Barum forced to settle for losing bonus point in battle with Clifton

Barnstaple missed a chance to pull away from the relegation danger zone in National League Two South when they lost 24-19 at Clifton.

As Clifton were and remain one of six teams below Barum in the table, it was a real chance to open up a gap.

Although Barum did salvage a losing bonus point in the second half thanks to three tries, they remain 11 points clear of the drop spots

Some consolation for Barum was that Wimbledon and Old Redcliffians below them both lost too.

Clifton went into half time 12-0 up. Following a yellow card for Barum prop Danny Southworth, now back after a secondment to Exeter Braves, Clifton increased their lead to 17-0 within 10 minutes of the second half.

Barnstaple’s fight back was inspired by Jarrard Hayler who scored at the end of the third quarter.

A second try for Hayler, converted by Gwyn Parkes,made it a five-point game until it was matched by a try in reply for Clifton.

In the dying minutes Barum wing Will Topps went over and Parks converted to earn the losing bonus point.

Barnstaple welcome fifth-placed Henley to Pottington this Saturday.