BARNSTAPLE held out as their lead was in danger of being whittled away to win 24-23 at Cheltenham and end a run of one-point defeats in National Three South West. Barum lost three successive games by a point before arriving in Cheltenham, so there was a c

BARNSTAPLE held out as their lead was in danger of being whittled away to win 24-23 at Cheltenham and end a run of one-point defeats in National Three South West.

Barum lost three successive games by a point before arriving in Cheltenham, so there was a certain piquancy about winning by the same margin.

The North Devon outfit had to come from 18-13 down behind to lead 24-18. Having got there, had their lead trimmed by a try eight minutes into added time.

Cheltenham had just dropped the ball in a threatening position when the final whistle went, spelling relief for Barum chairman Martin Mogford.

"I am delighted we have won at last, although this was probably our worst performance of the season," said Mogford.

"Cheltenham felt unlucky afterward. All I can say is we know how they feel as we really have been there.

"This was a win we needed and I hope it will be a springboard to a few more."

Mark Berry, Jack Elliott and Jonny Carter scored the tries that mattered for Barnstaple. Joe Wearne kicked two penalties.

Barnstaple are at home to Chinnor this Saturday.