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Coach thinks Shaw Laners need magnificent seven to gain promotion

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Tuesday 11th February 2014
Tom Bagnall.

Barnsley RUFC head coach Mark Smith believes his side must win their last seven Yorkshire League Two matches if they are to gain promotion.


The Shaw Laners made it back-to-back victories with a 22-14 home success against Roundhegians on Saturday. Their four tries gave them a five-point victory but the rest of the sides at the top of the congested table also won so Barnsley stayed seven points off the leaders in fifth place.


"We need to win all seven to have a good chance of promotion," said Smith.


"We have three of the bottom five to play and three of the top four. It will be tough but we will give it our best shot."


Smith said that Barnsley's performance in the first half on Saturday was their best of the season. The home team took the lead through Tom Bagnall who was set up by Jeff Watt after good work by Josh Smith and man of the match Jack Iles. Andrew Appleyard missed the conversion then Roundhegians levelled with a unconverted try of their own.


There were 18 points scored in the last three minutes of the first half. Roundhegians took an 8-5 lead with a penalty then Barnsley went back in front through a Marlon Wragg try on his first game of the season when he finished off some driving play involving Jordan Wood and Dave Reed. Appleyard converted to give the home side a 12-8 lead. Roundhegians kicked another penalty to narrow the gap to a point but Adam Smith – also playing his first game since returning to the club – touched down following good work from Watt, Reed and scrum-half Chris Beck to make it 17-11 at the break.


The second half was a tense affair especially after Roundhegians slotted a penalty on 58 minutes to make it 17-14. But Barnsley made sure of the win and the bonus point in the last minute when Joe Taylor charged down a kick and passed to Andrew Smith to score a try.