ANOTHER long away trip to Stothert & Pitt ended in Minehead Barbarians only gaining a losing bonus point to show for their efforts as they lost 25pts-21.

After two-and-a-half hours on the coach, Minehead were off the pace for the first 20 minutes whilet the home side showed how they had recently turned over Midsomer Norton by opening the game up right from the start. They looked extremely sharp, especially playing to the left wing where their eventual man-of-the-match seemed to find acres of space, keeping Minehead’s defence at full stretch.

However, when the breakthrough did eventually come it was on the right flank. Minehead knocked on and in attempting to tidy up saw a half-hearted clearance kick go straight down an attacker’s throat then pass through several pairs of hands before the right winger went over in the corner. The kick failed and almost from the restart the left winger was set free again only to be crunched by a try-saving Tom Bishop tackle Minehead began to settle and after 20 minutes launched their first real attack of the game down and, given a sight of the line, the pack surged over from a catch-and-drive with hooker Joe Barrett securing the touch-down. Dom Westcott’s excellent long range conversion gave them an unlikely two-point lead.

Minehead kept up the pressure with both Stu Ford and Richard Henson both being stopped just short. A solid scrum and one phase towards the posts saw scrum-half Martin Cook scoop up a pass to prop James Baker lying off who took the ball at pace and changed his line of running in a spirited 15 metre dash to the line. Westcott again converted to put them 14-5 ahead.

Stotherts hit back with a drop goal before once again their left winger found himself in space, this time finding his centre in support to go in for an unconverted try putting them 15-14 ahead at the break.

Minehead were playing up the slight slope in the second half and opted to attack the narrow channels to nullify the danger out wide. Dom Westcott went close on several occasions before forcing a way through and then convert his own try to put his side back in front at 21-15.

However, the final minutes were all literally down hill as the home side took advantage of the slope to pull one back from a forward drive before putting their right wing over in the corner after more good work from the pack.

Dom Westcott got the man-of-the-match award for his try and three conversions while Joe Barrett showed he is returning to fitness in a hard-working display.

Minehead: D Farmer, J Pound, T Ninnes, S Ford, T Bishop, D Westcott, M Cook, R Lewis, J Barrett, J Baker, L Parker, R Griffiths, H Simms, R Henson, D Edwards, K Roberts, S Matthews, K Lewis.