BRIDPORT edged touring side Barnet Elizabethans 26-24 with a last-ditch converted try in their second pre-season friendly at the Brewery Ground.

Elizabethans, who play in Herts & Middlesex One, agreed to a four 20-minute quarter format and the opening exchanges were robust as both sides made telling tackles.

Blues were soon into the opponents’ 22 with good breaks from Daragh McLoughlin and Oz Sullivan but they could not take advantage as Barnet turned the ball over and kicked deep into the Blues’ 22 winning a turnover scrum.

After very good defence by the Blues, Barnet were able to create an overlap and score an unconverted try in the corner.

From the kick-off Barnet again kicked long and again good defence from the Blues kept Barnet out and they forced a penalty.

However, the resulting line-out was not straight and from the scrum Barnet were able to drive over under the posts to take a 12-0 lead.

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Again, from the kick-off Barnet cleared long and after a good clearing kick from Mitch Waters the Blues were unfortunate to be penalised. Barnet could not take advantage of their line-out, while the Blues won a succession of penalties and drove into Barnet’s 22 but were unable to break a solid defence.

Barnet offended again and the Blues’ forwards drove Dan Butler over with the conversion from Mitch Waters for 12-7.

The second quarter started like the first with the Blues making a quick break through McLoughlin but again failed to capitalise and after conceding a series of penalties. Taken quickly, Barnet were then able to exploit the blindside and again score in the corner for a 17-7 lead.

The Blues were now starting to put the Barnet scrum under pressure but they were able to clear their lines. The Blues kept up the pressure forcing Barnet into errors and from a forward pass in their own 22 the Blues took full advantage from a strong scrum with Charlie Samways showing a superb dummy to break the defence and score under the posts for a 17-14 half-time deficit.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Andrew Livingston catches a Bridport line-out Picture: STUART BRIGGSAndrew Livingston catches a Bridport line-out Picture: STUART BRIGGS

As the number of injuries started to increase, the third quarter was very stop start but was dominated by the Blues forcing Barnet into a number of long clearing kicks.

Bridport’s domination in the scrum was now starting to force Barnet into conceding penalties and desperate defence was keeping the Blues’ forwards out as on several occasions the Blues were inches short from scoring their third try.

They missed a golden opportunity when having spun the ball wide, Waters who was having a solid game, spurned an overlap and was held up just short of the line.

The injury toll on the Barnet players was now beginning to tell and at the start of the fourth quarter the game went to uncontested scrums with Blues’ player Seb Phillips swapping shirts and both sides playing with 14 men.

Despite this Barnet took full advantage of poor Blues defending from the kick-off to race down the touch line, rounding the last Blues player to score under the post and secure a 10-point lead.

After a period of loose play by both sides the Blues gained a penalty and an excellent kick by Waters gave the Blues a five-metre line-out. From the resulting catch and drive the forwards drove Hugh Vivien over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The Blues now had their tails up in search of the winning score.

Samways was almost clean through but his offload was unfortunately knocked on. The Blues gained a turnover and when Barnet conceded successive penalties in their 22 the Blues took full advantage of the uncontested scrums with Andrew Livingston driving over with the last play of the match.

Waters kept his cool to kick the winning conversion.

The Blues have a final warm up game against Chard on Saturday, September 18 before the league proper starts on the 25th.