Before this weekend's local derby match, there was a minute’s silence in memory of Alan Woollam. A past skipper, and outstanding player, who had excelled for Minehead Barbarians and also Bridgwater and Albion.

Alan’s funeral took place on Saturday, attended by many of his former Minehead rugby friends.

The game took place in damp weather, with the Barbarians keen to make up for their early season loss at Taunton. The Barbarians fielded a bigger pack and this was to benefit the team, providing quality ball to their half backs. Early pressure from Minehead, including an impressive carry from Winter, gained a lot of ground but the score would not come.


Minehead Barbarians 13 Taunton Utd 10

Eventually the visitors conceded a penalty in their 22, Gower converting to give Minehead a lead.

There had been an amount of “needle” between the two sides, with a number of minor scuffles in the game.

Unfortunately, one of the scuffles became more serious, and the referee showed a red card to a Taunton front row player, and also to Minehead’s Nunn.

The Barbarians had lost a centre, and before they could adjust their defence, Taunton exploited an overlap to score in the corner.

However, Minehead benefited from their visitors losing a forward, and the home pack started to take a grip over the scrums. Senior, who returned this season, made a vital turnover in mid-field to stop another Taunton attack. Soon after, a long kick by Lynch was chased down by Day, and Taunton were forced back over their own line. The resulting scrum saw a powerful drive from the Barbarian pack, shunting the visitors back, and Willes scored the try.

Minehead were forced into changes when Buckingham took a blow, Henson returning to the team, and Swann came on later to relieve Roberts.

With a small lead over a team higher in the table, the half time talk was about forcing home the advantage, and going for the win. The Barbarians won a penalty in the visitors 22, and chose to have a scrum. With Minehead putting pressure on, Milton shot around the blind-side, and as the last defender was committed, his pass to Day was perfect and he raced into the corner. Gower’s difficult conversion failed by only inches.

Minehead now had a vital eight point lead meaning the visitors needed to score at least twice. Minehead ran the ball from deep, with Gower and Chinn combining well, taking play deep into the Taunton half.

Minehead exerted pressure, and were helped by a penalties for Taunton’s indiscipline!

The game was paused for a while as treatment was given to Senior who took a nasty knock. He was replaced by Claydon who provided another fine cameo.

With the last play of the game Taunton managed a try, but the Barbarians took the spoils.

There were many good performances, Willes, White, Cox and Winter in the forwards, and Chinn and Gower behind, but Man of the Match was claimed by Luke Milton for his calmness and game management.

Report by Bryan Stevens