BARTON maintained their push for a spot in the Midlands Four West (South) play-offs with a comfortable victory over mid-table Coventry Welsh.
Lee Cotton, Jamie Maxwell, Jon Shum and Giles Hadfield all scored tries as Barton avenged the Coventry defeat earlier this season in front of a bumper crowd at Holland Park.
Barton started the match at a fast tempo and took the game straight to the opposition, keeping the ball in Coventry’s half for an extended period of time.
The ball handling and rucking was a credit to the coaching team of Cotton and Ian Lancaster, with the ball rarely going to ground – sapping the energy out of their opposition.
Barton did not have to wait long for the opening try, with Cotton smashing his way through before placing the ball down under the posts.
The hosts maintained their early pressure with some excellent ball handling from not only the centres, but also members of the pack not known for their handling skills.
The experience of Matt Bayley and Hadfield provided a solid base for hooker Gareth Morgan to secure the ball in the scrum.
And it was from a scrum win that the hosts sent the ball out wide to ever-reliable wingers Shum and Sam Murphy.
Coventry were stretched to their limit, with a gap eventually opening up for fly-half Maxwell to run through and score.
In the second half Murphy was replaced by Matt Henry, who showed great potential after moving up from the first team.
Second row Shaun Leek enjoyed an excellent game alongside Mikey Bennet and flanker Rob Smith.
All three showed exceptional strength and determination, exemplified by Smith who dislocated a shoulder in contact
The forwards line-up would not have been complete without the strength and guidance of newcomer Simon Holdsworth.
Holdsworth kept the pack together during a period when Coventry came back into the game – and even threatened to complete what had appeared an unlikely comeback.
However, further Barton tries from Shum and fleet-footed veteran Hadfield secured the home win.
Barton now join third-placed Atherstone, who suffered a 13-7 reverse at home to Harbury, on 58 points.