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Last Minute Try Hands Worthing Victory

A hard-fought and physical battle in tough conditions ended in a 7-10 defeat for Barns Green in their first home loss of the season to league leaders.

George Smith carried the ball well all game

Full Time: Barns Green: (0) 7 Worthing: (0) 10

Tries: Cooper Cons: Hoyte

The battle between Barns Green and Worthing has always been a physical one and this was no different. In the past season, it was Barns Green who was often seen as the favourites but with Worthing leading the table and Barns Green still trying to find consistent form it could have been anyone's game.

From the off, the momentum was with Worthing. Much of the first half saw Worthing put immense pressure on Barns Green's defence which held firm. The weather conditions did not suit Barnes Greens' fast pace of play which lead to a number of handling errors and early scrum opportunities for Worthing to assert their dominance. Wave after wave of attack was repelled by the green wall with last-ditch tackles and counter-ruck measures getting them out of trouble on a number of occasions.

The defence on both teams remained strong throughout

With the half drawing to a close and the scores still 0 - 0 Worthing opted to try for 3 points after unsuccessfully breaking the Barns Green defence, however, the kick was pulled left and the 1st half ended 0-0. With the pressure that Barns Green soaked up, they felt as if the momentum could swing their way but they would have to clean up the errors if they were to get a foothold.

Barns Green certainly started to grab the game back into their control at the start of the second half. After spending the best part of the first half defending they began to get down the field and put together some attacking phases. Handling errors from both teams kept the game in limbo until a loose ball from a Worthing scrum fell into the hands of Nick Cooper who put a well-timed grubber behind the lines. The bouncing ball was recovered by the eventual man of the match Noah Middleton who placed the ball back allowing Cooper to pick up from the base and dive over the line for a try. Matthew Hoyte kicked over the extras giving Barns Green a well-deserved lead midway through the second half.

Cooper scores to give Barns Green the lead

Worthing responds with field position and mounting pressure

The dominance showed early in the second half by Barns Green started to slip away thanks to handling errors and penalties. Worthing kicked themselves back up the field and you could sense the momentum shifting. After several attempts, Worthing managed to cross the line on the wing but failed to kick the conversion which left them trailing by 2 points as we entered the final 15 minutes.

Barns Green tried to get control of the game again however continuous infringements at the breakdown handed territory back to Worthing which they took full advantage of. As the clock ticked down a penalty kick to the corner set up the platform they needed to take the lead. Some well-drilled and controlled snaps at the ruck edged Worthing towards the BG line. Some heroic defending wasn't enough and Worthing managed to cross the line out wide again after finding a mismatch.

3 minutes to go and one last chance for Barns Green to wrestle back the lead. The kickoff resulted in a knock-on, which meant it was Barns Greens' turn to pile on the pressure. Crash ball after crash ball failed to break the Worthing lines and with fatigue setting in, Worthing won one last penalty at the breakdown as Barns Green found themselves isolated.

Kicking the ball out to win the game you could tell how much this meant to Worthing who had failed on three previous occasions to get the win against Barns Green.

Despite the loss, there is still a lot for Barns Green to take forward. Worthing, who have been putting teams away by 40 and 50 points, had to really fight for their victory and they could very easily have lost the contest. That is a testament to Barns Green's defensive abilities and surely a positive take-home from the day.

A new team still finding their feet showed glimmers of what they are capable of. They're maybe not where they hoped they'd be in the table with one game left before the halfway point, but with injuries plaguing the early part of the season they have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season.

Barns Green take to the skies as they play Jersey Royals next on Saturday 3rd December.

Man of the Match

Noah Middleton

Team Sheet:

1. James Dickson (c)

2. Patrick Pritchard

3. Joe Spencer-Smith

4. George Smith

5. Tom Smith

6. Carl Brewster

7. Will Staples (Conor Pascoe)

8. Ryan Watkinson

9. George Wilson (vc) (Laurence Robinson)

10. Matthew Hoyte

11. Rory Yeates

12. Nick Cooper

13. Noah Middleton

14. Josiah Lee

15. Jarod Van Blerk

16. Nick Lewis

17. Conor Pascoe

18. Laurence Robinson

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