Peter Gavin’s preview of Worthing Raiders v Barnstaple

Worthing Raiders v Barnstaple RFC

18th February 2017           Kick-off 2pm                                                                 

Our visitors this week are Barnstaple Chiefs RFC (Barum) from North Devon who pay their first ever visit to Roundstone Lane. Raiders visited Barnstaple in October returning defeated 9-7.

Barnstaple RFC History & Background stuff.

The club was founded way back in 1877, making it up there with the oldest in the land. The club has been located at Pottington Road for many years, although doubtless in accordance with tradition the original playing facilities will have been the proverbial farmer’s field, with changing and post match discussions taking place in a nearby hostelry. Pottington Road must have been the sporting end of the town with the Football club and the Bowls club nearby. The club achieved back-to-back promotions in 2006-8 to reach National League 3SW (level 5) and jogged along in mid-table for a few years, until promotion was achieved last season (see below). Barnstaple, like Worthing, is a proper rugby club with a strong emphasis on youth and junior rugby. The club turn out 3 or 4 senior teams along with the vital age-group rugby.

Club Colours: Red and White

Club Crest: Castle of 3 towers, the central tower larger. (Barnstaple Castle was built in the reign of William the Conqueror.)

Club Motto: Fides et Justitia (Faith and Justice)

Barnstaple is the principal town in North Devon, situated at the lowest crossing point of the river Taw, flowing into the Bristol Channel. Exporting wool through the Port (now silted up) brought great wealth in the middle ages. The population of the town is around 30,000 with this figure doubling when the more rural areas are taken into account. The railway station is the terminus of a branch line from Exeter known as the Tara line.

 Last season     

Barnstaple and Exmouth were nip and tuck in the league for most of the season, eventually the champions crown hinged on the last fixture at the Imperial Ground in Exmouth. Apparently Barnstaple’s discipline let them down with Exmouth emerging victors (38-24). Barum, as runners-up travelled to Tonbridge Juddians for the play-off. They defeated the Kent side 30-31 with hero Jordan Petherbridge converting a penalty well into injury time.

Team v TJs: Petherbridge, Topps, Brock, Carter, Berry L, Perry, Bath: Berry M, Starkey, Angell, Jenkins, Pape, Bayett, James, Gohl.

Bench: Crouch, Lloyd, Warren, Miles.

Barnstaple v Raiders

29th October 2016 Barnstaple 9 Raiders 7.  First meeting between the clubs.

On league form the odds favoured the visitors as ‘The Chiefs’ were propping up the table with one win (Clifton 24-22) to their name. Raiders were in 6th spot with four wins from the eight fixtures played. Home advantage and sheer doggedness saw the result the home supporters craved. Jordan Petherbridge landed 3 penalty goals (2 in the 1st half) to a Dan Sargent try (converted by Matt McLean) in the 52nd minute, which put the Raiders in front for 10 minutes or so. The game was marred by a long stoppage when Raiders stalwarts Ryan Storer and Jamie Redmayne clashed heads whilst tackling a Barnstaple forward. Happily and eventually, both players were able to leave the field unaided, accompanied by warm applause.

 Chiefs: Hydleman, Topps, Perry, Murphy, Lee, Petherbridge, Bath, Dugard, Starkey, Berry M, Mason, Hilton, Jenkins, Bayett, Hague. Bench: Angell, Childs, Lloyd, Dunbavin, Berry L.

Raiders: McLean, Loosmore, Wilcockson, Richards, Neilsen, Montgomery, Leeming, Storer, Harris, Sargent, Barlow, Redmayne, Smith, Whittall, Perkins. Bench: Watson-Brooks, Gatford, Niessens, Peach, Short.

The season so far……P22 W6 D1

Chiefs have been in or near the relegation zone all season but a narrow win (13-6) last weekend, against Devon rivals Exmouth sees them now in 13th spot with 35 points. This places them 2 spots above Raiders who are on 29 points. The Chiefs wins have been against Clifton, Raiders and Exmouth along with Taunton Titans (22-19), LIWG (27-10) and Henley Hawks (31-24). They also drew with Barnes (24-24) at their Devon stronghold. The rest of the fixtures have been defeats, garnering 5 losing bonus points in the process. The most pleasing (!) defeat will have been against table topping Chinnor (15-17), the most annoying against Exmouth (38-20). Barum is a well-supported club with home matches attracting crowds of 600+.

The players

A list of the players used recently is provided along with some detail as to their credentials. Most of the players listed represented the club in the play-off match against TJs. Many of the players have been produced through the youth system. Ex Launceston players Steve Perry (coach), Jake Murphy, Rob Dugard, Ben Hilton and recent recruit Kyle Speare are known to Raiders from our meetings with ‘Cornish All Blacks’ over the years. Jordan Petherbridge is the leading point’s scorer with 134 including 6 tries. Ben Hilton is the leading try scorer in the forwards also with 6. Nat Bayett has started every match, usually in the back row. The front row consisting of Rob Dugard, James Starkey and Kevin Angell have been virtually ever present.

Did you know?

Barnstaple used to be spelt Barnstable

Barnstaple is referred to as ‘Barum’ from a contraction of the Latin name (ad Barnastapolitum).

World cup winner England and Lions prop Phil Vickery was born in Barnstaple.

Renowned ‘All Black’ Jerry Collins once played for Barnstaple 2ndXV in a one off match as he was passing by…he so much enjoyed the experience he wore Barnstaple socks in his outing for the Barbarians. Very sad to recall that Jerry and his wife were tragically killed in a car crash in France a couple of years ago.


An important fixture for both sides!!!!


C’Mon Raiders.


Name (Age)  *Played 29/10/16 Apps  2016-17 Joined Points Honours Position/Prev Club/s Apps                       *played v Raiders
Will Topps *(28) 21 2012 3T Devon Full Back/Wing: Old Patesians, Bridgwater* Christchurch OB NZ
Isaac Hydleman* 20 12/2R 2014 1T/8C/4P   Full Back: Barnstaple Youth, Bristol Academy, Launceston 5.
Linford Brock (23) 17 2012 5T Eng U18 Devon Wing: Barnstaple Youth, Exeter College, N. Devon Raiders (RL)
Luke Berry* (26) 5/9R 2008 2T/2C DevonU21 Wing: Stalwart
Kyle Speare 2/1R 2017   Wing: Launceston* 26
Jake Murphy* (2) 21 2016 2T Cornwall Centre: Plymouth 22, Launceston* 160
Ryan Carter (24) 19 2012 4T   Centre: Barnstaple Youth, N. Devon Raiders RL
Steve Perry* (35) Head Coach 19 2013 1P Cornwall Devon Fly Half/Centre: Plymouth, Launceston* 175
Jordan Petherbridge* (21) 18/1R 2014 6T/25C/ 18P Devon Scrum Half/Full Back/Fly Half: Barnstaple Youth, Bideford
James Bath* (22) 10/5R 2012 1T Eng Colls Somerset Scrum Half: Exeter College, Exeter University, Taunton 3.
Mark Berry* (36) 5/7R 2002 1T Devon LH Prop: Stalwart
Rob Dugard* (30) 19/3R 2016 1T   LH Prop: Chippenham 9, Coventry 99, B’ham & S 26, Plymouth 28, Broadstreet 9, Launceston* 26.
Kevin Angell* (26) 20/2R 2014 1T   TH Prop: Barnstaple Youth
Ashlee Crouch 22 3/11R 2014 2T Devon U20 Hooker: Barnstaple Youth, N. Devon Raiders RL.
James Starkey* 26 19/2R 2013 1T   Hooker: Bideford
Bryn Jenkins* (29) Coach 17 2014   Lock/Wing Forward/No8:Plymouth, Launceston 104, Cambridge 35
Ben Hilton* (32) 19 2016 6T Eng Co Cornwall(c) Lock/Wing Forward/No8: Cornish Pirates 34, Mounts Bay 69, Launceston* 175.
Matt Hague* (23) 11/3R 2016 1T   Lock/No8: Tiverton
Oli Mason* (24) 15/3R 2013 Royal Navy Lock: Blundells, Swansea University, North Walsham, Royal Marines
Matt Gohl (23) 7/5R 2012 3T Devon Lock/No8: Barnstaple Youth
Adam Lloyd* 4/10R 2014   Lock:-
Nat Bayett* (20) 22 2015 2T Devon Wing Forward/No8: Barnstaple Youth, Bicton College, Exeter Academy
Brad Drew (21) 0/5R 2014   Wing Forward: Barnstaple Youth
Jake Childs* (30) 1/4R 2016 1T Devon No8: Taunton* 48, Bridgwater*11, Launceston*, Plymouth.