Barum and Biddy suffer rugby defeats on frustrating weekend

North Devon Gazette

Barnstaple gave Dings Crusaders a second-half fright before conceding a 31-19 defeat to the Bristolians in National Two South.Â

The Crusaders eased into a 19-0 lead after half an hour and Barnstaple could easily have crumbled at that stage, but they hit Dings with two tries in the space of four minutes and converted both to cut the leeway to five points.Â

Jake Murphy crossed for the first try and scrum-half Ross Swales swooped for the second. Murphy landed both conversions. It stayed 19-14 to Dings until the 65th minute when Dings scored the first of two tries two minutes apart to settle the game. The second try was put away by former Exeter Chief Luke Arscott.Â

Defeat means Barnstaple are now bottom of the National Two table as former stragglers Westcliff defeated Old Albanians 18-14 to move ahead of the men from Pottington.Â

Barnstaple have another home game this Saturday when Old Albanians are the visitors.Â

Bideford’s patchy run of form in Western Counties West continued when they lost 12-10 at home to Penryn.Â

That’s five games without a win now for Bideford, who are down to 11th in a table of 14. They have not won since defeating Honiton 36-15 in mid-January.Â

Penryn scored first to go 7-0 up, but Bideford hit back with a try from Chris Snell and trailed 7-5 at the break. Penryn scored again with 20 minutes left on the clock take a 12-5 lead.Â

Ollie Sanders got Bideford within two points with a try, but Reece Pearn hit the post with a conversion that would have levelled the scores .Â

Bideford won a penalty in the last minute and opted for a scrum five-metres from the visitors’ try line. Penryn drove Bideford off the ball and the chance of a dramatic win was lost.Â

Bradley Goaman, the Bideford team manager, said: “We put ourselves under a lot of pressure with penalties in the first half – and had opportunities to score on more than one occasion – but silly mistakes cost us.”Â

“The young players in the team will have learned from this experience.”Â