Barnstaple’s rocky run in National League Two South continued with a 38-31 home defeat by Redingensians. But it could have been worse.

Barnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob Collins

Barnstaple, who led 17-7 just before half time, were in danger of getting nothing out of the match when they trailed 38-24 with a minute or so to go.

Jordan Petherbridge dashed through the Rams’ cover for a try and kicked the conversion to raise spirits a little.

The try was Barum’s fourth and worth a bonus point. The kick earned another point for getting within seven points of the winners’ total. It was some comfort for a third defeat in the last four starts.

The lead changed hands over and over before the break with tries by Luke Berry and Petherbridge, plus Gwyn Parks’ kicks, taking Barnstaple from 3-0 to 10-0 then 17-7. A penalty try just before the break got the Rams within three points.

Barnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob Collins

The Rams had the edge up front for most of the game, forcing half a dozen penalties at scrum time.

It was tit-for-tat after the break – Will Topps scoring for Barum in a 24-all running score – then Redingensians shot clear with two tries.

To get something out of the game Barnstaple had to score off the final play, which started in their own 22.

Phase after phase was strung together – the count was well into double figures – before Petherbridge got over.

Barnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Redingensians. Picture: Bob Collins

The two points were a plus for Barum, as was seeing two old favourites reappear off the bench.

Gareth Evans and Ben Hilton both had second-half runs after lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injury.

Barum are away to Chinnor this Saturday.