Barnes 20 Purley John Fisher 10 On a day when most of the ducks at the nearby Barnes Wetlands Centre decided to stay indoors due to the weather, Barnes hosted Purley John Fisher at the Barn Elms playing fields, eventually emerging muddied but victorious.

With coach Carson Russell unavailable, club stalwart David Leigh returned in the vital fly half position. Other changes saw the inclusion of Ben Robinson, Alex Thompson and Russell Barnes, making a cameo appearance.

The tone of the game was set from the kick-off as the ball bounced once, short of the ten-yard line and stopped dead in a sizeable puddle. Barnes immediately applied pressure near the Purley line and in the ensuing attack, Russell Barnes was forced from the field with a badly cut eye. Despite this setback the reorganised Barnes three-quarter line was soon flowing freely and the home side scored first after just five minutes when utility back Nicholas Bellis, now on the wing, went over for a try in the left corner. Shortly afterwards Campbell-Stanway increased the lead with a successful penalty after a Purley indiscretion in a kickable location.

Stalemate ensued until the half-hour mark, with Purley pressure forcing Barnes into a string of errors. Then, following some strong controlled driving play by the Barnes pack, Leigh charged his way over the line from ten yards. An excellent conversion by Campbell-Stanway put Barnes into the interval at 15-0.

The Purley forwards must have received an inspirational speech at half-time, for they came out a different pack after the break. The fabled Purley scrum was back to its best, much to the discomfort of the Barnes front row. A number of infringements saw Barnes give away field position and from an ensuing scrum, Purley number eight and captain, Nicholas Wilson, picked up and rushed the 20 metres to the try line, brushing off a number of Barnes tacklers on the way.

The game soon descended into a messy scrap. The slippery conditions and some poor forwards play in the tight resulted in a number of scrums. Barnes defended stoutly but Purley came away with a penalty in the 55th minute from their fly half. Nevertheless, Barnes' pack leader Ben Roome was still dominant in the lineout and following pressure on the Purley throw-in, a Thompson break saw the ball passed across the field for captain Ben Jacob to score in the left corner in the 66th minute.

The last quarter of an hour was affected by the sin-binning of both the Purley number five, for throwing a punch, and Barnes' Michael Buster' White for retaliating. Buster's charging runs at the Purley inside backs were missed, however Fonua Sikalu made some great breaks and linked well with the outside backs.

Barnes, while not overjoyed with their performance, were happy to come away with a win in what they knew was going to be a hard game. Many thanks to the hardy souls who turned out to support on a less than pleasant day.