Barking take a big step towards safety
PUBLISHED: 16:25 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 July 2010
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH Barking 37 North Walsham 29 Barking stormed to a season s double over their oldest league rivals, grabbing their first four-try bonus point of the season in this 37-29 victory over North Walsham. This was also the first time this seas
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH
Barking 37 North Walsham 29
Barking stormed to a season's double over their oldest league rivals, grabbing their first four-try bonus point of the season in this 37-29 victory over North Walsham.
This was also the first time this season they had won two games in a row and the points from this victory moved them out of the relegation zone.
The game was dedicated to the campaign of former Barking player Tony Stagg, who died in November, and it was a fitting fixture to choose as this was one of the most exciting and open matches of the season.
It began, as so many of Barking's games do, with an early score for the visitors as Walsham went ahead after just 43 seconds.
An interception on the half way line saw Andy Gowen away, tracked by Scott Shaw who finally pulled off a great tackle.
Unfortunately for Barking, Walsham's skipper Andy Thorpe was up in support from full back to take the inside pass from Gowen and cross for the try, although former Barking player Chris Dermody was off target with the conversion.
The Goresbrook side were not fazed by this setback though and took the lead three minutes later with a simple try as Harry Owens received the ball from a scrum on half way and made the break to release Basil Api, who found 17-year-old Shaw in acres of space to cross for his third try of the season, Harry Bryan adding the conversion.
A delighted crowd only had to wait another three minutes for Barking to stretch their lead as they turned over Walsham possession, before Fili Leota drew the defence and put debutant Ollie Marchon over for his first try for the club.
Bryan missed the conversion this time, but was back on target five minutes later after Owens collected a Walsham kick ahead, launched a towering up-and-under of his own and saw the ball bounce kindly for it to defeat the defence and bounce up for him to score under the posts.
A shell-shocked Walsham slowly came back into the game as Gowen cruised over for their second try after 20 minutes, Dermody adding the conversion for 19-12.
Bryan replied almost immediately with a penalty for Barking and added a second on the half hour as the East Enders regained the advantage.
With two minutes to go to the interval, a pin-point kick ahead by Andy Eaton forced Walsham to put the ball into touch 10 yards from their line and from the line-out, James Ngan was driven over for that vital fourth try.
To cap it all Bryan added the touchline conversion to give Barking a 32-12 lead at the break.
Walsham had the advantage of wind and slope for the second half and Barking knew they would face a much tougher time of it.
That became evident after just four minutes as Barking lost possession on halfway and Jason Applin started and finished the move that brought his side's third try of the afternoon.
Walsham began to dominate, spending long periods deep in the Barking 22 and after being held up over the line, Walsham eventually found a way through, Thorpe claiming his second try of the afternoon.
Dermody again missed with the conversion but now the score was 32-22 and that comfortable half time position was looking shaky.
Walsham continued to press and tempers flared with Applin and Barking skipper Rob Batho both getting yellow cards after the two packs enjoyed a minor skirmish.
With six minutes left on the clock, Walsham scored again to claim a four-try bonus for themselves, centre Waldo de Jaeger crossing after a scrum under the Barking posts.
Dermody added the conversion to bring the score to 32-29 and Barking changed their tactics, keeping the ball in the forwards to hold on to possession.
Walsham became increasingly frustrated and deep into injury time tried to run the ball out from their own 22 when a crunching tackle from Sean Flannery saw the ball fly loose to be hacked on over the line by Marchon, who followed up to claim his second try of the game.
Bryan missed the kick, only his second miss of the afternoon, but an added advantage of that final score was that it deprived the visitors of a second bonus point for losing by seven points or less and every point is going to count in this relegation battle.
This Saturday, Barking make their fourth attempt to play their fixture at Clifton, another vital fixture for the East Enders.
n Barking's second string qualified for the Essex Cup final where they will play either Westcliff or Eton Manor after beating Thurrock 46-21.