Barking Havant a clue what 's wrong!
PUBLISHED: 15:41 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 12:49 11 August 2010
TWO WEEKS can be a long time in rugby and Barking have just discovered this to their cost. Their 34-5 victory over London Scottish two weeks ago was the shock result of the season in National Three South, but any thoughts that this marked new beginnings f
TWO WEEKS can be a long time in rugby and Barking have just discovered this to their cost.
Their 34-5 victory over London Scottish two weeks ago was the shock result of the season in National Three South, but any thoughts that this marked new beginnings for the East Enders have been rapidly dispelled, first when they gave away a 13-3 lead to lose by a point to Bridgwater and then on their most recent outing, to lose a must-win bottom of the table game 20-12 and return without a point from Havant.
With so much at stake, both sides started cautiously but it was Barking who drew first blood after nine minutes with a 25-yard penalty from Harry Bryan.
Barking were now looking more confident, especially when the backs ran at their opposition, but it was another eight minutes before they saw another scoring opportunity when Harry Owens unleashed a drop goal attempt that unfortunately for the away side sailed wide.
It was in fact the hosts who were next to score, their forwards pounding the Barking line in a series of rucks, before Brad Mockford claimed the try with Sid Claffey adding the conversion making it 7-3.
Barking replied three minutes later with Owens, celebrating his 19th birthday, launched another drop goal that again flew wide, but the referee called play back for a penalty and Bryan took full advantage, slotting the kick between the posts.
Knowing that they would have the stiff breeze at their backs in the second half Barking would have been content with the score line but were then hit by a disastrous five minutes at the end of the half.
Havant put a penalty into touch as Barking conceded two more penalties in quick succession as Rob Batho was yellow carded for pulling down a maul.
Barking stopped another drive, this time at the expense of a five-metre scrum, where they were penalised yet again as Scott Baker was harshly yellow-carded.
Barking's defence remained strong, that was until Number eight, Dylan Raubenheimer, dived over the top to score, although the comparatively simple conversion was missed.
Barking opened the second half with the advantage of the wind, but with two players short, luck did not go their way.
In three minutes, Havant scored again, once more through their forwards and Ollie North, although the ball was grounded short of the line and then moved forward, unseen by the referee.
Bryan gave Barking some hope with his third penalty of the afternoon two minutes later and on 17 minutes landed a fourth to make it 12-17.
However, Havant were keeping the ball in the forwards and Barking were simply not seeing enough possession.
Owens sent Aaron Hopkins hurtling through the middle but his pass to Sean Flannery went astray as Barking reminded their hosts that their backs could still be dangerous.
However, with five minutes to go a series of rucks on the Barking line led to a Havant penalty and they opted to kick it to take their lead to eight points, ensuring no bonus point for the visitors.
Barking tried hard to rally but when things aren't going your way it all goes wrong and Bryan was off target with two penalty attempts in the last five minutes.
The result makes things very tight at the bottom.
Luton are on 16 points, nine behind Clifton. Then come Havant on 30 then North Walsham and Barking on 31, with Barking ahead on points difference.
Had they built on their London Scottish performance and won their next two games Barking would have been clear of trouble.
As it is every point is going to count and they start with Dings Crusaders at Goresbrook this Saturday, KO 3pm.