Barnstaple are kicking themselves after first away defeat
THE RETURN of Barnstaple's regular kickers cannot come soon enough.
Twenty-one points worth of kicks were missed as Barum went down to their first away defeat of the National Three south west season – 26-23 at Chippenham.
In the absence of the injured Neil Giddy and Josh Squire, Luke Berry was off target with three penalty attempts that were described as kickable.
And Ollie Rayner, the fly half on loan from Cornish All Blacks, failed with four.
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It left Barnstaple with a defeat from a fixture they had marked up as a probable away win and put them on the back foot for this Saturday's visit of third-placed Redingensians.
Giddy should return from concussion but Squire is likely to be kept out by his ankle injury a little longer.
Kevin Squire, the director of rugby said: "We had more than a good opportunity to win the game but we missed a stack of kicks at goal and that cost us badly.
"It was our worst nightmare. The hard work of last week (to beat Newton Abbot) was ruined by a performance that wasn't good enough."
Barnstaple fought back from a 13-3 deficit to lead 15-13 at half time.
Berry replied to Adrian Price's opening try with a penalty but Chippenham soon extended their lead when full back Chris Simmons charged down a clearance to score.
Lewis Surry, the home fly half, took them ten points clear before Barnstaple rallied with two tries in six minutes before half time. Both came from driving mauls, Winston James going over first and Harry Elliott second, with Rayner converting Elliott's score.
Barum, who went into the game six places above their hosts, took some control of the play but three out of four penalty kicks were missed in the first 15 minutes of the second half, Rayner landing the only successful one.
Chippenham levelled with a try by Mike Beswick, then took the lead with an Adie Price try and Surry penalty.
With two minutes to go James went over in the corner for his second try but the conversion was missed and Barnstaple were unable to create another opportunity.