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Barking want to lay down marker

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 September 2015

Barking in action in their season opener at Amersham & Chiltern (pic: Deborah Lloyd)

Barking in action in their season opener at Amersham & Chiltern (pic: Deborah Lloyd)

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Head coach Seaman calls for improvements as team host Ruislip

Barking head coach Nigel Seaman has urged the team to put the disappointment of their opening-day defeat behind them when they host Ruislip on Saturday.

The Gale Street side lost their first competitive match of the London One North season at recently relegated Amersham & Chiltern, going down 37-16.

Barking started the match well, as Craig Ratford slotted a drop goal in the third minute to put them in front.

But a number of penalties, which saw players being sent to the sin bin, saw Barking head into the break 23-9 down, with Ben Lloyd adding two penalties to Ratford’s early score.

Lloyd scored a try early in the second half to close the gap to seven points, before Amersham eased their way to victory.

Despite the result, Seaman remains confident Barking can have a good season, drawing inspiration from last year’s London North One champions.

“We need to put our presence on the league this weekend,” said Seaman. “Colchester lost on the opening day of last season and then went on to win the title.

“It’s too early to hit the panic button and there’s still a lot of positives to take from the match despite the scoreline.”

Nonetheless, Barking will be bitterly disappointed to have lost their first match of the season in a league that looks exceptionally close this year.

Elsewhere in the league on the first day, there were very few one-sided matches, with less than 10 points separating the teams in four out of six fixtures.

It looks a stark difference from last year, when Colchester and Eton Manor ran away with the promotion places.

And Seaman believes the opening-day results reflect how tight the league could be come the conclusion of the season next April, adding: “Colchester and Eton Manor had been there or thereabouts in the past few years, so now that they have been promoted, it opens it up.

“Amersham and Tring will be looking to get some continuity following their relegation last year. But we need to get our mojo back too, which hopefully will be this weekend. We need more structure too.”

Saturday’s match against Ruislip will be Barking’s first of the season at their Gale Street base. And Seaman hopes the team will be cheered on as they look to make up for the result at Amersham by grabbing their first victory of the new campaign.

“We hope there will be a good crowd on Saturday and in close matches the support can sometimes get you over the line,” said Seaman.


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