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Joe Wearne haunts Barnstaple with Avonmouth's match-winning kick

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

FAST START: Ross Williamson, the Barnstaple scrum half, sprints in for an early try at Avonmouth Old Boys. Picture: Derek Parnell

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JOE WEARNE was never able to hold down a regular place in the Barnstaple first team.

One thing rarely in question, though, was his goal-kicking.

So Barum hearts would have sunk in the final few minutes of Saturday's National Three south west match at Avonmouth Old Boys when their former player lined up a relatively straightforward penalty kick with his current side trailing by just two points.

Sure enough, Wearne's attempt was successful, giving Avonmouth a 25-24 win, having trailed 17-5 at half time to a Barnstaple team who have now lost three successive away games.

Wearne's defensive frailties meant Kevin Squire, Barnstaple's director of rugby, was not his biggest fan.

And Saturday's events will have done nothing to change that.

After Avonmouth had fought back to lead 22-17, Barum were given new hope when they scored a breakaway try through Linford Brock, converted by Luke Berry.

But Wearne, who played for his home-town team from 2009 to 2011 before joining Avonmouth, condemned them to a defeat that Squire could see coming throughout the second half.

"The conditions were horrendous but give them some credit, they came out for the second half inspired," he said.

"It was surreal to stand there and watch the game slip through our hands.

"I could feel it slipping away from us.

"Once they got the first try, the momentum swung their way and momentum is a powerful thing to stop."

Luke Berry kicked a penalty and converted tries by Ross Williamson and Brock in the first half.

Williamson's came in the opening couple of minutes, the scrum half scoring after a couple of strong carries by Winston James, while Brock got on the end of a kick by fly half Steve Perry.

Grant Britton, who scored Avonmouth's first-half try from close range, got a second identical score after the break, which was converted by Wearne.

The full back then added a penalty before James Foss finished a good handling move by crossing for a try that was also converted by Wearne, putting Avonmouth ahead for the first time at 22-17.

The lead did not last long, but Wearne had the last word.

"We have to take it on the chin," said Squire. "It was a game we were expected to win and everyone will be laughing at us."

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  • Bilbo999  |  January 28 2013, 10:26PM

    Looks like Joe Warne was too good for Barny, rather than the other way around as this article seems to suggest!!