'Final say' Thirds exit trophy
11:01am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Sport
RHIWBINA 3rd XV 19pts
BARRY 3rd XV 11
THE Barry Rugby Club 3rd XV's last fixture in the calendar year was this Ninian Stuart Trophy in Cardiff.
With more players unavailable than available yet again, caretaker manager Ken Chow reshuffled the pack, bringing player-manager Chris Prosser into the starting line-up in the back row. There was also a full debut for Lucas Davies, while Lloyd Dutton played his first game in over two years at No 8.
Despite the disruptions, Barry began brightly and, utilising some powerful drives from the forwards, the away side hit the rucks aggressively and were rewarded with a penalty opportunity, which was gladly taken by makeshift scrum-half Ashley Adams’ boot.
Joe McCann, back at fly-half, was controlling the game beautifully with his tactical kicking, utilising the difficult conditions to his own benefit. Barry spent most of the first 20 minutes in the Rhiwbina half but was unable to add to their three points due to a lack of accuracy in their attacking play.
Instead it was the home side who scored the first try, powering over in the corner despite Evans’ best attempts. The try went unconverted.
Conditions did not improve in the second half as the game descended into a series of scrums and lost line-outs. Both sides were guilty for falling foul of the referee’s whistle, which was soon proving to be the dominant force. It was the home side who coped better with the official’s interpretation of the laws and the swirling wind, as their substitutes made an impact after the interval to cross the whitewash twice more to seemingly put the game beyond the visitors.
Adams replied with a penalty in between the two tries, and there was some outstanding work in attack and defence by the forwards, led by captain Lloyd Jones.
The introduction of veteran Paul Harrison brought renewed vigour to the away cause, and Barry looked odds on to score their first try of the game when they camped deep in the Rhiwbina 22, only for substitute Jason Thomas to be denied when the referee failed to spot the grounding of the ball as he tripped over.
The green and whites had the final say with eight minutes to go, though, when a flowing move saw Jones break the Rhiwbina line, and his accurate offload found Adams, who outpaced the scramble defence to touch down for his third try of the season. He was unable to add the extras.
Despite the final score, Barry can take heart with the effort shown by all 19 players.
Barry Thirds return to action on January 11, with a cup tie against Llanishen, whilst Barry 2nd XV face Tonyrefail on January 4.
Team: Jenkins; Bailey, White, Hamonda, Evans; McCann, A Adams; Houldey, Davies, Pirso; Heard, Templeman; Prosser, Jones (c) and Dutton. Replacements: Thomas, Harrison, Hewitson and T Adams. Man-of-the-match: McCann.