Barny as they are commonly known turn out two senior sides on a regular basis. Their mini section is quite strong in numbers but at junior level there are gaps turning out sides in certain age groups. To bridge the gaps at some age levels a combined Barnard Castle/ Richmond team is used to play matches.
The club house is in the centre of town while the pitches are a ten minute walk away on a ground near to the river. The club have this year been able to obtain a lease for the playing fields which they are now able to obtain grants for ground improvements. Work on the grounds started during last closed season with some much needed drainage being installed. The additional drainage has improved the playing surfaces and surrounds and it is planned to add more drainage during the coming closed season.
Barny are enjoying a successful season being one of three sides fighting for two promotion places, while Ryton are at the other end of the table with relegation in prospect.
A good size crowd watched the match run to form with Barny running out comfortable winners against a Ryton team that battled to the final whistle.
My second stop of the day was at Billingham RFC to meet the coach taking the County U20 team on the long trip to Herefordshire for the Sunday match against North Midlands. We travelled as far as Birmingham on Saturday not reaching our hotel until 11pm
On Sunday morning we still had a further hour and a half to Luctonians RFC for the match.
In a hard fought match the Durham boys did the county proud with an excellent 31- 25 victory. Their reward for this is another long journey as we have been drawn away to Kent in the semi-final.
The semi is to be played on Easter Sunday with the winner progressing to a Twickenham final on the sixth of May.
A six and half hour journey back saw me arrive home at twelve thirty on Monday morning.
Worth the effort to see our U20 do the county proud.