Pictures: Peek leads charge as Barum march on

Inside centre Ryan Carter makes the running. Picture: Bob Collins

Inside centre Ryan Carter makes the running. Picture: Bob Collins - Credit: Archant

Barnstaple aren’t planning for promotion yet even though they are striding on at the top of National Three South West.

It’s six wins on the spin now for Barum, who beat Cleve 27-6 to stay five points clear of Lydney at the top of the table.

If Barum stay where they are then it’s National Two rugby for them next season.

Kevin Squire, Barnstaple’s chairman of rugby, said with 10 games to go and only six points across the top three it is a bit soon to be thinking about next season.

“We are aware there are one or two changes that might have to be made, but we haven’t started talking specifics,” said Squire.

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“It is way too early yet to be thinking that far ahead as a lot can change in the next 10 matches.”

Barnstaple got off to a dream start against Cleve with Will Topps scoring a try under Cleve’s posts in the first minute of the game.

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Barum went on to win by a comfortable margin, but the game was far from easy.

“No one watching would have thought we were going to lose, but it soon turned into a bit of an arm wrestle,” said Squire.

“There was a bit of niggle in the match and after one fracas between the packs their captain was sent off and both sides had a player yellow carded.”

Squire picked out flanker Mike Peek as his man of the match, which wasn’t surprising as he scored the all-important bonus point try and had a hand in another for Toby Williamson.

Barum started brilliantly with a try up the right in the first minute for Willamson. Jordan Petherbridge converted.

Midway through the half, flanker Mike Peek started the move that finished with Topps jogging in for a try. Petherbridge kicked that conversion as well.

Cleve got on the board before the break with two penalties from Mitch Burton.

Burton looked like adding a third shortly after the restart, but his kick hit the woodwork.

Barum swept upfield on the counter attack for Luke Berry to claim an opportunist try.

Trouble flared on 54 minutes when a player from each side was yellow carded following a scuffle and Cleve’s Brad Horman was sent off for throwing a punch while the referee was lecturing the miscreants. Petherbridge landed the penalty.

Seven minutes from time the impressive Peek got his reward for a game well played with a push-over try.

Barnstaple are away to upwardly mobile Dings Crusaders this Saturday. The Bristol side have won three in a row to move out of immediate relegation danger.

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