Barking end dismal year in defeat
PUBLISHED: 15:35 02 January 2008 | UPDATED: 13:52 02 July 2010
NATIONAL ONE Ealing 38 Barking 9 BARKING lost their last game of a year they will want to forget, going down 38-9 at Ealing, their 20th league defeat of 2007, with just four wins and a draw on the credit side. But this could have been a closer game after
Ealing 38 Barking 9
BARKING lost their last game of a year they will want to forget, going down 38-9 at Ealing, their 20th league defeat of 2007, with just four wins and a draw on the credit side.
But this could have been a closer game after the visitors trailed just 13-6 at half time, but Barking fell apart in the second half against a side they drew with early in the season.
Barking made a bright start, with David Vincent, home from Loughborough University, in the centre, Sean Flannery out on the wing and Harry Bryan starting at full back.
Even so, it was the home side who scored first after eight minutes, kicking a penalty into touch and completing a catch and drive to the Barking line for a try by Jay King.
Ben Ward put them further ahead with a penalty 10 minutes later, followed shortly afterwards by a try from Kira Richards after a move that began just inside the Ealing half.
It took Barking another 15 minutes to get themselves on to the scoreboard, which they did through a magnificent 55-yard penalty by Bryan, which he kicked from inside his own half.
Four minutes later, Harry Owens cut the gap further with a smartly-taken 35-yard drop goal.
In injury time a late tackle by James Ngan was penalised by a yellow card for the Barking second row, although Ward missed the penalty chance to leave the score at 13-6 to the hosts at the break.
Playing up the slope and with 14 men at the start of the second half, Barking quickly slipped further behind, conceding a first-minute penalty which Ward kicked. Ward struck again two minutes later, intercepting a Barking pass on halfway and running in for a try which he converted himself.
Barking survived these hammer blows and at 23-6 adrift, began to come more into the game.
A string of substitutions saw Sean Mullins come on for Ale Alitise, Paul Pickworth for Dan Collier, Joseph Cook for Andy Eaton and another Saracens loanee, Reece Durrance, who was making his Barking debut, replacing Paul Everitt, with Dean Cadby moving from hooker to back row to make way for him.
In between the comings and goings, Owens reduced the Ealing lead with a monster penalty of his own from 40 yards after Ealing's Dave Essien was yellow carded.
Three minutes later the home team were down to 13 men after a yellow card for John Marsters, but the situation back-fired badly for Barking. Owens missed touch with the penalty before Ealing put up a high ball and after the bounce beat the Barking defence, the ball sat up sweetly for King to claim his second try of the afternoon, running in from 30 yards, with Ward adding the conversion.
Barking continued to battle, and it was only a desperate ankle tap from Ealing full back Peter Hodgkinson that stopped Vincent from marking his return with a try.
The pace began to take its toll though, and Ealing gradually resumed control of the game, Ward adding a drop goal with seven minutes to go and Hodgkinson completing the scoring five minutes from time with his side's fifth try, Ward this time hitting the post with the conversion.
The margin of defeat was probably not a fair reflection of the game or the spirit with which Barking played, although the Ealing defence was rarely in too much trouble.
The defeat drops Barking back into the relegation zone, above Clifton and Luton but now behind a revitalised North Walsham, who have won three of their last four games.
January becomes a vital month for Barking with home games against Lydney and Walsham and away fixtures at Clifton and Luton.
If there is to be a New Year revival at Barking it has to start with wins in those games.