BARRY 1st XV 19pts
LLANTWIT MAJOR 9
IT would be a welcome change to commence a rugby report by describing warm, balmy conditions and a gentle offshore breeze. Alas, things were back to normal at the weekend, with Arctic winds carrying rain and hail and lashing players and spectators alike.
Barry started the match with both the elements and the slope in their favour and, in the words of one away stalwart: "It was a 15-point wind." It certainly appeared that; if Barry were to succeed, then they needed to build up a healthy half-time lead.
Starting with great intensity, Llantwit forced the home side onto the defensive, gaining a valuable penalty as a result.
Barry now warmed to their task and attacked the Llantwit line with waves of forceful rucks and mauls. When the visiting back row was adjudged to have transgressed enough times, the referee had no option other than to award a penalty try. The impetus was now with the home XV and, within a span of five minutes, they extended their lead. Excellent forward pressure split the visiting defence to allow the ‘front row union’ of Evans, O'Sullivan and Hollister to set up the former to poach two fine tries. One of these was converted by Scott to give Barry an interesting half-time lead of 16 points.
Golf ball sized hailstones greeted the start of the second session and, within five minutes, the visitors reduced the deficit with a well-struck penalty.
Barry, however, had a clear plan to handle the situation, and they executed it with skill and determination. Driving via the forwards was clearly the set objective and Llantwit began to yield territory and possession as a consequence.
The remainder of the half was not very attractive but every Barry player was intent on keeping pressure on the visiting defence.
In the closing stages, Evans was a touch away from the bonus point hat-trick but, all things considered, a final score of 19-6 to Barry was equitable.
Barry: Ryan, Adams, Rich O’Sullivan, Provis, Tiernan Scott, Einon Scott, Lee, H Jones (capt), Luke O’Sullivan, Callum Scott, Tanner, G Jones, Hollister, Evans and R O’Sullivan. Reps: Poole, Lundy, Gallivan and Busuttil.
International matches occupy the next few weeks so Barry’s next game is away to league leaders St Josephs on February 15.