Image illustrates Saturday’s conditions (photo not from ABRFC game)
Maidstone Barbarians 0-15 Ashford Barbarians
Maidstone IV XV (0) 0
Ashford Barbarians (8) 15
Tries: King, May Pen: Potter Con: Potter
The Baa-Baas travelled away to play fellow Barbarian side Maidstone IV in the Dragon Fire 4 East League and found fortune early on with Fly-half Jason Potter slotting over a penalty in front of the posts.
Stodgy pitch conditions were to play havoc with both sides handling skills and intelligent kicking from the Fly-half earned a scrum in Maidstone’s 22. Scrum-half Sam Dale linked up with Potter down the short side who almost added to his tally. Reaching the corner the Fly-half thought he had successfully scored, however the referee’s sight line had been obscured so was unable to award the try.
…the infamous wrecking ball dome of Nic Turley racked up another victim — fortunately this time it wasn’t a player from his own team.
The resulting 5 metre scrum provided the platform for the game’s first try. The ball moved quickly through the hands to Skipper Ben King who cut back inside towards the opposition pack. A wrong footed defence were unable to stop the Centre as he crashed through to score in the same corner.
The game came to a brief halt after the infamous wrecking ball dome of Nic Turley racked up another victim – fortunately this time it wasn’t a player from his own team. The winger retrieving a deep territorial kick ran directly into the oncoming chaser. The impact sent the opposing tacklers mouthguard flying and the exposed teeth opened a gash so deep you could almost see Turley’s grey matter.
Blood replacement: Mike Mason on for Nic Turley. The Maidstone player was unable to continue due to serious dental damage.
Yellow Card shown to Maidstone.
From the restart the Baa-Baas looked to exploit the man advantage, but with the worsening conditions the backline struggled to generate any opportunities.
Replacements: Stephen Blackman on for Harry Bull, Mike Mason on for Jason Drewett.
Back to a full complement of players Maidstone began to apply pressure of their own and the Barbarians found themselves on the end of two successive penalties close to their goal line.
Replacement Prop Stephen Blackman made an immediate impact holding up and ripping the ball from a potential score. The second penalty produced another impressive defensive performance from the Baa-Baas forwards determined to prevent Maidstone from crossing the whitewash.
After absorbing Maidstone’s onslaught the Barbarians clawed their way back into opposition territory. Awarded with a penalty just outside the 22 the Scrum-half opted to take it quickly, looking to hit Flanker Andy May on the crash ball. May’s surprising pace caught Maidstone off-guard and a cheeky dummy revealed a clear path to the line. The Flanker pinned back his ears back and opened the throttle dotting down beneath the posts to give Potter a simple conversion.
We were witness to several displays of powerful running; Ben King provided us with a hand off master class and Aran ‘Salad’ Sage earning 10s from the judges after his triple smash & spin.
Replacements: Tim Cross on for Matthew Ball at Hooker.
A solid succession of phases from the pack put the Baa-Baas back in range of Maidstone’s goal line. The potential for a final score looked more likely after another penalty in the red zone saw a second Maidstone player leave the field. With the final play of the game the Barbarians forwards continued their push for the line, however a turnover at the breakdown gave the opposition the opportunity to clear. Preventing the clearing kick from making touch the Barbarians backs made one last attempt for the try, but a pass deemed forward concluded the game.
Man of the Match: Dan Calnan
Ashford Barbarians: A.Sage, M.Ball, H.Bull, J.Drewett, W.Cleave, A.May, C.Rabjohns, D.Calnan, S.Dale, J.Potter, N.Turley, B.King(c), M.Turley, P.Wright, K.Doggett.
Replacements: Stephen Blackman, Tim Cross, M.Mason
Sin Bin: Maidstone x2
Coaching staff: Tim Cross