Barnes underlined why they are 2nd in the league with a four try fusillade in the 1st half and a stalwart defensive effort in the 2nd to deny the visitors a sniff of bonus points. Combe as ever played with passion and heart but failed to convert this into points.
It started so well for Combe with a score while the spectators were just settling in. Fullback Rob White was involved twice in a surging move down the right, offloading and then looping round to score out wide. The conversion was added to give Combe a 7 point advantage.
But then came the Robbie Martey show for Barnes with the winger scoring three of four Barnes tries in a 20 minute golden period for the home-side. Slick handling and clever inside balls out-manoeuvred the Combe defence for three of the scores but a loose re-start drill didn't help Westccombe's cause. Barnes already had the bonus point at 26-7 but the visitors still had 50 minutes to get something out of the game.
WPRFC turned to their power game getting the ball through over 10 phases deep into Barnes territory. The home team were penalised for killing progress. Combe secured good line out ball, applied the drive and James Lindfield claimed the try. With the conversion added the teams went in with the score at Barnes 26 Westcombe Park 14.
The opening 10 minutes of the second period was a bit of an arm wrestle with play stuck in the middle of the park. Barnes edged this period, ultimately getting a foothold in Combe's 22 but pugnacious defence stifled any threat. Still Barnes were able to claim the first points of the second period. A thrust into the Combe 22 was enhanced with an extravagant shimmy for the try to be scored close to the posts. Barnes now had a 33-14 lead with the last quarter approaching.
Barnes defence was just about coping but repeat offences resulted in a yellow card and Combe took advantage to score an unconverted try through Skipper Joe Bonner.
Score 33-19 to the home team.
With 20 minutes to go there was plenty of time for Combe to get a 4th try and at least one bonus point. But injuries were taking serious toll on the visitors' back line and despite some threatening runs there was no more scoring.
Another disappointing result but definitely not a disappointing performance. Slide rules and calculators might be needed to calculate what results Combe want to survive in this league but what is not needed is any heart.
Next week Combe take on Hertford in a re-arranged fixture and will want to hear the Combe support urging them on. Be there!
Barnes RFC: O'Toole, Martey, Cornish, Ruddock, Murray, Wicks, Franklin, Ryan, Garrett, Symonds, Nimmo, Collins, Malaney, Smyth, Steele. Replacements: McArthur, Crossland, Reeves
Westcombe Park RFC: White, Hamilton, Sema, Deschamps, Wekpe, Robinson, Cameron, Saunders, Bonner, Forsyth,Clarke, Christopher, Springer, Lindfield, O'Sullivan
WP Replacements: Eames, Pohlen, Jackson
Updated 10:21 - 26 Mar 2018 by Graham Seppings