Barnstaple beat Henley for some breathing space in National League Two South

PUBLISHED: 10:46 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:46 05 February 2018

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

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Barum edge closer to securing a third season in National League after a big win at Pottington on Saturday

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

Barnstaple bounced back from their defeat at Clifton with a narrow 10-7 win over top-five side Henley.

Victory keeps Barum three defeats away from the relegation places and eases any worries of being sucked into the mire.

Barnstaple took the lead with a Will Topps try from the wing that Gwyn Parks converted.

It stayed 7-0 to Barum up to half time and for 15 minutes after the break.

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

Henley drew level on 55 minutes with a try by stand-off Joe Butler that scrum-half George Jackson converted.

There was no more scoring until the hour mark when Jordan Petherbridge booted Barum into a 10-7 lead.

Barnstaple’s 11-point cushion between them and the drop spots isn’t enough to relax yet.

Jeremy Chugg, the chairman of rugby at Pottington, does feel survival is almost in sight.

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

“We finish the season with Broadstreet, Worthing and Wimbledon, all teams below us, coming to our place but I don’t want to leave it that late,” said Chugg.

“Two more wins before then and we will be almost there.”

Barum go to London Irish Wild Geese this Saturday, another team below them in the table.

Chugg expects to see back-row forward Jarrard Hayler back on duty in a red shirt after his unexpected outing for Saracens against Exeter Chiefs last Saturday in the Anglo-Welsh Cup,

Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins Barnstaple v Henley in National League Two South. Picture: Bob Collins

Hayler, a former rugby scholar in Saracens’ Academy, was asked to guest for the Premiership giants and Barnstaple readily agreed a temporary transfer.

He came off the bench for the final half hour of the game, played in front of 12,500 rugby fans at Sandy Park.

“I suspect it will be a bit different at London Irish, not quite one man and his dog on the sidelines but no more than a couple of hundred,” said Chugg.

“Saracens asked us if they could register Jarrard for the game and we were happy to say ‘yes’ as it was a big thing for him.

“He enjoyed it – even though Saracens lost – and came back unscathed, thank goodness.”

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