Report by Steve Wake on match played 2nd October 2010
Barkers Butts – 25 Berkswell & Balsall – 10
Midlands 2 West (South)
An effective, committed defence and an opportunistic eye for try-scoring by the visitors, coupled with profligate wastage of late, clear-cut, chances from the home side ensured this was a close game. Barkers were just five points ahead with the game well into the final quarter; but two tries in the last twelve minutes ensured Butts’ victory. Berkswell captain Joe Cart scored both his side’s tries – one a 40 meter sprint following a smart interception – but Barkers deserved the victory as their three-quarters eventually saw them home.
Vice President’s Day at Barkers saw a larger than normal crowd in attendance, to see if Barkers could gain revenge for Berkswell’s ‘double’ victory of last season. Barkers certainly started strongly; several moves along their backs saw them go close, but Berkswell’s young three-quarter line held firm to stem Barker’s flow. Some of the tackling was last ditch and twice the home left-wing was bundled into touch just a yard from the try-line.
Eventually the early home pressure relented and Berkswell started to create their own chances. Matt Comfort went close with an excellent chip and chase down the left, but was pulled up for an unclear handling misdemeanour. With 23 minutes gone Berkswell took the lead; exerting formidable pressure on the Barkers scrum on the home put-in, the visitors drove the Barkers eight backwards causing panic behind the scrum. As Barkers tried to pick-up and short pass the ball, Berkswell’s Joe Cart intercepted and set off on a 40 meter sprint for the line. He just about outpaced the cover to dot-down near the posts. The straightforward conversion was missed.
The home side struggled to attain their earlier dominance, but did manage an equalizing score minutes before half-time, as their left-wing took advantage of an overlap to cross the line wide-out. With the conversion kick going well wide, the scores were locked 5-5 at the turnaround.
An early second-half penalty saw Barkers edge ahead by three points, but the game was still evenly matched. Pressure from the home side saw a good chance thwarted as Berkswell managed to hold the ball up over the try-line. However the resulting scrum saw Butts set-up a powerful drive and they worked their Fly-half over the try-line, picking himself up to convert his own try. Back came Berkswell and on 63 minutes they scored their, and Cart’s, second try; a move in the centre of the pitch appeared to have broken-down, but the ball was recycled and quick hands saw a gap created in the Barkers cover, which back-row forward Cart exploited to the full. Another wayward conversion meant the home side were still five points clear as the game entered its final 15 minutes.
Barkers were starting to make breaks through the visitor’s cover as their three-quarters showed pace and good handling skills. However the final pass was too often misplaced and several clear-cut chances went to waste, until a final flourish saw them score two late unconverted tries.
Scoring Summary :- Tries Joe Cart (2)
Bedworth – Home
Midlands West (South) 2
Saturday 9th October – 3:00 p.m.