Pulborough question opponent’s ‘sportsmanship’ in Barking’s first league win in two years

Frazer Oliphant-Hope scores. Pulborough v Heathfield and Waldron. Picture by warwickpics.com
Frazer Oliphant-Hope scores. Pulborough v Heathfield and Waldron. Picture by warwickpics.com

Pulborough suffered a Dartford Tunnel nightmare as they were defeated 45-31 by bottom-of-the-table Barking, a team who hadn’t won a league game in two years.

Having been held up for over two hours at the crossing the mini bus arrived at the home of Barking 40 minutes after the 3pm kick-off time.

After a short five minute warm-up, the referee called for the game to start and both teams were in position.

After a three hour coach journey and a five-minute warm-up, Borough started slowly consequently finding themselves 21-0 down within ten minutes.

Borough’s first try came when Frazer Oliphant-Hope gathered a loose ball in the Barking 22m putting in a seemingly dubious chip, only to be misjudged by the Barking full-back and Frazer went on to score under the posts, 21-7.

Borough really started to find their feet in this half as Alex Ryan picked up the ball wide, chipped his opposite man around the halfway line with the ball eventually finding Bullock who side-stepped the covering defender to score a try in the corner. Half-time came around 21-17.

Borough needed to start the half well and they did, playing loosely as they looked to tire out the big Barking squad. The next try came when Ben Miller scythed apart the defence before drawing Barking’s last man to give Matt Goring a run in under the posts.

Borough looked to maintain this intensity, however continuous penalties against them made it hard to get any continuity.

This gave the accurate Barking number ten plenty of chances to plug the corner. The remainder of Barking’s points being scored in this fashion.

Borough were not out of this game yet as a ball was cleared deep into the Barking half.

With a good kick chase the Barking number nine was slow to execute his pass which was intercepted by Simon Burfiend back at fly- half. The game finished 45-31.

Borough captain Burfiend was disappointment with Barking and their sportsmanship.

He said: “The way Barking pushed for an early kick-off showed desperation and in my opinion a severe lack of sportsmanship and it is categorically not what our sport is about.”

But on the positive side, Burfield said. ”We have two home matches for the run in now.

“If we can have a good few weeks’ training, the wins are certainly there for the taking.”

Pulborough: Dicks, Denman, Blunden, Goring, Williams, Nichols, Bullock, Leddra, Keating, Burfiend, Ryan, Callaway, Oliphant-Hope, Miller, Gravel.