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Barnsley ‘running out of track’ for promotion after heaviest defeat

By Sport staff Tuesday 25th February 2014
Andrew Appleyard.

While Barnsley's two senior coaches were watching England beat Ireland in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday, their team was succumbing to its heaviest defeat of the season.


The Shaw Laners conceded eight tries and scored three in a 46-17 loss at Sheffield Medicals in Yorkshire League Two. They were led by coach Ed Norris because director of rugby Mark Smith and rugby manager Paul Matthews had tickets for the England match on what was originally a free weekend for the Shaw Laners until their match at Sheffield was postponed for a week due to the rainy weather.


Barnsley are in fifth place in the league, seven points behind the top two but having played more matches. Norris believes it will be difficult for the town team to get promoted now. The former England youth player said: "We are running out of track.  There are 30 points left to play for and if we get all 30 then we will be in with a shout. It's not in our hands and there are three or four teams who will be hard for us to catch.


"But our season shouldn't be termed a success or failure on whether we go up or not. We have got a lot of young players and we are building for the future."


Medicals scored four tries in the first half with two conversions taking the score at the break to 24-0. A mad five minutes early in the second made it 36-10 as the hosts scored two further tries and a conversion while Barnsley got on the scoresheet with unconverted tries by Greg Colbridge and Andrew Appleyard. Sheffield then scored two more seven-pointers before Marlon Wragg got Barnsley's third try in the last minute and Appleyard converted.


Norris said: "It was very disappointing. Sheffield were a very well-drilled team and executed their plans really well. They asked us a lot of questions and we didn't have the answers. "Sometimes you just have to admit that you were up against a better team."