Channel Islanders edge past Barnstaple

The 2021-22 rugby season is underway

The 2021-22 rugby season is underway - Credit: Archant

Barnstaple slipped to a 27-17 home defeat against Guernsey in National Two South. 

The Channel Islanders arrived at Pottington as a classic ‘unknown quantity’ as the two sides have never been in the same division before. 

Barum soon found out what Guernsey were all about and how hard it would be to defeat them. 

“We played well but they were a little bit better in a lot of areas,” said Jeremy Chugg, Barnstaple’s director of rugby. 

“Our team is largely 19, 20 and 21 year olds; theirs is in the 25-35 age bracket and a lot more streetwise. 

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“They were able to adapt their game plan as the match went on and if we started to get on top somewhere – scrums or line-outs – they would have a way to stop us. 

“To come back from 20-3 down proves how well we played. My disappointment was we did not get anything out of the game as we deserved at least a bonus point and maybe two.” 

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The first half was largely back-and-forth stuff with Barum 6-3 down at the break. Jake Murphy kicked a penalty goal for the home side. 

Guernsey scored the first try of the game straight after the break, and converted it, to go 13-3 up. Another converted try made it 20-3 in the Channel Islanders’ favour 

Barum hit back with a Flyn Elworthy try, his fourth of the season, and Murphy added the extras. The next score was going to be critical and it went to Guernsey to put them 27-10 up. 

Barnstaple then put pressure back on Guernsey, which led to man of the match Martinas Dromantas dragging a couple of defenders with him to touch down a second try and fuel hopes of earning a losing bonus point. 

Time ran out before Barnstaple could conjure up the score then needed for a consolation point. 

Barum are away to Bury St Edmunds this Saturday, which means a Friday afternoon departure to a town so far away it has an Ipswich postcode. 

“As a club we are lucky to have generous sponsors to help with the financial burden of long trips like this one – and we have another five or six like it,” said Chugg. 

Barnstaple Athletic were pipped by a point at Ivybridge, who won a Devon Merit Table tussle 25-24. Connor Swain (2), Ben Jago and Euen Kent were the try scorers. Tyler Gordon kicked two conversions. 

The Athletic are at home to Devonport Services in the Merit Table this Saturday (2.30pm). 

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