Great Scot! Barking hand out thrashing
PUBLISHED: 16:20 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:12 02 July 2010
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH Barking 34 London Scottish 5 This was the day Barking has been anticipating for over two years - the day when it all came together, the hard work paid off and someone took a beating. That it should happen to a London Scottish side th
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH
London Scottish 5
This was the day Barking has been anticipating for over two years - the day when it all came together, the hard work paid off and someone took a beating.
That it should happen to a London Scottish side that has been consistently in the promotion battle and beat Barking 54-10 earlier in the season was all the more gratifying.
That it should happen in a game dedicated to the memory of ex-Scottish player and former Barking coach, Mike Lovett, was also very fitting.
Barking have been playing well since Christmas and their ability to field a more settled side is starting to pay off.
It was one of the players who has returned from a long-term injury who was one of the big stars of the day as Aaron Hopkins, marked his first game since September, with a hat-trick, the first Barking player since Felise Ah-Ling in 2005 to manage the feat.
The hosts, playing with the wind behind them, took the lead after just two minutes when Harry Bryan launched a massive penalty attempt from the halfway line and saw it sail between the posts.
The big Scottish pack began their attempt to grind Barking down and went 5-3 ahead when Gareth Swales ran in.
The Scottish forwards continued to pound away at their Barking counterparts, but they stood firm and on one of their rare moments of possession, Ali Alatise set up a try for Fili Leato and Bryan added the conversion to put Barking 10-5 ahead.
Scottish continued to look dangerous, but six minutes before the break, a loose clearance kick flew straight up in the air.
Dan Collier took a superb catch to set up a ruck and the ball was moved to Hopkins, who danced over for his first try for the club, although Bryan was off target with the kick.
Any doubts the home supporters had about their side's ability to hold on to the lead after half time were quickly dispelled as a break from Harry Owens saw Hopkins in for his second try in the very first minute, Bryan finding the target again.
Barking continued to turn the screw as they shoved Scottish off a scrum on halfway and the ball was quickly shipped to Adam Bishop on the wing.
Barking's top try scorer still had 50-yards to go, but he sprinted past three defenders to bring Barking only their second four-try bonus point of the season, stretching the lead to 27-5.
Now Barking were really bossing the game and it was the Goresbrook forwards who had worn down their opposition.
With skipper Rob Batho and former captain Paul Everitt urging them on, the forwards turned in their best performance of the season, with 20-year-old scrum half Joseph Cook snapping at their heels to such effect that the crowd voted him man of the match.
The centre pairing of Hopkins and Api, in only their second game together, looked like a class combination, with Bryan, Bishop, Owens and Sean Flannery all posing threats to the Scottish defence.
Hopkins completed his hat-trick after the forwards had launched drive after drive at the Scottish line and Bryan rounded off a day to remember with the conversion.
A delighted coach Mark Robinson said: "We have Bridgwater at home next Saturday and we can win that one.
"We need a huge crowd to come and support the boys. I know they will give everything they have."
n FORMER England forward Alex Codling has joined Barking's coaching team.
Codling won Welsh Premiership Coach of the Year for his stint at Ebbw Vale, before a spell at London Welsh.