Brown's try sparks wild celebrations

St PETERS 2nd XV 22pts

BARRY 2nd XV 27

THE Barry Rugby Club 2nd XV resumed their league campaign following the autumn international break with a tough trip to St Peters and the omens were not good.

The same side had put over 50 points on Barry Thirds the weekend before, and Barry had to cope with over 30 players unavailable again. Coach Rhidian Scott and manager Ken Chow dug deep into resources, with Lucas Davies, Ashley Brown and third team manager Chris Prosser all involved in the match-day squad for the first time. Flanker Lee Jones was forced to play out of position in second row, with Jack Giddings switching to No 8.

Barry began at a good tempo, with fly-half Jordan Flynn pulling the strings with his excellent distribution. Unfortunately, their attacking momentum was blunted by some simple individual errors, which saw St Peters rack up two tries and a penalty within the first 20 minutes, exploiting some frail Barry tackling.

Barry looked down and out when Lee Turnbull was forced off injured after some serious foul play that went unpunished. Scott voiced his displeasure at the turn of events from the sidelines and the players responded positively, increasing their aggression in both attack and defence.

A swift blindside move saw the St Peters defence outnumbered, and Joel Williams was on hand to send Tom Adams in for his first try for the club under the posts. Flynn added the extras.

With their tails up, the visitors pushed on. There were superb contributions in the ball carrying department by the forwards, most notably Thomas, Giddings and Lundy. The attacking platform was set for Williams to break the St Peters line again, and this time it was Brad White who dived over for another converted score.

The early momentum gained by the home side had dissipated as the interval approached and, after St Peters were penalised for a tackle round the neck – again – Adam Lee punished them further with three points to put Barry in the lead.

The home side brought on fresh legs in the second half in an attempt to reverse the Barry onslaught, and it worked as they scored a converted try from a pre-planned move from a set piece.

Barry responded, as the game began to open up, by sending on Prosser to add more aggression and dynamism in the ruck area. Lee stroked over another penalty from near halfway to reduce the deficit to two points, and was unfortunate later on as he struck the post with a similar attempt.

St Peters tried to score the extra points that would give them some breathing space, but, despite breaking the Barry line, they found the cover defence, most notably from Lee Jones, Giddings, Bounds and Lee unrelenting. Instead, it was Barry who threatened to put the next score on the board as the game edged towards its conclusion.

Adams, who was making his full debut, had a chance to score out wide, as did substitute Nathan Jenkins, but both attempts were thwarted and Barry would seemingly go home empty handed despite another brave performance.

With one last push, the tight forwards won a scrum against the head near the home line, and this time there was no mistake as the ball was recycled, with substitute Ashley Brown eventually crashing over the line, sparking wild celebrations on the touchline. Lee kept his cool to bisect the posts with his conversion, and it was he who also had the final say as he kicked the ball out of play to end a pulsating game to give Barry their first victory of the season.

The management is immensely proud of the effort, accuracy and finesse shown by all 19 players. They will be hoping for the same attitude in the next match on January 4 against Tonyrefail.

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