In a game where the overall balance of play was fairly even, the scoreline was cruel on Scottish but reflected the greater cohesion in the Barnes backline.
The visitors were generally on top in the first half, but Scottish enjoyed most of the territory and possession in the second, only to be undone by three long-distance Barnes tries.
The first ten minutes were evenly contested, with Scottish missing out on the best chance from a kick-ahead. Barnes then missed a penalty, but regained possession and worked through the phases to go over in the corner for the opening score. Barnes quickly added a second try and forced Scottish to dig in for a while. Twenty minutes on the big Barnes left-winger broke several tackles and offloaded for the visitors’ third try. Scottish then had a good spell, missing out when penalised at a ruck under the Barnes posts, but Perrin converted a penalty shot on half-time.
Barnes missed an early second half penalty, before Scottish mounted sustained pressure and were rewarded with a try from a tap penalty from the quick-thinking MacArthur. Play seesawed for a while, before Barnes claimed the decisive score breaking down their left wing. Scottish had successive 5 metre line-outs, but lost some momentum when Russell was injured. May made several telling charges and crossed the line from a quick tap penalty only to be recalled by the referee.
Milligan seized on a loose ball on halfway and was caught just a couple of metres short of the line, but Barnes ran the turnover ball the length of the pitch for an impressive killer score. On full-time Barnes added a final try, taking advantage of a penalty award on their left wing.
It was a sound performance from the Scottish pack, with Spinks particularly prominent in taking play forward. For his first game at fly-half captain Jones marshalled his backs well, Sabau always offered an attacking threat, and MacArthur’s darts from scrum half frequently had the Barnes defence scrambling.
Team: 15 Joel Maisey; 14 Delroy Sabau, 13 Aaron Perrin, 12 Liam Russell, 11 Pete Bremner; 10 Gruffudd Jones, 9 Tom MacArthur; 8 Stuart May, 7 Tommy Spinks, 6 Hamish Coventry; 5 Gavin Calder, 4 Eliot Fallon; 3 Paul Webster, 2 Mungo Strachan, 1 David Greene.
Replacements: Shane Logan, Alex Hawkes, Will Bayliss-Brown, Rob Wilson, Donald Milligan.
Try: MacArthur; Penalty: Perrin.
Scoring sequence: 0-5 (13 mins), 0-12 (15), 0-17 (34), 3-17 (40+2); 8-17 (48), 8-24 (58), 8-31 (74), 8-38 (80+2).
Conditions: Sunny with light breeze. RAG Pitch 4 perfect.