Crucial battling win for Barum rugby

North Devon Gazette

Barnstaple started the process of climbing away from the National Two South basement by defeating Rochford Hundred 15-13 at Pottington Road.Â

Barum were continuously behind for nearly an hour in the game and only edged ahead in the 61st minute when Dan Johnson got over the line.Â

The Essex side had just gone down to 14 men for what was left of the match, having had flanker Chris Shields shown a straight red card for an act of foul play.Â

Rochford had not come all the way to Devon for jolly day out and piled the pressure on in the last 10 minutes in search of the score or scores that would wipe out a 15-13 deficit. Barnstaple’s defence did not buckle, although it did get a bit hairy at times.Â

Barnstaple closed out the game to claim their first win since round two back in September, when Rockford’s Essex neighbours Westcliff lost at Pottington Road. Barum are still in the bottom two, but have moved within two points of Hinckley, who lost to leaders Guernsey.Â

Bryn Jenkins, the Barnstaple coach, said there is still plenty to do to turn a small step in the right direction into big strides up the table.Â

“They were ahead for far more of the game than we were and will probably feel a bit hard done by,” said Jenkins.Â

“The only try they scored was a breakaway in the first 10 minutes and they hardly looked like adding to it until the last 10-15 minutes.Â

“We had any number of chances to score when we got into their half and just could not finish.Â

“When Rochford put us under a lot of pressure at the end we held out thanks to some superb defending.Â

“Defensively we were great for most of the game, but the opportunities we did not take suggest we need to do some work on our attack.”Â

Jamie Botterill scored a 12-minute hat-trick and finished with four tries in total as University of Exeter demolished Camborne 70-17 in the South West Premier Division.Â