Bottom of the league clash serves up meagre fayre
9:02am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Sport
BARRY RFC 1st XV 12
LLANDAFF NORTH 8
SATURDAY'S clash at the Reservoir Field featured two rugby sides without a league point this season.
With a blustery northeaster at their backs for the opening session, the visitors showed commendable intent from the outset by spinning the ball out at every opportunity.
Although Barry featured several welcome returnees, they failed to settle into any recognisable pattern.
The large visiting pack began to assert themselves in line out and scrummage, earning an early penalty, which was duly converted. Not to be outdone, the Barry pack made considerable ground through the efforts of Scott, McTavish and Evans, and they set up a Lee penalty shot to level the scores.
The game continued in a very scrappy manner. In such circumstances, the arbiter should also bear some degree of responsibility by helping the players to inject some continuity into proceedings. A yellow card was issued to each side for minor offences; the players were mystified as to the reason for such penalty.
The final part of the first half saw Llandaff North dominating both territory and possession and, with this backdrop, the home team were, perhaps, fortunate to go into the break on level terms.
Barry started the second half in a much more determined manner and, within five minutes, Lee turned from villain to hero; first he missed a relatively easy penalty and then was successful from fully 40 metres.
However, the visitors began to dominate proceedings by using the slope advantage with their tactical kicking and, after several failed attempts, they eventually crossed for a deserved try in the corner. The winger’s re-creation of an “Ashton swallow dive” was cut short by his team-mates’ anguished cries to just ground the ball!
There followed a nervous time for Barry, with their opponents monopolising possession and only failing to add to their tally through lack of steadiness near the try line. Barry, however, stuck to the task and worked their captain into a position for a further penalty to regain the lead. For the final quarter of the match, Barry established a forward momentum dominated by Flynn and Degaura and this, in turn, enabled Richie O'Sullivan to bring much-needed stability to the midfield. The reward was a final penalty kick following desperate, and sometimes illegal, defending by Llandaff North.
This was a welcome but hard-earned first victory for Barry in this campaign and the final period showed that they have important skills in critical positions, which should allow them to move up the league in the coming weeks.
Barry: Ryan, Adams, Provis, Buckland, Busitill, Ritchie O’Sullivan, Lee, Degaura, Poole, Scott, McTavish, Flynn, Jennings, Evans, Rhys O’Sullivan, Giddings, Hollister, Gallivan and Luke O’Sullivan.
Next Saturday Barry travel to Nantymoel; kick-off 2.30pm.