Kevin Squire left seething as Barnstaple let slip lead
Barnstaple coach Kevin Squire was seething after seeing a winning position wiped out at Avonmouth Old Boys in National Three South West.
Barum were 17-5 up at half time and 24-22 in front with five minutes to go when Avonmouth kicked a penalty to win it. The fact it was Barnstaple old boy Joe Wearne who converted it did not do a great deal for Squire's humour.
It was not the penalty decision that upset Squire, but the unhappy fact Barum could not hold on to the lead.
He said the players knew lowly Avonmouth would not be a pushover on their own ground in glue-pot conditions, yet seemed to forget that the moment they stepped off the team coach. "We were rubbish and got what we deserved," said Squire.
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"Instead of playing our own game we allowed ourselves to get sucked into playing their game. Almost everything we said before the game that we didn't want to do, we went out and did!"
Luke Berry kicked four penalties and converted a Ross Williamson try to put Barnstaple ahead at half time.
Having let Avonmouth claw their way into a 22-17 lead, a Lynford Brock interception try converted by Berry put Barum back in front. Wearne's late penalty strike made for a quiet Barum bus trip home.
Exmouth came from behind to win 26-18 away to struggling Oxford Harlequins. Quins were 18-14 up with three minutes left and Exmouth's director of rugby Chris Wright was surprised with the final turn of events.
"Someone must have had a get-out-of-jail card tucked in their shorts and got it out just in time," said Wright. "The referee overruled their touch judge to give us one of our two tries and you don't see that very often."
Naca Kinikinilau and Dave Bargent scored the late tries that swung the game. Earlier, Bargent and Jack Westlake went over.
Newton Abbot bounced back from their beating by London Irish to inflict a 57-5 thrashing on relegation favourites Maidenhead. "Instead of sitting on our backsides feeling sorry for ourselves, we went out there and did something about it," said Newton's director of rugby Roy Henderson.
Pete Mortimore banked a try hat-trick and there were scores for Will Taverner, Nic Holt (two), Kevin Dennis, Ed McGinley and a penalty try.
Centre Tom McLean and flanker Alun Glanvill swooped for two tries each in Brixham's 26-22 win at Amersham.
Taunton's game against Shelford in National Two South fell foul of the weather.