Losing Bonus Point & Atherstone Stay 3rd

Barton-under-Needwood 1st XV 8 - 6 Atherstone 1st XV

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2014 06:36pm
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
By Julie Douglas
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Although Barton-under-Needwood came away with the win in this fiercely contested rearranged fixture, a precious losing bonus point keeps Atherstone in third position with Barton sitting in fourth just one point behind.

Atherstone afforded their hosts an early opportunity to go in front with a penalty which also saw the visitors go down to fourteen men.  The kick did not find its mark.  Indiscipline saw the men in black giving away a succession of penalties allowing the home side to retain possession and make good ground however their opponents soaked up the pressure with some excellent defensive work.  Both sides struggled to maximise on their opportunities with decisive runs coming to nothing as unforced errors saw possession handed back to the other side.

The visitors had an opportunity to put points on the board when Barton found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle however the decision was taken to kick to touch to go for the seven points.  Unfortunately the throw-in was not straight giving Barton the chance to clear their lines.  As Barton broke for the try line, fullback Adam Bird showed tremendous clear headedness as he honed in on his man and put in a try saving tackle.

On numerous occasions in the first half, the Atherstone defence was tested however excellent tackling from Simon Moore, John Perry and Bird ensured that the speed merchants from Barton were stopped in their tracks.  Both teams fought hard to get points on the board however the half looked set to end at 0-0 until In the dying seconds Barton were awarded a penalty which was successfully converted to points.

At the start of the second half an excellent run from Rhod Davies with a well-timed pass to Moore looked set to see Atherstone crossed the line however Barton’s defence proved to be as equally strong as their opponents.  A scrum 10 meters out saw Dave Whittaker control the ball at Number 8 as the scrum wheeled however as he touched down over the line the referee adjudged that there had been an infringement so reset the scrum with Barton given the out in.  The home side used this opportunity to clear their lines.  Bird collected the ball cleanly and kicked ahead.  His kick was caught and the mark called for however Bird’s run had been obstructed giving Atherstone a penalty.  Andy Redman calmly kicked the points to draw level.

Further indiscipline gave Barton the opportunity to add three points however the kick was unsuccessful.  This was closely followed by another unsuccessful kick.  A penalty was awarded to Atherstone about 40 meters out from the posts.  A cool headed Redman stepped up to take the kick striking the ball beautifully so that it sailed over for the points taking his team into the lead.  With time still on the clock both sides struggled to turn mounting pressure into points.  Finally it was Barton that crossed the whitewash for an unconverted try to take the spoils. 



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