Russ Morris’s rampaging try settled a dramatic Devon derby against Barnstaple in Brixham’s favour.
The prop forward charged through for an 80th-minute score, converted by Andy Sandercock, that left Barnstaple devastated after a 31-26 defeat.
Barum had made a dream start to the National League Three South West match at Astley Park, racing into a 15-0 lead in the first 13 minutes.
But a stirring three-try comeback by Brixham, led by the marauding runs of Morris and No 8 Jarryd Harris, saw that lead wiped out by half time.
Brixham scored again early in the second half, but then it was Barnstaple’s turn to fight back with a Winston James try and Matt Down penalty giving them a 26-24 lead.
Morris, though, ensured an eighth successive Devon derby defeat for Barum when he saw a gap open up at a ruck and charged through it before brushing off Ryan Brend and Down to score under the posts.
Tom Skelding, Barnstaple’s joint head coach, described the result as devastating – and it was easy to see why after the start his side had made.
In only the second minute, Steve Perry’s long pass narrowly evaded an interception, allowing Brend to run in the first try wide on the right.
It was end to end as Brixham saw a try ruled out for a forward pass and Barnstaple wing Will Topps was taken into touch by the corner flag after a length-of-the-field run.
Down kicked a penalty from six metres inside the Brixham half to make it 8-0 after 11 minutes. And that was swiftly followed by Barnstaple’s second try.
James stole the ball when Brixham threw too long at a lineout and was only denied a try by a tap-tackle from Tom McLean. Barum recycled the ball well all afternoon, though, and they soon had it in the hands of centre Ryan Carter who crashed through to score under the posts, leaving Down an easy conversion.
Brixham looked shellshocked and injury was added to insult when both fly half Ben Lovell and centre McLean hobbled off.
After Gordon Howells had gone close to a third try for Barnstaple, Brixham got their first on 24 minutes with Harris powering over by the post.
Six minutes later, a run by Morris created spare men on the right and Tom Goodman reached out to score.
Sandercock converted both to put Brixham within one point and they took the lead with an attack straight from the restart, Jonny Brown streaking down the right to score.
Down’s penalty on the stroke of half time cut Brixham’s advantage to one point but it was back out to six by the third minute of the second half.
Alun Glanville, the blind-side flanker, flattened Perry as he ran deep into Barnstaple territory, then Harris took up the challenge, stomping through for his second try in his last appearance for Brixham before moving to Italy to play professionally.
Barnstaple looked to be reeling but fly half Perry judged a penalty kick superbly in the swirling wind to take them into the right-hand corner.
After Brixham illegally stopped one catch-and-drive attempt, Barnstaple had another go and this time James was driven over by his team.
Down’s miss from the conversion, as he lost his footing, was atrocious but he did better on the hour to put Barnstaple back in front at 26-24.
The relentless effort left both teams looking tired in the last 10 minutes, with the result that the error count grew.
Tired minds in the Barnstaple ranks no doubt led to the space opening up for Morris to land the final blow and lift Brixham to fifth place, one point and one place above their opponents.
It was a vast improvement on Barum’s 28-3 defeat at Astley Park last season – but the result will be just as painful tonight.
In Tribute South West One West, Bideford fell to a 44-5 defeat away to unbeaten leaders Cleve.
Bude lost 41-18 away to Penryn in Western Counties West.