Match Report: Towcestrians 5 - 29 Barnes RFC
Battling Tows show bottle against top of table Barnes
A strengthened Tows side boosted by some notable injury returnees ran the new League leaders close in what on paper should have been a mismatch, Barnes having gone away last week to league toppers Guernsey and beaten them to give themselves a real shot of winning the league.
A packed clubhouse, as always for Tows, on their annual Past Players Reunion Lunch cheered on the home side to a battling, committed display in which at times it was hard to tell who was top or bottom of this league, and a scoreline which no way reflects just how close this match was.
Tows started brightly, retaining possession and playing the phases, several half breaks in the heavy going but dry conditions, the last pass unable to connect, it was Barnes who broke the deadlock after some strong running saw their powerful centre go in for a try, unconverted for a 0 - 5 lead, James Falvey had the chance to hit back soon after, his penalty kick drifting wide of the posts, Tows continued to keep the ball and looked the more likely to score, the large crowd becoming more noisy sensing an upset might be on the cards, Dario Germain, who had looked dangerous all half with ball in hand, found some space and with one man to beat stumbled in the heavy going to spurn the best chance for Tows, the pivotal moment in the half came towards the end, Tows again on the attack and looking dangerous, moved the ball quickly, but the quick thinking Barnes no.8 stepped into the line and intercepted the pass and then went 60 metres to outpace the covering Tows backs, surprisingly unconverted for a 0 - 10 half time score.
The second half started with Tows finally getting some reward for all their hard work, Dave Devlin-Jones making a break after some great build up fed Ronnie Speakman who handed off the covering Barnes defender to go in close to the corner.
Tows had given there all for 60 minutes and as Barnes applied the pressure Tows continued to keep them out following a series of scrums on their own line, eventually Barnes went over for their third try after a pushover from a line out to give them breathing room at 5 - 17 and after a series of Tows infringements they converted again from close in for the bonus point try, an additional try was scored by Barnes at the end for a flattering 5 - 29 scoreline.
Tows, with just 2 games left, now travel away to Guernsey on Saturday and then follow that with the Alliance Cup Final at Franklins Gardens on Wednesday 25th April.
Tows Second XV completed a very successful campaign with an away win to finish second in their league and Towcester Roses Ladies Rugby team celebrated an unbeaten league campaign, 12 wins from 12, and promotion in their first ever season.