Awards Night


Team Selection

1. Ben Gauntlett
2. Matthew Ball
3. Aran ‘Salad’ Sage
4. Andy May
5. Andrew West
6. William Welsh
7. Chris Rabjohns
8. Benjamin King
9. Sam Dale
10. Dave Ward
11. Johann Delport
12. Danny Bushell
13. Logan Chandler
14. Marc Turley
15. Steve Biggs
16. Stephen Blackman
17. Vic Horne
18. Tim Cross

Early lead over Whitstable slips away

wrfc_vs_abrfc_WS_heroPhoto and gallery courtesy of Jan Rogers


Whitstable RFC II XV: 42
Tries:  ?  Con: ?

Ashford Barbarians: 31
Tries:  Boston, Morris (2), Cleave, Chandler   Con: A.Morris (3)

The final game of the season closed out to an odd series of events. Struggling to get numbers due to injuries and absentees the Barbarians arrived to a locked Whitstable clubhouse. 30 minutes before kick off the hosts finally gained access and the Baa-Baas looked to quickly change and warm-up. Unfortunately the kit was kicking back and relaxing at the Captain’s lodgings – fortuitously the home side had an away kit (that perfectly fit the slimmer Barbarians) they generously made available.

Running out in a mixture of kits and a cobbled together backline the outlook didn’t look too promising. But concerns were put to rest after 2nd Row Wayne Cleave ripped the ball from an early maul. Linking up with the backs Cleave moved the ball out wide to débutante Centre James Boston. Boston with an injection of pace found an opening and crossed the whitewash to get the Barbarians off the mark. Stand-in Fly-half Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris stepped up to bag the full 7 points.

Elation was short lived as Whitstable responded with a try of their own. The following conversion fell short and the Baa-Baas maintained the lead by a slim 2 point margin.

The Barbarians subsequently put on a Master Class in support play for the remainder of the first half. Powerful runs from forward pack had the opposition constantly on the back foot. Morris running in support was the first to profit after using his Hulk like physique to puncture the opposition backline and dot down beneath the posts, followed by a successful conversion.

“Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris was a combination of Welsh 10 Dan Biggar and French 13 Bastareaud” – Chris Weatherley

Fortune was also found in the forwards after Captain Ben King and his pneumatic fend took him deep into Whitstable territory. Flanker Logan Chandler maintained the momentum after receiving the off-load, tackled Chandler finally popped the ball up to Cleave who brushed off the last defender with an impressive leg drive. Morris again slotted the additional points.

Chandler again punctured the opposition gain line with another penetrating run; an exchange of passes with Full-Back Paul Wright saw the Flanker back in possession of the ball and clear path to the line.

“…the first half was great, the support play was something out of the ‘Sevens World Series’ it was fluid and most of the time support was on both sides which is indefenceable. Our rucks were good and the ball was quick. There were several line breaks and the unity was impressive. Unfortunately the half time whistle went and the second half was completely the reverse…I also had to wear a rather tight No.6 shirt because the captain Benjamin King forgot the shirts.” – Ben Gauntlett

The second half was the mirror image of the first and the Barbarians healthy first half lead began to erode as Whitstable capitalised on an escalating penalty count. Pinning the Baa-Baas back on the 5 metre line the home side punished the visitors with an effective driving maul from the lineout. Unable to deal with the efficiency of the Whitstable maul the Barbarians conceded multiple tries.

The flow of opposition scores was briefly stemmed after another fantastic demonstration of Baa-Baas support play; Morris again the beneficiary after bursting through for his brace.

The shift in momentum continued and the home side moved comfortably into the ascendancy. The Barbarians powerless to stop the additional scores watched a potential victory turn to bitter defeat.

Honourable mentions: We also welcomed two new Baa-Baas James Boston and Calum Wratten.

Ashford Barbarians: B.Gauntlett, M.Ball, A.Sage, J.Drewett, W.Cleave, C.Weatherley, L.Chandler, B.King(c), S.Dale, A.Morris, J.Delport, N.Turley, J.Boston, D.Ian, P.Wright.

Replacements: S.Blackman, C.Wratten.
Sin Bin:

Charity Match

Team Selection

1. Ben Gauntlett
2. Dave Ian
3. Aran ‘Salad’ Sage
4. Joe Adams (c)
5. Matt Adams
6. Chris Weatherley
7. Chris Rabjohns
8. Logan Chandler
9. Sam Dale
10. Leigh Roberts
11. Ken Doggett
12. Nic Turley
13. Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris
14. Paul Wright
15. Steve Biggs
16. Matthew Ball
17. Steve Blackman
18. Tom Burden
19. Adam Bushell
20. Danny Bushell
21. Jake Cotton
22. Wayne Cleave
23. Ben King
24. Marc Turley
25. Will Welsh
26. Tony Finch (guest appearance – kick offs)

Ashford RFC III Away

Photo courtesy of Neil Adams. Gallery courtesy of Wendy Cleave & Stephen Campion


Ashford RFC III XV (Mighty Thirds): 22
Tries:  M.Stone, P.Wickens, D.Mills, D.Kellett  Con: J.Mann

Ashford Barbarians: 19
Tries:  A.Morris, S.Dale, B.King  Con: J.Potter, A.Morris

Ashford Rugby Derby | Trevor Adams Memorial Shield

Both sides ran out to a fantastic show of support for the second Ashford Rugby Derby of the season.

Back in December Ashford’s Mighty Thirds successfully retained the Trevor Adams Memorial Shield with a 27-17 victory.

As with all Derbies the match started off with intensity and ferocity as both teams looked to stamp their authority on the field. An early penalty in front of the posts gave the Baa-Baas their first opportunity for points. Opting for the corner instead the visiting side looked to assert themselves in the set piece – but contest at the line-out denied them the early score.

The Barbarians soon found fortune after Ashford were penalised in their own half. A quickly taken tap penalty that looked to be heading to the forwards was whipped out wide to the back line. Inside Centre Dave Ward executed a textbook ‘draw & pass’ to his fellow Centre Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris. Morris silenced the vocal home crowd after beating his opposite number for pace and dotting down for the opening try. Fly-half Jason Potter rounded out the full 7 points with a touch line conversion.

 “Crowd favourite, and the people’s man of the match”– Andrew Morris
modestly referring to himself.

Momentum in the match soon shifted as Ashford pressed hard up the field. Holding the defensive line with solid tackling the Barbarians were unable to cause any disruption in the opposition’s phase play. Defending at the 5 metre line the defensive wall finally buckled as Forward Mickey Stone crashed over. The following conversion sailed wide and the Barbarians maintained a narrow 2 point lead.

Solid performances at the set piece and a succession of impressive breaks by Number 8 and Captain Ben King yielded territorial gains. But the Baa-Baas met a resilient opposition defence determined to deny them entry into their 22.

Replacements: Chris Weatherley on for Andy May at Flanker

“Christopher Rabjohns should get a shout out after making 3 tackles in as many seconds.” – Guy Booker

As the match See-Sawed again the Barbarians defensive skills and fitness were put to the test again. Another wave of pressure from the home side had the Baa-Baas exhaustively repelling each phase of attack metres from their goal line. Their fortitude finally rewarded after disrupting at the break down to bring a close to the first half.

Second Half

Replacements: Frazer Campion on at Wing for Dave Ward, Nic Turley moved to Centre, Guy Booker on for Joe Adams at Second Row, Leigh Roberts on for Jason Potter at Fly-half.

After weathering the opposition’s first half assault the Barbarians started the second half with a 2 point lead. From the restart the Baa-Baas upped the tempo hoping to extend the narrow margin, continued pressure and solid phase play positioned the visiting side within striking distance. Against the run of play the Baa-Baas were stripped in the tackle by Full Back Kevin Gayson. Out of position the back line struggled to reorganise as they faced an Ashford counter-attack. Unable to close down opposition and former Barbarian Pete Wickens the defence chased the Centre all the way to the line in a 70 metre foot race. Jordan Mann slotted over a conversion in front of the posts to take the opposition 5 point ahead.

The Baa-Baas undeterred – and now with a home crowd in full voice – got back to the task of adding to their tally.

Full Back Rob Cottrell looked a certainty after breaking through, only to be denied by his opposite number. Cottrell finally made it over the goal line after capitalising on a ‘kick chase’. However the celebrations were cut short after play was called back for a lineout, replacement Fly-half Leigh Roberts deemed to have kicked to ball after it had gone into touch.

“Wayne Cleave should be dubbed ‘Lord of the line-out’ after that performance” – Andy May

Back on Ashford‘s 5 metre line the Barbarians almost broke even. A break down the short side by King drew in the opposition defence, the final ball out wide unfortunately not finding its mark.

Replacements: Johann Delport on for Chris Rabjohns at Flanker.

Attack then turned into defence as the roles were reversed and the Baa-Baas were now in the position of trying to clear their lines from a 5 metre scrum. After a consistent performance at the set piece, the Barbarians uncharacteristically lost the ball from the put in. Drawn in by a blind side break by Number 8 Dave Kellett the defensive line were unable to prevent the offload to Back Daryl Mills who went in for the score. The conversion going wide.

The pendulum swung again and the Baa-Baas pushed to get deep into the Ashford’s 22 again. The quick feet of Scrum-half Sam Dale took him around the fringes of the breakdown as he sniped through, diving over the whitewash to score against his old club. Roberts conversion unable to reduce to deficit as it sliced wide off the boot.

Replacements: Steve Blackman on for Aran ‘Salad’ Sage at Prop, Ken Doggett on for Rob Cottrell at Full Back.

Back within a single score the Barbarians’ were hit by, what would be the knockout blow. The opposition with a huge shove walked over a 5 metre scrum; Kellett scoring.

Unphased by the pressure Morris slotted the ball between the uprights to reduce the deficit to 3 points.

The 10 point lead was almost compounded as Ashford Captain Gayson stepped up to kick a penalty just outside the 22. Falling short Winger Frazer Campion gathered and returned. Rallied by the winger, the Baa-Baas went through a series of phases before a lung bursting run by Prop Stuart Wittwer was finally offloaded to Skipper King. A clever chip through picked up by Campion again went through a succession of offloads before making its way back to King. Powering through the last two defenders the Captain crashed over the line for the team try of the season.

Andrew Morris lined up the conversion in the absence of a resident kicker. Unphased by the pressure Morris slotted the ball between the uprights to reduce the deficit to 3 points.

The possibility of getting the result was eventually extinguished as the clock finally ran out – it what seemed like the longest half of the year.

Despite the loss, the work rate, commitment and ‘never give up attitude’ that was on display was best of the season.

We’d like to thank Ashford RFC for being such great hosts and allowing the Derby to be played on the 1st team pitch. The show of support for both clubs from the side lines and the balcony made it a fantastic event to be a part of.

Man of the Match: Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris & Ben King (nominated by ARFC III)
Opposition MOTM: Dave Kellett, & Ben Knight (nominated by ABRFC)

Ashford Barbarians: S.Wittwer, D.Ian, A.Sage, J.Adams, W.Cleave, A.May, C.Rabjohns, B.King(c), S.Dale, J.Potter, N.Turley, A.Morris, D.Ward P.Wright, R.Cottrell.

Replacements: G.Booker, S.Blackman, F.Campion, J.Delport, K.Doggett, L.Roberts, C.Weatherley.
Sin Bin:

10 try thriller at the Colliery

scrfc_vs_abrfc_heroPhoto 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.

Second half

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:

Stones stun Barbarians

frfc_abrfc_ruck_heroePhoto and gallery courtesy of Paul Wright


Folkestone RFC III XV: 7
Tries: J.Shorter  Con: A.Pritchard

Ashford Barbarians: 0

Barbarians stunned by Stones

The Barbarians journeyed away to face 10th place Folkestone hoping to solidify a place in the top three of the Dragon Fire 4 East League.

With the conditions bitterly cold and wet handling proved troublesome, with neither side really finding any rhythm.

After dominating the Stone’s in their previous encounter the home side appeared to be the more aggressive in offence and the Baa-Baas defensive line weathered a barrage of early attacks.

Unable to find any respite the Barbarians finally succumbed as Folkestone found some flow in the back line. A well-executed dummy run created the opening that allowed Centre Jack Shorter to cross the whitewash for the only try of the match. Fly-half Alex Pritchard easily converting.

As a tactic both teams intelligently used the conditions to their advantage, making comfortable territorial gains due to the strong swirling wind that was causing havoc for those tasked with taking the high ball.

“The Turley brothers made Barbarian history being the first brothers to appear on the wing together. Neither could catch” – M.Turley.

Second Row Joe Adams gave some hope for the Baa-Baas, his powerful running puncturing the Stone’s defence. But for the Baa-Baas opportunities seemed to go begging – the final ball always eluding the visitors.

Replacements: Steve Biggs on at Full-back for Chris Weatherley and Leon Pilkiewicz moved into the centres.

Second half

Replacements: Jason Drewett on for Joe Adams at Second Row, Guy Booker on for Dave Ian at Number 8.

As the home side maintained the attacking momentum the Baa-Baas found themselves defending in their own 22 for extended periods on time. However, valiant and exhaustive defence by the Barbarians managed to deny the Stones’ any reward from their goal line assault.

A resolute defence was almost embarrassed after a charged down clearance kick. Centre Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris was the quickest to react, beating the Folkestone winger in a foot race and grounding the ball first.

The Baa-Baas were close to profiting from a few key attacks; Morris’s incising run almost producing an equalising score. Folkestone quick to the breakdown and with numbers nullified the threat.

Andy May’s break drew in multiple defenders and Captain Ben King looked a certainty for the corner before a Sonny Bill-esque offload from Second Row was intercepted.

In a fortnights time the Barbarians travel away to take on Snowdown.

Man of the Match: Ben Gauntlett

Ashford Barbarians: B.King(c), M.Ball, B.Gauntlett, J.Adams, W.Cleave, A.May, C.Rabjohns, D.Ian, S.Dale, J.Potter, N.Turley, C.Weatherley, A.Morris, N.Turley, Leon Pilkiewicz.

Replacements: Steve Biggs, Guy Booker, Jason Drewett, Paul Wright (not used due to injury).
Sin Bin:

Canterbury maintain unbeaten run

abrfc_crfc_hero Photo courtesy of Jason Potter. Gallery courtesy of Jason Potter and James Hall.


Ashford Barbarians (5) 12
Tries: Sage, King  Con: Ward

Canterbury IV XV (28) 28
Tries: Waite, S.Jaynes, O.Jaynes  Con: Payne

Ashford Barbarians hosted league leaders Canterbury IV XV. With the opposition side all but winners of the Dragon Fire 4 East League the Baa-Baas were looking for a league upset.

An intense and focused pre-match warm up by Aran ‘Salad’ Sage looked to have fired up the home side from the off and the Baa-Baas carried over this intensity straight from the whistle. After an energetic first 10 minutes the visitors eventually broke the deadlock. Canterbury’s back line started to find their feet and with the slope to their advantage were the first to open the scoring. Moving the ball out wide Winger Waite found the space to outstrip his opposite number and go in for the score. Fly-half Payne converting.

Injury replacement: Chris Rabjohns off for Dan Calnan at Flanker.

Canterbury’s kick-off return caused all sorts of trouble as the ball was shipped out wide to the flanks, stretching the Baa-Baas defence. On the back foot the Barbarians weathered a constant barrage of attacking play targeted at the back line – finally buckling under the pressure. A well timed inside ball putting Centre S.Jaynes through for another unanswered try. Payne with the conversion.

The Baa-Baas were soon rewarded for their own attacking efforts. A quickly taken tap penalty in Canterbury’s 22 gave the Barbarians their first foothold in the game as Prop Aran ‘Salad’ Sage proved to be unstoppable from 10 metres out – bulldozing his way through six defenders to cross the line.

“…amazing feet, animalistic power and breath-taking pace that left a trail of devastated bodies” – Aran ‘Salad’ Sage

The absence of a kicking tee forced Fly-half Dave Ward to drop kick the conversion, only to be denied by the upright.

It didn’t take the opposition side long to re-affirm their lead and Canterbury’s back line once again used quick hands and pace to stretch the home side’s defence. Centre O.Jaynes exploiting the mis-match found the gap as the Baa-Baas forwards scrambled to reorganise the defensive line. Payne slotting over in front of the posts.

Injury replacement: Andrew ‘Taff’ Morris off for Leon Pilkiewicz.

Back in the ascendancy the visitors topped up their account with another well executed move from the three-quarters, great offloading in the tackle saw Winger Waite profit again for his brace. Payne 100% for the tee added the extra 2 points.

Second half

Replacements: Steve Biggs off for Ken Doggett at Full Back, Dave Ian off for Nic Turley at Flanker.

The second half saw a huge momentum swing as the Barbarians’ forwards asserted their authority on the pitch. Captain Ben King led the charge, picking n’ going from the ruck and driving over the whitewash with the assistance of Wayne Cleave. Fly-half Dave Ward with a tee at his disposal easily converted to reduce the deficit.

Unrelenting forwards phase play and possession denied the opposition of any real attacking opportunities – only the occasion error allowing Canterbury to relieve the pressure and clear their lines.

Injury replacement:  Sam Dale off for Jason Potter as Fly-half, Dave Ward moved to Scrum-half.

Frustration and over enthusiastic defending saw the visitors on the end on a very high penalty count, extremely fortunate to avoid a yellow card for accumulative offside offences. But Canterbury’s defence and first half lead kept the home side at bay.

The Barbarians dominance in the scrum was most evident in the very final play of the game. As consolation almost came 5 metres out after a huge shove against the head denied the opposition Scrum-half clean ball. Baa-Baas debutante Flanker Dave Ian seizing upon the loose ball drove over the line aided by replacement Scrum-half Ward. Ian appeared to have grounded the ball but the opposition defenders had done enough for it to be ruled as held up.

Man of the Match: Wayne Cleave

Ashford Barbarians: S.Wittwer, M.Ball, A.Sage, J.Adams, W.Cleave, D.Ian, C.Rabjohns, B.King(c), S.Dale, D.Ward, M.Turley, C.Weatherley, A.Morris, P.Wright, S.Biggs.

Replacements: Dan Calnan, Ken Doggett, Leon Pilkiewicz, Jason Potter, N.Turley.
Sin Bin:

Management & Support Staff: Tim Cross | Elaine Kendall

Special thanks to Barry Ball for providing the post-match meal.



Shut out by Sittingbourne


Ashford Barbarians 0-17 Sittingbourne RFC

Ashford Barbarians (0) 0

Sittingbourne II XV (5) 17
Tries: Collins, Jacques, Catlin  Con: Collins

The Baa-Baas hosted Sittingbourne’s El Bandido’s hoping to close the gap on their second place rivals. Pressure from the offset produced two kickable opportunities; opting to run the ball the instead the Barbarians were met by an impenetrable defence.

After an impressive defensive performance the first half ended with the Baa-Baas back in their 22. A maul from 5 metres out gave Sittingbourne’s Fly-half Thomas Collins the chance to break and score in the corner.

The opposition’s kicking game had the Barbarians penned in their own half for a large part of the second half and the visiting side soon profited after quick hands through the back line put Winger Jacques Smith in for their second try – Collins converting.

As conditions worsened the Baa-Baas were unable to find any real traction and Sittingbourne in the ascendancy shut the hosts out with a final try from Flanker Catlin.

Man of the Match: Paul Wright

Ashford Barbarians: B.King(c), M.Ball, S.Blackman, J.Drewett, W.Cleave, C.Hollyer, C.Rabjohns, D.Calnan, S.Dale, J.Potter, K.Doggett, A.Morris, L.Roberts, P.Wright, S.Biggs.

Replacements: N.Turley, A.May (not used due to injury)
Sin Bin:

A Barbarian face-off

Cornish Pirates v Nottingham 021212Image 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.

Second half

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