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Barbarians play for pride second half

PUBLISHED: 11:20 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:09 07 July 2010

Action from the Dereham Barbarians' game.

Action from the Dereham Barbarians' game.

After an uncharacteristic and average performance against Stowmarket, Dereham Barbarians had a lot to dwell on. The Moorgate faithful expected a lot and they weren't disappointed, at least in the second half.

After an uncharacteristic and average performance against Stowmarket, Dereham Barbarians had a lot to dwell on. The Moorgate faithful expected a lot and they weren't disappointed, at least in the second half.

Dereham, fielding a decent side but without key players Jack Edwards and Andrew Rumbles, kicked off against the wind. But a strong Holt team, fielding mainly 17 and 18-year-olds ran in many tries with seeming ease.

Dereham looked poor, and if it hadn't been for some incredible defence from Bessent, Jamieson and Stuart, playing impressively at outside centre, Dereham could have been dead and buried in the first 40 minutes. However, they managed to cling on and the defecit at half-time was only

29-0.

A different team walked on the pitch for the second half. The comeback started with glorious hands in the backs, and acute running angles from the strong and physical Stuart saw him bundled over to score. Evans coolly converted from very wide.

Another try was scored after clean ball from a fired-up Dereham front eight and quick ball from Affleck to Stuart, who again made yards before giving it for Durrant to cross for a well worked try (unconverted).

Then the floodgates opened. Stoleworthy was outstanding and caused havoc for heavier and less agile opponents. Warren was also monstrous and his aggression and pace led to the third try in 10 minutes, as quick hands from Affleck and Wright meant that Warren was one-on-one, with his opposite winger. Warren's blistering pace sent him to the try line. Evans converted from a very tight angle.

Evans was soon setting up another conversion after some ruthless rucking and mauling from the dominant Bar-Bars pack. Bean created clean ball for the backs, a simple move held the defenders, and Bessent drove over.

Holt then scored a breakaway try completely against the run of play, despite the best efforts of the magnificent Wright, who tackled impressively all day.

Dereham were so close, and another try would put them in real contention. From the restart the brilliant Spencer ran ferociously, once again setting up a neat platform for the backs and Bessent again went over. Evans coolly converted.

Dereham ran out of time and the fairytale ending wasn't to be, but they finished strongly and played like proper Barbarians.

Jamieson, Wright, Stuart, Reader and Evans were outstanding and there were no weak performances.

Captain Marcus Evans said: “I'm so proud of my guys.

“They went at it hammer and tongs and played proper Barbarian rugby.

“The lesson learnt from today is if only we could play like that second half for 80 minutes.”

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