Photo and gallery courtesy of Steve & Mr. Biggs
Snowdown Colliery RFC II XV: 0
Ashford Barbarians: 68
Tries: B.King 3, T.Bartlett 2, A.Morris 2, L.Pilkiewicz 2. F.Campion Con: J.Potter 9
The Baa-Baas return to form in 10 try thriller
Ashford Barbarians travelled away to play unknown quantity Snowdown Colliery. With their previous encounter cancelled this was the first time the two teams had ever met.
The Baa-Baas pack made an early statement of their intent by winning the first of many scrums against the head. Snowdown’s Forwards were driven clean off their own put in and into another postcode after an impressive display of scrum dominance.
With the return of Fly-(boy)half Tom Bartlett the Barbarians looked more threatening in attack. Mazy runs through Snowdon’s defensive line from Flanker Logan and Bartlett took the Barbarians deep into the opposition’s 22; the Fly-half stopped just short of the goal line. A succession of quick offloads saw Captain Ben King burst over the line for the first score of the game.
The opposition pack found themselves driven clean off their own put in and into another postcode…
King added a second try to his tally after a pick and go from the back of the scrum. Two huge hand-offs brushed aside the would-be tacklers as the Number 8 crashed over the whitewash for his brace.
Clearly in the ascendancy the Baa-Baas seemed impossible to stop. From a set piece 15 metres out Centre Leon Pilkiewicz’s infamous sidestep run wrong footed the opposition’s defence for the first of his two tries.
It didn’t all go the visitors’ way as the home side almost denied the Barbarians their clean sheet. Seizing upon a loose pass the Snowdown Centre looked clean through. The Baa-Baas Winger and Full-back managing to do just enough to knock the attacker off-balance. Unable to maintain his feet the Centre was caught by a retreating defence.
Replacements: Andrew Morris on at Centre for Winger Marc Turley, Nic Turley moved to the Wing
The first half wasn’t without humour as Paul Wright looked a certainty for his first try of the season. Preventing a clearance kick from making touch the Winger gunned for the line, but 5 metres out Wright seemed to be caught in two minds and somehow juggled the ball forward for the knock-on.
Carrying over the momentum from the first half the Barbarians score line continued to mount. A quickly taken penalty saw Captain King draw in multiple defenders and returning the favour the Number 8 offloaded to Fly-half Bartlett who marked his return, crashing over the whitewash with a Samoan tackler in tow.
Replacements: Ken Doggett on for Steve Biggs at Full Back, Dave Ian on for Matthew Ball at Hooker and Frazer Campion on for Nic Turley at Wing.
The success in the Barbarians back line continued after an offload from Bartlett 5 metres out put Centre Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris through for his first try of the match.
Morris soon added another; running in support to the forwards, received a pass on the halfway line. Turning on the gas the Centre produced a lung bursting run worthy of a teenager, out stripping the opposition back line and dotting down for his brace
Catching a shallow defence off-guard Bartlett’s cross-field kick found left wing Frazer Campion. Taking the ball on the bounce the Winger ran in for what could potentially be the try of the season.
The cascade of scores continued as Pilkiewicz capitalised on an unforced error; swooping in on a dropped ball from Snowdown. The Baa-Baas Centre reignited some long lost magic in a demonstration of quick feet and pace for his second try of the match.
Putting the conditions to good use Bartlett went to the boot using the wind to his advantage. Catching a shallow defence off-guard the cross-field kick found left wing Frazer Campion. Taking the ball on the bounce the Winger ran in for what could potentially be the try of the season.
Flush with confidence a break and quick recycling from deep in the Barbarians half took the visiting side within striking distance of the opposition’s goal line. Prop Stuart Wittwer denied from 1 metre out; a pick and go from the breakdown saw the Captain driven over with the assistance of Second Row Andy May for his hat-trick – and the obligatory purchase of a beer jug.
The game was rounded off with a 10th try after a quickly taken penalty by stand-in Scrum-half Jason Potter was shipped out wide. A dummied pass from Bartlett opened up a gap allowing the Fly-half through, side-stepping a mismatched Prop covering as Full-back on his way to the line.
…a pick and go from the breakdown saw the Captain driven over with the assistance of Second Row Andy May for his hat-trick – and the obligatory purchase of a beer jug.
Composure and accuracy at the kicking tee saw Potter successively slot over 9 of the 10 conversions to take his season total to 107 points and to wrap the game up 0-68.
Overall the Baa-Baas came away content; not just with the score line but with the improvements that were on display in the scrum and open play support.
Man of the Match: Ben King
Ashford Barbarians: B.Gauntlett, M.Ball, S.Wittwer, A.May, W.Cleave, Logan, C.Rabjohns, B.King(c), J.Potter, T.Bartlett, P.Wright, N.Turley, Leon Pilkiewicz, M.Turley, S.Biggs.
Replacements: F.Campion, K.Doggett, D.Ian, A.Morris.
Sin Bin: n/a