Barnstaple set up Exmouth decider with ruthless win
- Credit: Bob Collins
Barum ran in 14 tries on the way to an 88-7 win over Old Patesians on Saturday.
The National Three South West title race is going to go right to the wire.
Exmouth and Barnstaple both won to set up a winner-takes-all clash at the Imperial Ground in East Devon this Saturday.
Toby Williamson scored four tries before half-time as Barnstaple overwhelmed relegated Old Patesians 88-7 at Pottington Road.
Meanwhile, Exmouth, who are top of the table on points difference, defeated Old Redcliffians 36-17.
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All matches in Devon over the weekend held a minute’s silence in tribute to Devon RFU chairman Dave Butt, who died last week, but Pottington paid tribute with a minute of applause.
The club also retired the number 13 shirt for the day, with Linford Brock pulling on the number 22 shirt at outside centre.
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Butt was a former Barnstaple player and coach who would have been delighted with the way his old team ran riot against Old Pats.
Pats scored within four minutes to remind Barum they were in the game.
But Barum came back with 14 unanswered tries in a one-sided encounter.
Kevin Squire, Barnstaple’s director of rugby, said: “That try was the only mistake we made over 80 minutes.
“Toby got four tries before half-time so we decided to whip him off and wrap him in cotton wool for this Saturday.
“All through the game we looked a very polished side – the execution was brutal at times.”
It wasn’t a one-man show for Barnstaple though.
Flanker Winston James scored two tries, taking him to 21 for the season
There were also singles for James Starkey, Ryan Carter, Jordan Petherbridge, Chris Lowrie, Linford Brock, Ashlee Crouch, James Bath and Luke Berry.
Barnstaple have to win on Saturday at Exmouth to go up to the National League Two South.
A draw means Exmouth will win the division on points scored and Barnstaple will go into the promotion play-offs.
Squire said he and the squad were relaxed about the challenge of winning at Exmouth.
“There is no pressure on us; unlike Exmouth, we never had a stated aim at the start of it of being promoted this season.
“If we get it right down there, we are going up, if not, we really wish them all the best.
“It is going to be cracking day for Devon rugby and we are looking forward to it immensely.”