Barnstaple forwards overpower Amersham and Chiltern
BARNSTAPLE'S forward power was too great for Amersham and Chiltern in a bonus-point win at Pottington Road this afternoon.
After a poor first half, Barum produced a more composed second-half display to come from behind and win 35-7.
With Amersham's scrum disintegrating, the home side were awarded two penalty tries by referee Sara Cox.
James Comber, making his debut at No 8 after joining from Bude this week, scored a try and Luke Berry finished with 20 points, adding the bonus-point score to three conversions and three penalties.
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Amersham were shambolic at the scrums and lineouts but, with Barnstaple struggling to put together coherent moves, the visitors struck on the counter-attack to take the lead in the 18th minute.
Tim Lloyd slipped through two tackles to reach the try line, where Dave Skelton picked up the loose ball and dived over. Rhys Keith added the conversion.
Berry cut the lead to 7-6 with two penalties then, when Amersham had a prop sin-binned, Barum's scrum dominance really told.
Cox awarded the hosts a penalty try in the sixth minute of stoppage time and Berry converted for a 13-7 half-time lead.
With two more Amersham players being yellow-carded, they played half an hour of the second half with 14 men.
Berry added a penalty five minutes after the break and, ten minutes later, kicked a superb conversion from the left touchline after Comber had marked an impressive debut by getting the final touch on a pushover try.
The second penalty try came in the 71st minute, again converted by Berry.
The wing went over for his first try of the season in the 79th minute after taking a raking pass from Steve Perry, the fly half. This time Berry's conversion attempt struck the left-hand post.
Barnstaple, with four wins from their last six National Three south west games, are now 11 points clear of ninth-placed Amersham.
Brixham's 36-21 home defeat to Redingensians this afternoon leaves Barum only three points behind their seventh-placed Devon rivals.
Bideford stretched their unbeaten run in Tribute Western Counties (west) to six games with a 33-15 win at Devonport Services, having led 25-3 at half time.
Simon Bright and Sam Olde scored two tries each, while James Buckland crossed once. Stefan James converted Buckland's try and kicked a penalty. Pat Sanders also landed a penalty.
Bideford stay second in the table, eight points behind leaders St Austell, who won 22-15 at Kingsbridge.
Bude started life without Comber with a 19-8 home defeat to third-placed Torquay Athletic. It was a first defeat in six league and cup outings for Bude.