IN AN eagerly-awaited first cup fixture of 2014, the Barry women's rugby side - the Bombettes - overcame their visitors in a bruising encounter.

This was a test of how far Bombettes had progressed since last year's cup win against the same opponents and, as Second Division champions, they didn't disappoint.

On a bitterly cold afternoon, the Barry club fielded a strong squad and, with their growing confidence, played up the slope in the first half and went into the interval with a 0-0 scoreline.

The Bombettes' management utilised the bench well during the break, with the fresh legs of Husk and Richards replacing Phillips and Kath Jones, both of whom had put in a decent shift.

Becoming increasingly desperate, Croesyceiliog resorted to spoiling ball, fairly or otherwise, and, constantly infringing, they were under great pressure.

The Bombettes eventually made the vital breakthrough when, using field position perfectly, Shanhan made a snipe down the blindside before Bannister and Fox handled and a perfectly timed pass from the latter allowed sub Britton to use her pace and evade the defence for a corner try. Although the conversion out wide was missed, the score sparked amazing scenes on the sidelines from the healthy home support.

For Bombettes, Potter and Richards carried well, with O’Neil always running the ball back at the opposition and opening up the defence. Yapp tackled as if she was twice her size by seemingly jumping on any opponent who dared come near her; they shall not pass. Shanahan had her most influential game in both defence and attack.

Indeed, in a very tight game, it was hats off to a complete defensive display by every player, and a spokeswoman said: "Every single player showed their true mettle. When the going gets tough, the Bombettes get going. No-one took a backward step or showed any weakness."

The management extended congratulations to the whole squad for a totally committed, dogged and professional performance and a well deserved first cup victory but stressed the need to keep a full team on the pitch at all times.

The spokeswoman added: "The forwards laid the ground work but the whole squad take the plaudits. Special thanks to the super subs who didn’t get on, to the intrepid supporters who braved the bracing conditions to watch the ladies secure and to Chris Clogg for amazing food."

Bombettes: O’Neill, Day-Smith, Fox, K Jones (capt), Binney, Bannister, Shanahan, Yapp, Young, Potter, Coleman, Helmore, Kath Jones, Phillips and Horne. Super subs: Richards, Husk, Rees, Britton and Smith. Women of the match - Barry chose Binney; Croesyceiliog chose Shanahan.