BARNSTAPLE’S losing streak in the league continued with a 23-3 defeat at the hands of second-placed Old Patesians.

Losing prop Brad Slade and scrum-half Neilson Webber to first-half injuries was a blow they could have done without.

Club chairman Martin Mogford said neither injury had a material effect on the outcome as it was clear which way the game was going.

“Going forward they had a bit more pace and direction - and in defence they were strong and aggressive,” said Mogford. “We had a couple of chances, but the result was a fair reflection of the game.”

It was scoreless for 28 minutes. Then Pats took the lead with a try from Henry Bird on the wing. Five minutes before the break Cheltenham handled well for Martin Dean to go in.

Barum pulled three points back when Grant Tuhakariana put over a penalty, but it was all Pats after that, with wingman Adam Seager scoring twice in the corner and No.8 Ben Salt bagging a push-over try on 65 minutes.

Defeat allowed fellow strugglers Redingensians and Oxford Harlequins to get ahead of Barum.

As Barnstaple’s next two games are against Quins (away) then Redingensians (home), the season is about to get interesting at Pottington Road.