WITH the squad an interesting mix of youth and experience which the coaches had to blend into an efficient playing unit, the Barry Rugby Club senior side travelled the short distance to meet their local Vale rivals on Saturday.

Starting at a rare pace, Barry put the home side under severe pressure from the kick-off and, within minutes, earned a penalty some 40 metres out. Lee did the honours with a fine kick.

Barry’s scrummaging was proving more than a handful for Cowbridge and, after a series of set scrums on the opposition line, it seemed inevitable that the visitors would force a pushover try. However, they decided to proceed with ball in hand and an unforced error let the home side off the hook.

With Cowbridge beginning to gain a foothold in Barry territory, they showed a clear intent to utilise their talented back division at every opportunity. And, with Barry going off the boil, it took some good tackling from Poole, White and G Jones to keep the home side at bay. They crucially missed a penalty from point-blank range but succeeded with another after 20 minutes.

However, the game swung Barry’s way again when their pack began turning the screws on the Cowbridge eight. It took a series of half a dozen penalties to Barry on the opposition line before the referee decided to issue a yellow card against the home side for persistent infringement. The next scrummage saw justice done with the award of a penalty try to Barry and a half-time lead of 10-3.

The second period started with a bang. Provis and Buckland harassed the opposition back line into releasing the ball and L O’Sullivan hacked it forward over half the length of the field before crossing for a fine try. Soon afterwards the visitors should have increased their lead but a clear overlap was spurned.

However, they continued to go forward and earned another penalty, which was converted by Lee.

This was a particularly effective period for Barry, with players working diligently for one another, and another try eventually came when Ritchie O’Sullivan and Buckland set up Hamonda to finish strongly in the left-hand corner. Lee completed the formalities with a fine conversion from wide out.

Cowbridge came back strongly at the death and, despite the defensive efforts of H Jones and Hollister, grabbed a consolation try under the posts.

The final score fairly reflected Barry’s superiority.

Barry: R O’Sullivan, Evans, Hollister, Tanner, G Jones, Luke O’Sullivan, Poole, H Jones (capt), Lee, Richard O'Sullivan, Hamonda, Buckland, Provis, White, Ryan. Subs: Gallivan, Oaten, Lundy and Harrison.

Barry's next match is home to Bryncethin (kick-off 2.30pm) this Saturday, April 5.