Barnes RFC 25 – 26 Dorking RFC
By Kevin Beal
Last minute try seals a fine comeback by the Red & Whites at Barn Elms
Matches between Barnes and Dorking have over the years been both close and one sided affairs, so the phalanx of Red & White supporters who braved both Mayor Khan’s Low Emission and 20mph zones were unsure of what to expect. The only bellweather to the potential result being both sides had recently defeated Worthing, but by similar points differences, and thus a close game might well be in the offing.
Barnes kicked off into the wind and from the outset their talented back line had Dorking metaphorically on the rack with O’Dell, Souter and Lewin all crossing the whitewash in the first 20 minutes leaving both the Dorking Team and their spectators reeling somewhat, with the spectre of the drubbing administered last time the two met rearing its head. Thankfully the Barnes kickers seemed to have left their boots at home and none were converted, leaving the score at only 15-0. To further compound the Dorking misery, scrum half Jackson limped form the field shortly after the second try forcing personnel changes as wing Mikey Mcdonald moved to replace him, with debutant Austin Emens taking his place on the wing.
Whatever Captain Dalton said to the troops under the posts as they awaited the third conversion seemed to work and from the re start debutant Emens collected the ball and set of up field evading the defending tackles setting up a promising attack from which hooker James Catton eventually scored. With Henry Anscombe slotting the conversion the score line looked a slightly more palatable 15-7.
But not for long as the Barnes winger O’Dell was in at the corner for his second, and Barnes’ 4th following another period of sustained pressure and slick passing from the Barnes back 5 who were gaining in confidence as the minutes ticked by. With the conversion again missed, it was 20-7 and despite the Red & Whites pressuring the Barnes defence and a yellow card for a deliberate knock on, that’s how the score remained as the half time oranges were called for.
Dorking started the second half with a bang. Jonny Ellis, returning from a hamstring injury sustained pre season collected the ball following a backline break by Cam Pimlow and Toby McRae, and made 60 metres before chipping through for Fraser Mosely to chase. With the Barnes 15 shepherding the ball into touch Dorking had an attacking line out on the 5m line. A catch and drive, and Jonny Ellis was on hand to ground the ball for Dorking’s second try, again converted. 20-14.
Another sustained period of pressure from the Barnes backs had the Dorking defence on high alert, but an uncharacteristically lapse pass was pounced on by wing Toby McRae who took play back into the Barnes half. It was Dorking’s turn to apply pressure and a 20m break by lock Scholes drew the defence inside leaving debutant wing Emens unmarked on the outside. Soft hands by Scholes put him clear for his first Dorking try, and with the conversion successful, Dorking found themselves in the lead with some 20 minutes to go.
The intensity of the game moved up a notch as Barnes sought to regain the lead and Dorking sought to hold on to it. Injuries to lock Steve Howorth and full back Cam Pimlow meant further reshuffling within the Dorking ranks as Tommy Powell and Daragh Chambers joined the game.
O’Dell crossed the try line for his third out wide, only for Sir to call him back for a forward pass. From the resulting scrum, Dorking cleared their lines, but Barnes were adjudged offside and Dorking were awarded a penalty. Tired limbs meant that touch was missed, and from the counter attack Barnes forced a line out on the Dorking 22. A catch & drive and a deft chip through by scrum half Davies was pounced on by fullback Roberts for Barnes’ 5th try of the afternoon with some 10 minutes of the match remaining, 9 of which were spent in the Dorking half as Barnes tried to close out the game.
Monumental Dorking defence kept them out, until a rolling maul collapsed over the line. Was that the end? Sir decided that the ball was held up and Dorking breathed a sigh of relief, cleared their lines and took play back into the Barnes half. A couple of promising Dorking attacks were snuffed out by stout defence until the final move when captain Fred Dalton made 30m up the pitch beating 5 defenders and Finn Osborne then being shunted over the line by his pack for the winning score. 25-26, with time only for Henry Anscombe to notch up his first miss of the afternoon. And with that, Sir blew for the end of the match.
Barnes 25 – 26 Dorking.
The game will be available on the NLR Review Show from Monday: https://bit.ly/NLRYouTubeChannel
POST GAME INTERVIEWS https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb1rpv-GeICBOK9GjvJ-REQ
DoR Armand Roux Commented:
“It was bit of a rollercoaster afternoon after a poor start, but in true Dorking fashion we clung on and got ourselves back into the game and eventually got the win.
Barnes was exceptional in the first 25mins, and we struggled to keep them at bay. We also missed a few opportunities before half time with some individual errors.
I thought we were exceptional for most of the 2nd Half as we really started playing some good rugby by keeping the ball alive and getting on the front foot at the collisions. Our defensive efforts also started to get better and apply more pressure on Barnes. A good 30mins of rugby played.
I am again tremendously proud of the squad and in particular our second half performance. Guts and determination was exceptional to come back from 20-7 down and winning 25-26 away from home.
That win will stay in our memory for a while to come and sending out a massive thank you for the travelling Dorking Supporters who made the day that much more special for the players”
Team: Henry Birch, James Catton, Max Sheldrake, Steve Howorth, Will Scholes, Tyler Norwood, Fred Dalton ©, Finn Osborne, George Jackson, Henry Anscombe, Toby McRae, Ryan Jeffery, Fraser Mosley, Mikey McDonald, Cam Pimlow, Tom Powell, Jonny Ellis, Daragh Chambers, Austin Emens, Henry Smith. Travelling Reserve: Callum Watson, Tom Hunt