Barnes recorded a crucial 34-24 win in the battle of the bottom two with Westcombe Park in Kent to give themselves a real chance of escaping relegation.

This victory for the Green and Golds, which included the all important try scoring bonus point, continued a remarkable sequence of results, which has seen the winners of each match between these two sides being the team that are away from home.

Barnes took an early lead when, from securing their own kick-off, they drove forward and won a penalty which full-back Josh Coles, wearing the 15 shirt for the first time this season, kicked the first points of the afternoon.

Westcombe Park, who came into the match rock bottom, and having lost ten of their last thirteen matches, knew the vital importance of this match in the context of their season, and hit back to pressure Barnes into conceding two kickable penalties in quick succession, both of which Ryan Fuller sent between the posts.

Failure to maintain discipline then conspired to end the Orpington based side’s purple patch, with number eight Jon West sin-binned.

Within seconds of this happening, Barnes punished the home team when Ciaran Smyth scored from a rolling maul.

Coles’ conversion attempt failed. Just before the half-hour mark, Coles made amends by kicking a penalty to increase the visitors lead to 11-6.

Back to their full compliment, ‘Combe’ hit back with centre Ben Hough diving over, with Fuller adding the extras to re-take the lead by two points.

The Green and Golds upped the ante as half-time approached as Coles kicked his third penalty of the half, and wing man Dave Riley plunged over to ensure Brett Taylor’s men took an important 19-13 lead at the break.

Barnes knew how vital it was to maintain their advantage in the all important opening period of the second half.

However, within six minutes, not only had they lost a player to the sin-bin (captain Gary Holmes), but they also lost the lead with Jon West’s try converted by Fuller as ‘Combe’ led 20-19.

Coles and Fuller then exchanged penalties.

As the game entered its crucial last twenty minutes, Barnes quite brilliantly stepped up to the plate with a period of concerted pressure which led to two converted tries from the forwards, as replacement Jim Remfry and lock John Chance both plunged over, with Coles kicking the extras.

This was a huge win for Barnes, and a real confidence boost as the team go into the final six matches of the season with their survival hopes increasingly more realistic.