MINEHEAD Barbarians went down 36-15 away to Wells in their last match of the season in Coounties Two Somerset, writes Bryan Stevens.

The game was much closer than the score suggests, with Wells only pulling away in the final ten minutes. Playing with the aid of the slope in the first half Minehead scored twice to have a small lead at the break.

Before any points were scored Minehead had to endure some heavy pressure, but Van Wyk and Hole in the centre tackled hard, and the Barbarian back row covered the field in defence. Eventually Wells were rewarded and a drive through midfield gained a converted try.

Immediately the Barbarians struck back; a big tackle from Cox caused a mistake in the Wells backs, Van Wyk won the ball back and fed Chinn who sprinted away, only inches from the touchline to score.

The Barbarians kept the ball in hand making multiple passes rather than kicking as they tested the home defence. As ever, Day ran the ball from full-back at every opportunity, and took some heavy tackles in the process, but never shirked his efforts.

In the forwards Hollingsworth stood out, carrying hard and linking with the backs. This linking created the space for Chinn to race away for his second try.

The Minehead forwards were having to work hard to keep Wells at bay, Dunton, Swann, Roberts and Holness giving their all. Day then burst away, linked with Handley who almost scored. However, Wells were creating chances as well, and it took a turnover from Bullard to stop them, and turn defence to attack! Bullard broke away and found Day in support, the full-back raced seventy metres to score.

A lead at the break was good, but the Barbarians had to face the slope now, a tough task in the strong wind.

Wells scored early closing the gap, but Minehead kept fighting, with Willes putting in yet another heavy shift for his team. On several occasions the Barbarians came close, but to Wells’ credit they are a much improved side.

It was half way through the second period before Wells managed to take a lead, and in the last few minutes their lead was extended to the finish.

A season of highs and lows, where players such as Willes and Day have been consistently good, Chinn and Cox have showed touches of class, and the team spirit has been maintained even when injuries have taken their toll. The senior team has welcomed Van Wyk, Handley, and Dunton, and seen Hole return to the fold.

Above all, remember Minehead were the only team to beat league winners Taunton!

The efforts of Hollingsworth in the forwards and Hawker, who was outstanding, made them Men of the Match.