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The Middlesex Barbarians improved to 5-0 with a 31-13 defeat of previously undefeated Worcester Saturday in New England DII club play.

Worcester jumped out to an early lead thanks to a series of Middlesex mistakes, and their forwards punched it in for a 7-0 lead.

The two teams bashed at each other early, leading to penalty kicks on either side and a 10-3 score. After a period of pressure, Middlesex put the screws on in the scrum and earned a penalty try for their efforts. That tied the match 10-10 at halftime.

In the second half, the Middlesex defensive effort kept forcing turnovers, which led to tries.

New addition Jack Mahoney scored two tries and assisted on another, and led by co-Men of the Match No. 8 Matt Gottbrecht and center Mike Lyons, the Barbarians took a bonus-point victory.

"Our defense today showed me a new level of where this club can go to, ball retention not so much," said Middlesex Head Coach Josh Smith. “Today was a great day for our club sweeping 3 matches at home against a storied club like Worcester. We still haven't played close to our best.”

Middlesex now is alone on top of the New England DII Club Laurence Conference. Worcester is second at 4-1.

Meanwhile Portland remains in first in the Daly conference after another match between the top two teams. Portland edged Providence 23-18 to move to 5-0-1 and drop Providence to 4-2. Albany missed a chance to get a little closer to Providence, as they were upended by Newport 34-22.