Barum travelled to Lydney for a crucial fixture in the National Three South West

Barnstaple were relieved to come away from Lydney with a 15-15 draw that kept them top of the National Three South West table.

Barum drew level on 56 minutes when Jordan Petherbridge kicked a penalty – and that was how it stayed until the final whistle.

Barnstaple don’t have much margin for error at the top of the table as Exmouth and Lydney are on their tails. It would have been even tighter had they lost.

Kevin Squire, Barnstaple’s chairman of rugby, said there were one or two disappointed faces in the dressing room after the result, but not for long.

“There are big expectations at Barnstaple right now that we should be winning every game, but I was satisfied that we drew this one,” said Squire.

“If you look at the bigger picture this was Lydney’s chance to get right behind us, but they were unable to take it.

“Even though we had chances to win, it was a game we could easily have lost right at the end.

“We gave away a penalty just to the right of our posts and their fly-half (Tony Wicks) called for the kicking tee.

“For some reason he put the ball on the floor, nudged it forward half a metre with his boot – I don’t know why – and our players reacted by swarming round.

“Lydney tried to get the ball wide in a hurry, got over in the corner but were held up.

‘They could have scored either way but didn’t and we would not have had the time to come back.

“As I said, sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture, which in this case is we could easily have lost and come away much worse off.

“Put another way, we were a lot happier with the result than Lydney as they needed to win.”

Barum’s first try was a rare score by hooker James Starkey that Petherbridge converted.

Winston James was shunted over from a line-out in first-half stoppage time to leave Barum 15-12 behind.

Petherbridge levelled it early in the second half, which quickly became a slog in the mud with defences doing most of the work.