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Hartpury's promotion bid on track with victory over Barking

By Sportsnews  |  Posted: January 27, 2013

Craig Jackson for Hartpury

Craig Jackson for Hartpury

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Barking 12

Hartpury 45

Hartpury maintained their chase for promotion as a devastating first quarter saw the Gloucestershire side inflict yet another heavy defeat on basement boys Barking.

Head coach John Barnes had issued a warning to his team in the week of a potential backlash from a Barking outfit demolished in October's reverse fixture.

But such an occurrence was never on the cards as a blistering start wrapped up the bonus point for Hartpury after only 20 minutes, although they will be disappointed not to have added further gloss to the score line.

James Head got the ball rolling for the visitors after only four minutes as the flanker touched down at the back of a maul.

Billy Burns doubled Hartpury's lead just 90 seconds later as he capped a sweeping counterattack from the restart, with Craig Jackson on target with the extras.

Jackson then converted Ian Clark's fine individual effort before grabbing a seven-pointer following Sean Marsden's initial break at the end of the first quarter, securing the bonus point in the process.

Barking, who registered their first victory of the season in their last outing at home to Chinnor, were offering little in the way of the resistance shown in that match as they struggled to contain incessant Hartpury attacks.

And a cricket score seemed likely when the outstanding George Mills scored Hartpury's fifth try with 25 minutes on the clock, Jackson's fourth conversion taking the score to 33-0.

Barking rallied, however, and a much more determined defensive display prevented further damage before half-time.

The East End outfit continued to shut Hartpury out at the start of the second period, but Burns broke their rearguard when he dived on Brad Field's grubber kick.

Clark completed his brace three minutes later as the winger went over in a corner and Jackson's conversion made it 45 unanswered points.

The hosts, to their credit, were the stronger side for much of the half and their persistence yielded deserved quick-fire tries for Cliff Basson-Street and skipper Scott Shaw.

Number eight Basson-Street crossed out wide after some composed phase play, with Olly Forrest slotting an excellent conversion off the far post.

Centre Shaw went over seven minutes later in an identical position as Barking switched the ball from wing to wing off a scrum, but the relegation-bound side had left themselves far too much to do and were forced to once again settle for nothing.

Barking: A Foster; C Baffour-Awuah (A Lowe 53), S Shaw, A Mead (J Udo-Udoma 62), S Hihetah; O Forrest, J Fouracre; K Bowling, R MacFarlane (M Bloomberg 41), G Hughes (S John 70); G Fox, E Okaye; D Kearsey, M Anderson (S Nagle-Taylor 41), C Basson-Street.

Hartpury: B Burns; S Marsden, C Jackson, S Rodwell, I Clark (G Boulton 59); T Stevenson, B Field (C Stuart-Smith 60); R Cano, C Fortey (L Grinsell 75), D Crompton (H Sandys 53); W Graulich, S Raven; J Head, G Mills, N Thomas (B Walker 55).Referee: Fergus Kirby (RFU).

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