Barnstaple got their strategy spot-on to beat Drybrook 24-5 and maintain a five-point lead over Maidenhead at the top of the South West Premier Division table.

Barnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins

Tries from Dylan Gosling and Winston James, one of them converted by Haydn Lidstone, put Barum 12-0 up at the break.

After the interval Kyle Speare dashed over and Gosling scored the try that secured an eighth bonus-point win of the season for the long-time leaders.

By the time Ollie Moore scored a consolation try for the visitors from Gloucestershire, it was all over bar the shouting.

Jeremy Chugg, the director of rugby at Barnstaple, said as Drybrook were a known quantity it made sense to tailor the game plan to their weaknesses.

Barnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins

"Drybrook are not a push-over and let them get within 15 yards of your line and they have some hefty forwards who will fancy battering their way over," said Chugg.

"When they attack from much further out there is not a lot they have that will hurt you.

"The last thing you want with Drybrook is to get into an arm-wrestle with their forwards as that suits them down to the ground.

"What you do is keep the ball moving by putting it through the hands and going from side to side until they run out of steam.

Barnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins

"Sooner or later they are going to give away a penalty you can kick into the corner and go for the drive-over try, or a gap will open up.

"That is pretty well how we played it. It may not have been the most exciting game of the season, but sometimes you have to grind out a win and this was one of those times."

Barnstaple are away to third-placed Weston this Saturday in a rearranged top-of-the-table clash.

Said Chugg: "We are two wins ahead of Weston already and if we can make that three they are probably out of the promotion race."

Barnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Drybrook in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins