Barnstaple’s promotion to National Two South certainly means that the players – and supporters – will spend a much longer time travelling to away fixtures than they did in their South West Premier season success.
Had the 2019/20 campaign not been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and Barum had been able to complete their full away schedule then, their 12 matches away from North Devon would have seen them travel 2,332 miles to and from opposition grounds, spending 22 hours and 58 minutes on the road (miles and times according to the AA route finder website).
Promotion to National Two sees the travelling increase considerably.
They will make 15 trips totalling 5,794 miles and spend no fewer than 11 hours and 26 minutes journeying to and from opposition grounds!
There is a 422-mile round-trip to Guernsey which will take up the longest time in terms of travel – coach and ferry to the Footes Lane ground in St Peter Port, Guernsey, and back to North Devon, is shown as taking around 13 hours in total.
In terms of the other long journeys, the longest is the 568-mile round-trip to meet Bury St Edmunds, while other long treks include Canterbury (508), Rochford Hundred RFC, who are based in Hockley, Essex (498), Westcliff , who play in Southend-on-Sea (494) and Leicester Lions (428).
Whereas last season saw round-trips of less than 120 miles on four matchdays – visits to Okehampton, Exeter University, Exmouth and Launceston - next season, the shortest round-trip will be the 186-mile ‘there-and-back’ visit to Dings Crusaders and there is only one other round-trip of less than 200 miles and that is the fixture against Clifton.
The full list of 15 trips for Barnstaple in the 2020/21 National Two South league season with miles shown first and time travelling shown in brackets, longest to shortest, reads:
Bury St Edmunds 568 (9:52)
Canterbury 508 (9:06)
Rochford Hundred 498 (9:08)
Westcliff 494 (9:00)
Leicester Lions 428 (7:18)
Guernsey 422 (13:00)
Old Albanian 410 (7:28)
Hinckley 416 (7:02)
Barnes 376 (7:10)
Worthing 376 (7:40)
Henley 364 (6:30)
Esher 362 (6:46)
Redruth 206 (4:34)
Clifton 188 (3:28)
Dings Crusaders 186 (3:24)