Barnstaple are assured of a place in the National Two promotion play-offs after securing second place in the South West Premier Division with a game to spare.
Barum’s 51-17 won over Old Patesians was not enough on its own to clinch a play-off place while there was a contest going on with Maidenhead for second spot.
Maidenhead lost 20-19 to Bracknell in the derby clash at Braywick Park, which ended their involvement in the play-off race. Barum are eight points clear with five to play for.
Although Barnstaple are through to the play-off, they won’t know until Saturday tea time where they are going.
Wimbledon, Westcliffe and Sutton and Epsom are all contesting the automatic promotion place in the London Premier Division. One will get it, one will go to the play-off and one will be going nowhere.
All Barum can be sure of is they will be away from home. Their playing record is not as good as any of the London Premier clubs.
Barnstaple were always favourites to beat relegated Patesians, although victory was hardly a formality.
Having got off to a racing start – they were 15-0 up in no time at all – but when Pats came back to 15-12 it was game on.
Winston James, Barnstaple’s sidelined skipper, said it was a game that had to be won the hard way.
“Old Pats showed a lot of heart and made things difficult for us,” said James.
“We struggled for a while but once we played with more tempo we got on top.”
Ryan Lee, Luke Berry, Matt Gohl, Will Topps (2), Martinas Dromantas and George Snell were the Barnstaple try scorers. Jake Murphy kicked the goals.