Single point separates local rivals in Boxing Day bonanza

Bideford Captain Alex Priest tries in vain to stop Barnstaple's try scorer

Bideford Captain Alex Priest tries in vain to stop Barnstaple's try scorer - Credit: Kevin Crowl

Barnstaple scraped home by a single point in the Boxing Day derby at Bideford. 

A full-house of more than 1,400 spectators crammed into the King George V ground to watch one of the remaining games that take place on Boxing Day between neighbouring clubs. 

Bradley Goaman, the Bideford team manager, said there were chances to win the game which were not taken 

“After we went 6-0 up in the first half – two Reece Pearn penalties for us – Barnstaple got back to 7-6 up at half time,” said Goaman. 

“We felt the game was there to be won, even though Barnstaple are four divisions higher than we are, and threw everything we had at them in the second half. 

“Getting past the Barnstaple defence was tough as they gave absolutely nothing away. It did not help that Rob Elliott, one of our best ball carriers, was not able to play, or that we lost Alex Priest to a harsh yellow card. 

“Reece Pearn had two kickable penalties in the second half, both of which he missed. 

Most Read

“When we had a third late in the game, we probably should have taken it, but we went for the penalty line-out in the corner and could not work it over.” 

“We matched them in most areas and came off at the end disappointed we did not win.” 

For Barnstaple the game was a chance to have a look at the next generation of players currently knocking on the door of the 1st XV dressing room. 

Barnstaple followers will have recognised the names, if not the faces, of some of the young bloods as they are following in their father’s stud marks. 

Barum’s try was scored by Tom Swales, son of ex-player Andy Swales. Tom’s brother Ross was also in the match-day squad. 

The conversion was knocked over by Tyler Gordon, the son of former Barnstaple captain and prop Phil Gordon, who made a brief appearance at prop for 10 minutes at the end of the second half. 

The only down side for Barnstaple was losing flanker Josh Davie to injury. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and finished the afternoon in hospital. 

Barnstaple get the ball to the back of the scrum inside the Bideford half

Barnstaple get the ball to the back of the scrum inside the Bideford half - Credit: Kevin Crowl

Bideford Scrum Half Jordan Taylor looks to launch another attacking phase

Bideford Scrum Half Jordan Taylor looks to launch another attacking phase - Credit: Kevin Crowl


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter