Seconds up tempo after early setback

BARRY RFC 2nd XV 18

LLANISHEN 2nd XV 5

IN CONFIDENT mood for the visit of Llanishen on a pleasant early spring Saturday afternoon, the Barry Rugby Club Seconds were forced into a late change when Mike Hamonda failed a fitness test and was replaced by Ryan Corrigan.

Coach Rhidian Scott and manager Ken Chow also drafted Barrian winger Mike Jones on to the bench after the 3rd XV match was cancelled at the last minute due to the opposition failing to have sufficient players.

With the disruption, it was no surprise that Barry began sluggishly. Despite the potent-looking back line, there was a lack of cohesion in the home side's play, especially in defence, and Llanishen took full advantage of some poor tackling to open the scoring with an unconverted try.

This proved the last lapse in concentration by Barry, however, as they upped their tempo and commitment to wrestle back control.

Following a series of forward drives, led by Goodfellow, Rolfe and Sion Vidal, Hosking crossed, only for the try to be disallowed by the official. Many spectators, including coach Scott, were not in full agreement with the decision.

Undeterred, Barry rallied and got their just rewards when more forward power allowed Vidal to crash over for his second try of the season. Adam Lee added the extras.

Maintaining their momentum, Barry went for the jugular and, although Llanishen were useful with ball in hand, they struggled to cope with the powerful running of the central axis of White and Williams, augmented by the guile and trickery of the three-quarters. A superb move off the line-out, involving Mepham, Flynn and White, gave Lee the chance to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The visitors brought on an array of substitutes in an attempt to stop the Barry juggernaut, but to no avail. Llanishen possession in the home half was turned over, and the Barry back line did the rest, charging into the visitors’ 22 to induce a penalty in front of the posts. Lee added three more points for the green-and-whites.

Lee kicked another penalty ten minutes later, this time from a difficult angle, to put the hosts13 points clear and, from then on, the game was won.

Llanishen put pressure on the home line in the dying embers of the game, but they lacked creativity, and some superb tackling helped Barry see the game out.

The scoreline would have been more emphatic if it were not for numerous players knocking-on with the try line at their mercy, and also for a comical moment when replacement scrum-half Joel Williams decided to ignore a six-man overlap and, opting for a chip ahead, fell flat on his back.

Overall, the management was pleased with the commitment, attitude, effort and skill shown by all 19 players and the team will hope to carry this positive momentum forward for the rest of the season.

Barry: Lee; Adams, White, D Williams, Corrigan; Flynn, Mepham; Hosking, Vidal, Lundy; L Jones, Case; Goodfellow, Miles and Rolfe (capt). Replacements: Thomas, Elsworth, J Williams and M Jones. Man-of-the-match: White.

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