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National One: Stourbridge 29 Barking 22

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Barking head coach Tim Usasz felt his side failed to make the most of their early dominance as they slipped to a 29-22 defeat at Stourbridge on Saturday.

But a late Charlie Broughton try ensured the National One basement boys came back from the Midlands with a losing bonus point for their effort, though the gap between themselves and Stourbridge, who are second bottom, increased to four points.

“I was pleased to get something in the end, especially with the amount of injuries we had,” said Usasz.

Restricted

“Craig McGrath was restricted to 45 minutes with a neck injury and young Mitchell Sinfield pulled out on the day.

“But we had Hugh Watney who performed well at tighthead and loosehead prop, especially considering he hasn’t played for some time.

“I am a little disappointed though that we dominated the opening 20-30 minutes, but we weren’t able to squeeze them enough.”

In those opening stages of the encounter the only points Barking had to show for their dominance was a Tom Burns try and Chris Ashwin conversion after 21 minutes.

But Stourbridge opened up a 10-point lead at the interval after Ali Bressington’s penalty was followed by converted tries from brothers Nathan and Ben Barkley.

Barking were able to regroup at half time and were back in contention within six minutes of the restart.

Steve Wood crossed the whitewash after Burns had intercepted a loose Peter White pass.

The latter stages saw free-flowing rugby coming from both sides as they ran in two more tries apiece.

Sam Baker stretched Stourbridge’s lead on the hour when he hacked forward Tommy Richardson’s kick and eased past Barking wing Stephen Hihetah to dive on the ball.

Replacement front row Craig McGrath scored a bizarre try for the visitors three minutes later, gathering a loose Stourbridge line-out before striding the 20 metres to the line.

Handling

But any hope that Usasz’s side had of launching a recovery went when second row Rod Turner was sent to the sin-bin with seven minutes to go after handling in the ruck.

And with that numerical advantage, Adam Sturdy was driven over for Stourbridge’s fourth try.

But it was Barking’s Broughton who had the final say when he scored at the death to cut the deficit to just seven points, but if was too little, too late to save the visitors.

Barking: Ashwin, Nelson (Hardy 66), Henderson, Broughton, Hihetah, Ratford, Parker (Gash 47); McIntyre (McGrath 45), Wood, Watney (McIntyre 70), Burns, Turner, Ngan, Yellowlees, Reynolds. Replacements (not used): Ambrose, Usasz.

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