Stourbridge 29 Barking 22

STOURBRIDGE secured a bonus point victory to extend the gap between themselves and basement boys Barking.

But a last gasp try from Charles Broughton ensured the visitors didn’t return to London empty-handed, their fourth try edging them to within seven points of the Saxons.

Barking had started the better but all they could show for their dominance was a 21st minute try from Tom Burns who charged down the wing to score in the corner, Chris Ashwin slotting over the conversion.

The remainder of the half belonged to the Saxons as they opened up a ten-point interval lead.

Ali Bressington posted the first points with a 27th minute penalty with Nathan Bressington then keeping it in the family with a scorching run to the line six minutes before the break.

Barkley was rewarded for his hard work when he scythed through on 38 minutes, Ali Bressington slotting over the extras each time.

Barking were reeling at this point but the interval allowed them to regroup they were back in contention within six minutes of the restart, hooker Steven Wood dotting down after Burns had intercepted a loose Peter White pass.

The latter stages saw free-flowing rugby coming from both sides as they ran in two more tries apiece.

Sam Baker stretched the Saxons lead on the hour when he hacked forward Tommy Richardson’s kick forward and eased past Barking winger Stephen Hihetah to dive on the ball.

Replacement front row Craig McGrath scored a bizarre try for the visitors three minutes, gathering a loose Stourbridge line-out before striding the 20 metres to the line.

But Barking’s hopes were then dashed by having second row Rod Turner sin binned seven minutes from time for handling in the ruck.

Adam Sturdy was driven over for a fourth Saxons try, Jamie Hearn adding the conversion, only for Broughton to have the final say when he scored at the death.

With relegation rivals Bees returning from Rosslyn Park empty-handed, the Saxons are now just a single point adrift of their Midlands neighbours ahead of the weekend’s trip to Cambridge.

Stourbridge: Baker, N Bressington, Jarvis, Barkley, A Bressington (Hearn 70), Reakes, White (Richardson 55); Lawrence (Sturdy 55), Page, Furniss (Hill 73), Dacres, Hurrell, Garner (Rodley 65), Rovira, Harper Barking: Ashwin, Nelson (Hardy 66), Henderson, Broughton, Hihetah, Ratford, Parker (Gash 47); McIntyre (McGrath 45), Wood, Watney (McIntyre 70), Burns, Turner, Ngan, Yellowlees, Reynolds. Reps (not used): Ambrose, Usasz

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