Rich pickings for Codling’s battlers!
PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 12:49 11 August 2010
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH Richmond 18 Barking 18 A SPIRITED Barking fought out an entertaining draw with Richmond at the Athletic Ground on Saturday, writes CHRIS RICHARDS. Well-worked tries from Greg Evans and Jack Gash, coupled with eight points from the boo
NATIONAL THREE SOUTH
Richmond 18 Barking 18
A SPIRITED Barking fought out an entertaining draw with Richmond at the Athletic Ground on Saturday, writes CHRIS RICHARDS.
Well-worked tries from Greg Evans and Jack Gash, coupled with eight points from the boot of Craig Ratford earned a deserved share of the points, but Richmond will be kicking themselves after two late penalty misses cost them victory.
Head coach Alex Codling made three changes to the side which crushed Lydney at Goresbrook the previous weekend, handing debuts to two new players in the process.
Ex-Worcester lock Tim Collier, who joined the club just last week, came in, while London Welsh loanee Simon Etheredge replaced club captain James Kellard.
In other changes, Sean Morris was replaced by Evans, while hooker Marcus Bloomberg returned.
The home side exploded out of the blocks and won a penalty, but in an ominous portent of things to come, skipper Matthew Hart skewed his kick at goal.
Barking were ahead in bizarre fashion when Ratford's long punt was missed and Evans dived over.
Ratford missed with his angled conversion attempt and just three minutes after taking the lead, Codling's men were pegged back as Joseph Ajuwa touched down.
Hart failed to convert and his profligacy was punished for a second time when Ratford bisected the posts with a penalty soon after.
Barking played with a patience and purpose seldom seen away from home this season, but just as hal time beckoned, they were hit by a sucker punch as Ajuwa crashed over.
Hart added the simple conversion to lead his side off at the break with a fortunate four-point cushion.
Codling shuffled his pack, bringing on Nicholas Fraser and Edward Stembridge.
Ratford then missed a kick at goal to trim the gap, but it mattered little as scrum-half Gash broke away to score an impressive solo try.
The boot of Ratford added the extras to nudge Barking back in front, before Hart's penalty levelled matters on 58 minutes.
Ratford and Hart then swapped penalties to leave the scores tied going into the final chapter.
The tension was tangible and when Barking gave away a kickable penalty with just two minutes left on the clock, their small band of travelling supporters feared the worst.
But Hart made a mess of his kick and even found time to squander another opportunity in the final minute, as Barking held on for two well-deserved points.
Speaking after the match, Codling hailed his side's efforts in securing the draw - Barking's first positive result on the road since his appointment in January.
He said: "Richmond are a very good side and we've put on a fantastic performance.
"All the boys performed very well, so I'm delighted. On another day we could have and probably should have won it."
Barking: Shaw, Evans, Wardingley, Flannery, Jones, Ratford, Gash, Rate, Bloomberg, Hunter, Collier, Newberry, Kruis, Etheredge, Andrews.
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