Not for the first time this season Barkers supporters outnumbered those of the home side.
The coach was full to capacity plus those who made the journey to Pershore under their own steam. This was the third game when with credit cards max’t out and wives and partners patience stretched to the limit promotion was to be celebrated. Firstly in Pershore’s clubhouse after the game then in the coach on the journey back to The Nursery Tavern where host Harry Minten had put on some much needed solid refreshment along with his celebrated real ales and lager. And then on to who knows where !
As far as promotion and relegation were concerned the fate of both teams was already sealed but they both wanted to go out on a winning note. Barkers knocked on from the kick off and Pershore advanced play to Barkers 5 mtr line. When Barkers won control of the ball they showed their intentions by attacking from all parts of the field. Pershore turned down a penalty shot at the posts but a second invitation minutes later was accepted to make the opening score Pershore 3 Barkers 0. Barkers were next on the score sheet with good forward work with Nathan Tilsley
going over from a short pass and converting. Pershore 3 Barkers 7. Barkers were again penalised and Pershore made it
6 – 7. Barkers found the slippery ball difficult to handle and attacks came to nothing. A kick through following a scrum saw Barkers mishandle again and Pershore pounced to make it 11 – 7. For the next 20 minutes Pershore’s forwards put everything they had into the game and despite good defence 2 more tries followed, one being converted. Pershore 23 Barkers 7. Effectively game over as far as points for Pershore were concerned. The first half had one more try, a typical forward drive with Glen Southwell popping the ball to Dean Thompson and Nathan Tilsley
converting from wide out.
Half time; Pershore 23 Barkers’ Butts 14.
Within minutes of the restart scrum half Josh Palmer
limped off to be replaced by Rob Fisher returning from long term injury, immediately followed by 10 minutes in the sin bin. Barkers were beginning to get favourable decisions from the referee and on 50 minutes Nathan Tilsley
made it 23 – 17. Barkers now scented victory, helped by good skills from prop Matthew Wooldridge and tackling by Joe Richardson
. Glen Southwell was replaced by Josh McNulty
following a blood injury. Josh was one of the 7 under 18’s in the Barkers squad put out today. Barkers’ forwards gained more control of the game with Josh and Darren Griffiths
and Matthew Greavy (coming off the bench) showing great driving strength. More forward control meant more thinking time for the backs with a cross field kick from Nathan Tilsley
for Zac Whitehouse to latch onto taking Barkers to within 1 point. Pershore 23 Barkers 22. Barkers were showing more of their true potential forcing play deep into Pershore territory but a 50 mtr. clearing kick and a desperate chase won by Nathan Tilsley
saw the game at the opposite end of the pitch. Barkers won the ensuing line out, the ball was passed along the line making good ground as it went finally to Zac Whitehouse who from his own 22 outpaced everyone to score under the posts. Tilsley again converted. 23 – 29. A last minute penalty made the final score Pershore 23 Barkers’ Butts 32.
Don’t forget Barkers’ 2nd XV v Broadstreet on Wednesday KO 6.00 pm