Dogs, Lions, the Bear and the Fun Bus
After dousing Ealing's unbeaten record last weekend, there's
little doubt the dogs of Barking would like nothing better than to
lift their legs on Jersey's bonfire at St Peter this
Following a run of five straight losses in September &
1st October the men from East London have enjoyed some
stunning results of late. Three wins during October included a
31-18 away win at Fylde with 14 men, a late triumph against the
Bees, and then the stunning defeat of Ealing with the runaway
leaders downed 22-20 at Goresbrook.
The recent upturn has helped boost Barking's league position, which
after the opening day success against Blaydon (28-26) had plummeted
to the lower reaches of the table.
This preview is probably not the first to compare Barking with
Millwall Football Club, a dozen miles away on the other side of the
River Thames. 'No-one likes us, we don't care,' is the Millwall
chant, and the same 'Stuff the lot of you' attitude seems to
pervade at Goresbrook should any detractors rear their heads. It's
not the prettiest ground, average crowds are the lowest in the
division and compared to the other London teams in National One,
Barking lack the history and status of Rosslyn Park and Blackheath,
and the budget of Ealing. But the team have displayed real spirit
in recent seasons, and those under-estimating them do so at their
peril. These dogs have bite.
Jersey aim for five on-the-bounce
The home team are right to be wary, but at the same time will look
to extend the winning run begun on October 8th to five games, ahead
of the visit to Cambridge next weekend.
Head Coach, Ben Harvey appears to be enjoying the luxury of some
settled squads. While Ross Broadfoot is likely to miss out
following a shoulder injury at Blaydon last week (his last-minute
try-saving tackle was in spite of this), the squad is likely to
have a familiar look. Young Chris Levesley on the wing isn't yet a
fixture, but has impressed sufficiently to be likely to gain a
third successive start. Myles Landick was named man-of-the-match
against Blaydon by the JEP, relishing his tussle with former
Newcastle man Micky Ward, and may keep the Bear, Jon Brennan, caged
on the bench until some stage in the second half.
Jersey 2nds will also be looking forward to a game against visiting
opposition, with Barking 2nds joining the mini-tour and playing in
the curtain-raiser at 12 noon.
Barking in 2011/12
Performances in the season to date have been largely summarised
earlier. The main off-field development has been the departure on
October 24th of Head Coach Martin Jones after just nine games with,
as yet, no official explanation offered.
The player best-known to Jersey fans is Andrew Henderson, a key
figure in midfield during 2010/11 (30 appearances, nine tries),
released over the summer and inevitably cropping up in opposition
colours. It's been a decent start for 'Hendo' with six tries and
three penalties thus far. The tries included the winner against
Bees and the opening score against Ealing. The others at the top of
the scoring charts are Chris Ashwin (106 points) and Will Nelson
Other new arrivals have included (with thanks to Fylde for the
'hard yards' research on this section): In the forwards: no 8 Phil
Davies (Pau, Harlequins, Bayonne & Orrell); lock Dan Smith
(Doncaster, Rotherham & Plymouth); backrower Liam Dwyer
(Launceston); hooker Adrian Duncan (Cinderford); props Tom French
(Wasps & Nottingham, with a player-coaching brief), Tim
Kavanagh (Westcombe Park) & Joe Reid (Esher &
Birmingham/S). And outside the pack: fly-half Chris Ashwin
(Clifton, Bristol & Newbury); fullback Frankie Neale (London
Scottish, Wasps & Blackheath); wing Charlie Broughton (London
Scottish) & centre Marcus Burcham (Ealing Trailfinders).
Barking - a potted history
It all started in 1930 as Park Modern Old Boys. Park Modern was a
rugby playing school in the borough and their first headmaster,
Bill Easterby, Headmaster of Park Modern School in Barking, founded
the club as Park Modern Old Boys in 1930. The club were based at
the school grounds until the 1960s, and in 1974 the name changed to
Barking Park, with the 'Park' dropped just two years later.
Goresbrook became home in 1989 and in 1994 the club attained
National League status. In 2004-05 Barking won promotion to Level
Three, although their stay lasted only two seasons, and underlined
the need to make the most of home-grown players and live within
their needs. One relegation nearly led to another, but National
League status was preserved with a win at Mounts Bay on the last
day of the 2007-08 season.
In 2008-09 Barking finished seventh, but also added a new stand and
floodlighting and recruited ex-England (one-cap) international Alex
Codling as Director of Coaching. The stage was set for 2009-10 when
26 wins from 28 games delivered automatic promotion and a return to
National One/ Level Three.
Last season saw a titanic struggle with the moneybag Exiles from
the other side of town. London Scottish lost some early games but
launched a tenacious pursuit of leaders Barking, to the extent that
the title, and promotion, was on the line when the two sides met at
Goresbrook in early May. The rest is history, but anyone who missed
it should read this - Barking went into the closing minute with a
13-10 lead against 14 Exiles following a yellow card, and only
needed to keep possession to secure the title - and then click this.
* Famous Barking Old Boys are former President Jason Leonard OBE
(England and British & Irish Lion) and Kris Chesney (Saracens,
England Sevens & Toulon)
* The club has close links with Saracens, and in the other
direction with the local Robert Clack School which acts as a feeder
and is able to give opportunities to local youngsters
* Brothers Francis and Ed Ambrose, both props, have each received
red cards so far this season, against Fylde and the Bees
* Three players have played all 10 league games so far this season:
Andrew Henderson, Charles Broughton and Dan Smith
* Within 10 days of the defeat by London Scottish in May, Barking
DoR Alex Codling had been snapped up by the Exiles as Forwards
* While the 1st and 2nd XVs visit Jersey this weekend, the 3rds are
touring Rhodes next summer.
Following the game
Those who can't make it to St Peter this weekend needn't lose touch
with the build-up to Jersey v Barking, and the action on Saturday
from 3pm. Options for keeping tabs include:
* Preview on BBC Radio Jersey's 'Sportscene' from 6- 7pm on Friday,
and live commentary on Saturday afternoon
* Preview in Friday's JEP, the 'Inside Centre' pull-out on Saturday
and full match coverage on Monday
* Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul' rugby
* Match report on Channel 103 soon after the final whistle
* Highlights on Channel TV at 6.15pm on Monday, and online.
29 Sep 2023
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