stokes who had taken over the kicking duties for this game. There was good understanding between Martin McPhilimey at outside centre and Chris Priest on the wing. Barkers were awarded a free kick, quickly taken by aaron newman, who jinked, side stepped and twisted his way to the Leamington goal line, Tom Stokes was on hand to receive the pass for the most fantastic of tries and he duly added the extras. Barkers 12 Leamington 5. Leamington’s formidable pack came back with a vengeance, forcing play into Barkers’ 22 then the 5 and finally to the goal line and an easy conversion and with 25 minutes of play gone it was all square, Barkers 12 Leamington 12. The next passage of play was marked by Leamington making a series of small but costly errors, a forward pass, a knock on, not 10 from a penalty all giving Barkers confidence to attack. The inevitable try came from good work between Charlie Mumford and aaron newman who dotted down and Tom Stokes who made it 19 -12.
Barkers kicked off the 2nd half and were caught napping from the kick off when Leamington’s no.5 ran unhindered to the edge of Barkers 22 before being halted. The game mirrored last weeks game at Kidderminster with Barkers resisting intense sustained pressure for a good ten minutes, the forwards gaining turnover ball from mauls and not conceding penalties and Stokes and Luke Barber among others clearing the line. The pressure was at last relieved when Michael Greavy broke away from a set piece scrum and joined up with the ¾’s and the play went to the relative safety between the two 10mtr. lines. Mumford and Priest combined well and Priest kicked ahead and the ball bounced into touch. Leamington’s throw wasn’t straight, another costly error, and from the resulting scrum the ball found its way to Martin McPhilimey who following a powerful run scored the game turning try, Tom Stokes converting to make it 26 - 12. Leamington found hidden reserves of energy and it took long clearances from Stokes and crunching tackles from Joe Richardson and Darren Griffiths to keep Leamington subdued. With 20 minutes to go Gareth Collins was replaced by Colin Hutchins closely followed by Pete Stapleton who has been impatiently waiting for his chance for promotion from the 2nd team who replaced prop Darren Griffiths. Pete immediately put his mark on the game with a surging run, Barkers forwards mauled the ball into the Leamington 22 and Stokes was happy to slot over the conceded penalty to leave Leamington 3 scores behind.
Barkers 29 Leamington 12. The two sides both conceded penalties but it was a Josh Palmer tackle and retrieval of the ball followed by a pass to Luke Barber who raced to the line and gave the winning pass to Palmer. 34 – 12. The sixth and final try was a running forwards affair with Stapleton, Hutchins and Matt Greavy showing speed and accuracy in their passes with the final pass going to aaron newman who took the try and Tom Stokes again converting. Final score Barkers’ Butts 41 Leamington 12.
My personal man of the match goes to aaron newman not just for his scintillating display on the pitch but for rescheduling his birthday celebrations to a non league rugby weekend.
After the game the O2 sponsored pies and pints went down a treat the Cov Uni students who make up our 3rd team made short work of the Green King IPA bitter (they prefer lager) and the meat pies including the vegetarian option !
For those who do not know Barkers’ won the O2 regional award for our recruitment and retention of players. See Saturday’s programme notes for more detail.
Next Saturday we entertain Cheltenham North and this being the first weekend in March the kick off reverts to 3.00 pm .
Finally congratulations to Barkers’ Colts who travelled across the city to Broadstreet to compete in the preliminary round of the Bob Coward Warwickshire Colts Cup.
It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy but a 17 points to 10 victory looks ok to me.