Barnstaple overcame a shaky start to beat Dings Crusaders 28-13 and stay top of the National Three South West table.

Barum missed the holidaying Mark Berry at prop and took a while to sort themselves out up front.

An early reshuffle saw Kevin Angel brought off the bench to shore up the scrum – and with a platform created Barum turned things round.

Skipper Winston James claimed the first and last of Barum’s four tries, one in a maul and one from 
a line-out.

In between, play-maker Steve Perry crosskicked for Linford Brock to run the ball in under the bar. Luke Berry converted for 14-3 at the break.

Five minutes into the second half Barum extended their lead when scrum-half James Bath deceived the Dings’ defence with his sleight of hand and sprinted under the posts for Berry to make it 21-3.

Barum could have scored again, but Berry fumbled the ball over the line.

Barnstaple have won five out of six so far and top the table by two points from Brixham.

It’s a good position to be in, but not good enough for James to start talking about promotion.

“Ask me when there are four or five games to go as it is not something I am going to talk about now,” he said.

“We have a tough run of games coming up – Bournemouth, Old Reds and Hornets – and losing any of them could change the situation very quickly.”