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Home > News > Barking 5 - Rosslyn Park 11
Your News Barking 5 - Rosslyn Park 11

With Park lacking the services of 6 regulars this was never going to be an easy match against fired-up Barking. Park deserved their win taken over the whole 80 minutes, but they had to see out a massive injury-time onslaught by the home side in order to secure the 4 points. In fact it was Parks cast iron defence, constantly denying Barking any space in which to operate, that was probably the telling factor.

The visitors had the first really effective attack after 5 minutes, but just as they appeared to have Barking at full stretch the home centre Reid intercepted, ran away and caught Park offside but the penalty was muffed.

It was clear that Barking had planned to stifle Parks running game, and they were pretty effective in doing so. The match became very much a midfield war of attrition. However, the visitors were always looking to involve their speedy backs and the deadlock was eventually broken when a piercing attack up the left was stopped by Barking close to their line, but at the cost of a penalty which Rhys Gosling converted for 3-0.

If Park slightly held the initiative, they got a wake up call when a sweeping Barking counter attack saw winger Jones stopped tantalisingly close to the line. But the defence proved equal to the task and soon we were back into midfield.

Park caught Barking offside again, but this time Goslings kick was wide. In possibly the best move of the match a searing run up the right by Chris Simmons saw the ball taken on well by Gosling and, just as it seemed Barking may have stifled the move as it came inside, the ball was worked out wide on the right again where Adam Blemings a hooker with the speed of a flanker came into the line to dive over in the corner. The conversion proved impossible, but it was 8-0.

It looked as if, having found the key to the home defence, Park would score again with a massive injury-time assault, but Barking hacked clear and the interval came at 8-0.

As the teams emerged for the second half, we had one of the more bizarre injuries. As winger Nick Canty went to get up, his knee simply locked. His team mates, apparently unaware of his plight, took to the field and the match started without him while the coaches were frantically telling sub Martin Jackson to strip off and get onto the field!

If Park had shaded the first half, they began to look more dominant in the second, but Barking were resolute beyond their standing in the table. Park spent most of the time in the Barking half, probing and driving for openings, but were met by a defence almost as mean as their own.

Constant pressure yielded two penalties for offside, the first Gosling missed but he nailed the second for 11-0 after 55 minutes. With the visiting defence looking impregnable, and play almost exclusively in the home half of the field, that seemed to be that.

Parks cool was briefly troubled only when a scrum inside the Barking half received a feed from the home scrum half that would have looked crooked in a Rugby League match. Park were then immediately penalised and stupidly argued to the extent that they were twice marched back 10 metres to gift Barking a good attacking position. Luckily for Park they quickly regained their composure and successfully defended the situation they had created.

If the score that brought Barking back into it was slightly fortuitous then it was also brilliant in its solo execution. Park were attacking down the left when a ruck formed, but the ball somehow squeezed out to where home winger Jones was standing. In an instant he seized it and a devastating turn of pace saw him sprint over half the length of the pitch to touch down with 16 minutes to go.

That was just the fillip his side needed, and whilst Park still enjoyed slightly the upper hand any result was possible, especially as the home side were spurred on by the crowd for an injury-time assault. But Parks defence held firm, gradually forcing Barking backwards to halfway and the ball was in the home half when the final whistle went.

It was a hard fought victory against a side playing well above their position. Park deserve great credit for the win, and it would be a mean spirit indeed who begrudged Barking their losing bonus point.

Park: Simmons; Swords, Cadwallader, Jewell, Canty (M Jackson); Gosling; Roche; Charlton, Blemings (Tauialo), Blom (Frazier); Quigley, Forster; Jones, Underwood, Gates.

Park scorers: Blemings (T), Gosling (2P).

Subs (did not play): Mahony, Melton.

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