Youth triumph in fierce forward battle

First published in Sport

BARRY YOUTH 29pts

TAFFS WELL YOUTH 22

SATURDAY'S clash between hosts Barry Youth and Taffs Well was as fierce as a previous meeting between the sides at the start of the season, with the forwards battling it out and the ball rarely being spun wide.

With the visitors playing down the slope and having a strong wind behind them, the tactic was to keep Barry pinned in their own half and they accomplished this cruelly. Barry soon learned that kicking was not an option as any loose ball was returned with interest. From one of these turnovers, Taffs Well got the first try which was converted.They quickly added an easy penalty for a 10-point lead.

Barry replied with a penalty, neatly slotted over by Dave Evans, acting as stand-off.

The visitors then added an unconverted try before Barry again responded when centre Frank Peake broke through and scored an individual 60 metres try. Evans added an easy conversion.

With another converted try, Taffs Well led 22-10 at the interval.

Adopting similar tactics to Taffs Well in the second half with the elements at their back, Barry pinned the visitors in their 22. Using all four subs, manager Mepham brought fresh legs into the game of attrition and, from a series of drives, Barry’s No 10 Evans crossed for a try, with the conversion bouncing out off the post.

With time running out, the visitors again found themselves under pressure near their posts and, from a scrum, No 8 Jake Goodfellow picked up and was unstoppable in driving for the line. Evans slotted over the conversion to put Barry on level terms.

Barry's hopes of victory appeared doomed when the visitors broke the stranglehold and moved steadily up field, but a suicidal kick into the breeze proved uncannily fruitful when the ball was picked up for a run in under the posts and converted try.

Skill of the day came from young Ben, fresh from the U16 team; playing at full back he turned pressure into good attacking positions with his darting runs and never failing to break a tackle.

Next Saturday , April 19, the side is away to Caerphilly; bus leaves 1pm. Due to examination pressures, coach Bryant insists on no team training again this week.

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