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Harbury's Run of Wins Comes to an End

Barton Under Needwood 36 - 20 Harbury

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2013 07:32pm
Harbury, Stratford-on-Avon
By Jerry Birkbeck
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Harbury’s unbeaten run in all games which stretches back to the beginning of the season came off the rails at Barton under Needwood.

This was a match that the hosts were up for, whilst it was self evident from the outset that Harbury had taken an unspoken belief that they merely had to turn up for the victory.

There can be absolutely no doubt that Barton were deserved winners whilst Harbury only showed a flash of their form when they pulled the match round from 16-3 down to trail by a single point. However, they endured a dire seven minute spell when they conceded thirteen points to take their hosts out of sight.

The initial impetus came from Barton as they snatched a try in the opening two minutes. Harbury came back and drove play into the Barton 22 and really should have come away with points on the board. However, they repeatedly undid their hard work by conceding naïve penalties for such basics as not releasing the ball and coming in at the side of a ruck. As a consequence they lost field position and were pushed downfield. After a determined assault on the Harbury line a try was awarded and Barton extended their lead to 10-0. Harbury came back with a penalty, but once again compounded their problems as Barton were awarded two simple penalties for a 16-3 half time lead.

Eventually Harbury began to get their heads around the approach they should take and despite some excellent defence from Barton it was the visitors who pegged them back with a fine and determined try from flanker LUKE DUNNE. Then from a scrum five the pack powered over the line and Barton pulled down the drive and Harbury were correctly awarded a penalty try which RICH CLARKE converted. This took the score to 16-15 in favour of Barton.

However, from the restart Harbury got themselves into allsorts of problems following a clean take. The ball was moved wide but a poor pass found the recipient unable to take the ball to ground and the ball was not released and another penalty awarded. This extended the lead to just four points but as Harbury had shown a positive reaction in the earlier part of the half it was hoped that this would kick start the response. This never came as Barton ran the ball well cut through Harbury’s porous midfield defence and added a third try. The conversion was well judged and Barton’s lead and confidence grew as they took their lead to eleven points. Harbury compounded their problems by conceding yet another penalty to take the scoreline to 29 -15.

Harbury did respond and a superb counter attack and run by wing MARK ANDERSON, who had a fine match reduced the deficit to just nine points. Harbury looked to counter from the restart but a chip ahead was gathered by the home backs and they finished off the day with a direct run in beneath the posts.

Harbury need to learn from this experience as their lead in the league is cut to just three points. It is hoped that this shake up knocks out any complacency in the side The need is to switch on and compete and in particular reduce significantly the penalty count. An analysis of Barton’s scores came through  a large number of poor decisions resulting in kickable goals and loss of field position, The squad has much to do before Saturday when they are home to Birmingham Civil Service. Through Service may occupy the bottom position in the table they have come increasingly close to winning games and over the seasons have been a difficult team for Harbury to beat.

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