Barry looking for return of experienced players
2:02pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Sport
LLANTWIT MAJOR 23pts
BARRY 1st XV 10
THE Barry Rugby Club 1st XV travelled to Llantwit Major on Saturday for a local derby and, as always, the clash brought out the competitive edge in both teams.
With Barry fielding a blend of youth and experience, but really lacking in the latter, and several players playing out of position or unavailable, it was always going to be a difficult afternoon. However, if points were awarded for effort and commitment, the result might well have been different.
Barry started the game with the advantage of the slope and immediately set out their intention of playing open rugby. With forwards and backs linking well, they were rewarded with a penalty try in the first two minutes, a score which was, perhaps, an indication of how the home side would play.
With Barry showing some indecision from the restart, Llantwit were on the offensive and, despite some good defensive work, the visitors finally conceded a penalty to allow the home side back into the game.
A tendency to try and attempt to attack from all parts of the field was not working for the visitors as opportunities were missed and chances to increase the lead spurned. Barry's efforts were not helped by strange decisions from the referee.
The home side were also keen to keep the ball moving and constantly threatened Barry with counter attacks, but, defensively, the visitors looked sound, with especially strong tackling by the back row who, on several occasions, incurred the wrath of the referee.
Barry continued with attacking intentions and were rewarded by a further penalty award, which could and possibly should have resulted in a further penalty try or a card at least.
However, Barry again failed to secure the restart and conceded another penalty, allowing the home side to reduce the deficit to four points after 30 minutes.
With the home side constantly attacking for the remainder of the half, Barry were very much on the defensive but, through a great effort, held firm for a long time. However, following a superb 40 metres drive by the Barry forwards, the ball was lost and, from the resulting chase, despite knock ons by both sides, the referee awarded a fortunate try for the home side to give them a 13-10 advantage at half time.
With slope advantage, Barry had been the better side during this period, and could have been well ahead had they taken their chances - an indication, perhaps, of a lack of cohesion and inexperience at this level.
As expected Llantwit attacked from the restart and, although Barry made changes, they continued to show up well in defence to stop the home side creating much in attack. Llantwit relied heavily on kicking for territory, and this was finally rewarded with a penalty to increase the lead to six points.
Barry continued with aggressive attacks when the chance arose, but wrong option choices and final passes going astray limited the opportunities.
As the half wore on, the game began to turn into a stalemate, with both sides attacking but being met with solid defence.
Unfortunately, Barry were hit hard when, with Scott having to leave the field and all subs used, they were reduced to 14 men. This led to Llantwit taking advantage of the extra space and, following a quick threequarter movement, they succeeded in breaching the defence to add a further try and conversion to make the score 23-10, which in no way reflected the game.
During the final 10 minutes, Barry attacked at every opportunity, but couldn't achieve the score their efforts deserved and this was despite a very belated yellow card to the home side.
Whilst this was a disappointing result for Barry, there were some encouraging individual performances and, perhaps, the key to improving as a team lies with the return of senior players to nurture the obvious talents of the younger members of the squad.
This Saturday's visitors (kick-off 2.30pm) are St Josephs, current joint league leaders, in what will be another difficult game.
All those associated with the club are reminded that annual membership fees are now due.
Each Saturday the club enjoys good support and a good clubhouse atmosphere, but are aware that many who attend are not members.
The has been a large investment in facilities over the past two years, and the financial support that membership brings helps maintain the club both on and off the field.
Ordinary membership costs £30 per annum or, alternatively, individuals can become patrons, providing additional benefits, for £120 per annum.
Membership forms are available from Carol at the bar and will be processed immediately.
A club spokesman said: "This weekend is your chance to help the club by becoming a member and enjoying your pint with a clear conscience."