Action from Saturday's game against Redcar Pic: Dave Bottoms
Action from Saturday's game against Redcar Pic: Dave Bottoms

Durham/Northumberland 2
Barnard Castle..... 57
Redcar.................. 19
FOR their last game of the season Barney entertained old friends Redcar who, like their hosts, have had something of an up and down season, with entertaining victories followed by disappointing defeats.
Castle, however, were determined to end the season in style and showed their intent straight from the kick-off as Danny Winter scorched into the line inside his own 22 from full-back and side-stepped the Redcar defenders to score a wonderful opening try with only seconds played. The conversion by skipper Sam Bell gave Barney the early lead, 7-0.
More was to follow soon afterwards as there was no let up in Barney’s opening onslaught and their hooker, Ford, threw in an impressive sidestep to score the second try of the day, 12-0.
Redcar tried to regain their composure and play their way back into the game, but Luke Cowley was lying in wait and intercepted the ball to canter in from halfway to extend Castle’s lead to 19-0 following the conversion from Bell.
From the kick-off Barney scored the try of the day with coach Junior running the ball out of the Barney 22 and offloading to Robbie Lavin who danced up the touchline like a pro from Strictly, before feeding Sam Bell to run in for the try.
This gave Barney the four try bonus point after only 20 minutes. With Sam converting his own try, the lead had grown to 26-0.
Five minutes later Barney were on the scoresheet again as hooker Ford, barged over for another try, his second of the day.
Redcar, however, were determined to score before half time and exerted pressure inside the Barney 22, but once again Castle were able to move the ball up the pitch and lovely interplay saw number 8, Marty Lonsdale, cutting a great line to score the converted try to give Barney a 38-0 lead as the half-time whistle blew.
The second half began with disruption for Castle as all-action scum half Ali Johnson made a great break, but then had to leave the field as he was injured during a last gasp tackle.
From the re-start, however, Luke Cowley was able to cut through with a try under the posts, which extended the lead to 45-0.
Barney rang the changes, with coach Junior, leaving the field, but the scoring continued as an offload by Lavin saw Lonsdale run in for the try from number eight.
Redcar responded well and had the better of the closing exchanges with their impressive centre opening the scoring and with the conversion the score moved to 50-7.
Barney weren’t done yet, however, and a great offload saw Archie Thompson race over from half-way to round off the scoring for the hosts.
To their great credit the Redcar heads didn’t drop and the closing exchanges saw them playing their best rugby of the day to secure two late tries which took the final score to 57-19.
This was an excellent game to end the season, with both sides playing entertaining rugby in a great spirit.
As the players left the field there was time for both teams to applaud club stalwart, John McGrath, as he announced his retirement from rugby – he says he really means it this time.
Both clubs have always enjoyed a friendly rivalry and it was great to see Redcar staying behind at the clubhouse where both teams enjoyed the hospitality and refreshments on offer.
Redcar named Danny Winter as Barney’s man-of-the- match for an outstanding display that had begun straight from the kick-off. The club would like to thank Jon and Linda Raper for their sponsorship of the game.
It has been a tough season for Barney and many other clubs at this level, as the game of rugby has emerged from Covid lockdowns and players at all levels have drifted away from the game.
Next season the club will be hoping they can build on the positives of this season and the fine crop of talented young players that have emerged during the year.
Nick Raper