AFTER the postponement of their league game against Whitchurch 2nd XV due to adverse weather, Barry 3rd XV found themselves visiting St Peters for a friendly match.
No less than seven players dropped out on the eve of the match, and the job for caretaker manager Ken Chow was further complicated with centre Ethan Dix pulling up in the warm up. He was therefore forced to change his plans, with Sion Vidal anchoring the scrum at No 8, Chris Bailey switching to full back from wing, and putting himself on the bench.
Given the disruptions it was no surprise that St Peters had the upper hand in the early proceedings, with them having the lion's share of possession and territory. Barry, however, did not allow them to go through their defence with some resolute defending, led by inspirational captain Lloyd Jones.
When Barry finally gained possession, fly-half Corrigan utilised his boot superbly to gain his side the territory, and from then on the pack piled on the pressure on their opposite number. A penalty in front of the posts was the result, but instead of taking the three points on offer, a quick tap by Corrigan saw the ball spread out wide to Jason Thomas, who crashed over to score. The conversion was missed.
With Barry now in the ascendency they struck again. Joe Gallivan made the break from deep, and from then on Tom Adams’ pace did the rest, touching down under the posts for a converted score.
The floodgates threatened to open but St Peters were made of stern stuff, and they struck back with two unconverted scores before half time to narrow the deficit to two points. At the interval, the game was hanging in the balance.
Chow made attacking substitutions at half time and it paid immediate dividends, as a revitalised pack saw the visitors venture deep in opposition half again. An opportunistic kick forward was pounced gratefully upon by David Williams, whose try gave his side the breathing space. Corrigan failed to add the extras.
This time the floodgates did open. St Peters were enterprising with ball in hand, but had little answer when they were on the back foot. There were fine breaks by Vidal, Jones, Rolfe and Hall, and when the ball was given to the backs, Avaient and Williams made extra yards. With the play on the St Peters line, Nick Lundy dived through the score his side's fourth try. The conversion was a formality.
Barry continued to press home their dominance. Williams added his second try, again unconverted, before Corrigan himself got beyond the try line following excellent work by Vidal. He added two more points with his boot to take his personal tally for the game to 11.
Many teams would have thrown the towel in but to the hosts’ credit, they did not, and they struck back with two well-worked tries to once again narrow the deficit, and threatening an improbable comeback.
That threat was immediately snuffed out, however, when a flowing move from behind the Barry twenty-two, involving almost every single player in the team, finished off with Lucas Davies diving over under the posts for his first try for the club.
The final score was 41-20 to the visitors and was in no way an unfair reflection on Barry’s stranglehold on the game, especially the second half. The management would like to thank all the players for the effort and commitment and hope to carry this momentum forward to the next game.
Barry 3rd XV return to league action next weekend at home to Old Illtydians, whilst the 2nd XV are away at Cardiff Harlequins.
Team: Bailey; Rees, Williams, Avaient, Adams; Corrigan, Gallivan; Thomas, Davies, Houldey; Moffat, Hall; M Jones, L Jones (c), Vidal
Replacements: Lundy, Rolfe, Templeman
Subs not used: Dix, Chow
Tries: Thomas, Adams, Williams (2), Davies, Lundy, Corrigan
Cons: Corrigan (3)