Spirited Barry 2nds show grit and determination
8:30am Thursday 13th September 2012 in Sport
RHIWBINA 2ND XV 17 BARRY 2ND XV 12
BARRY 2nds dusted themselves off from the disappointment of the previous result and returned to action last Wednesday (September 5) away against Rhiwbina, who are two divisions above them.
With the game falling mid-week and several players unavailable due to work commitments, coach Rhidian Scott and interim manager Ken Chow were forced to ring the changes, bringing in no less than eight players into the starting line-up.
As expected, the game began at a ferocious pace as tackles flew in from both sides. In these early exchanges it was the more experienced home side that gained the upper hand, gaining a three point advantage.
Barry responded with solid set piece work from their forwards, but their cause was hampered by the early injury to Callum Scott. Nevertheless, there was some superb play around the fringes, most notably from Owain Poole, Darren Deguara and Dave Hosking. The backs were well-marshalled by the new half-back partnership of Joel Williams and Ashley Adams, using the combination of strong, direct running from their centres and the boot of Adam Lee.
However, it was Rhiwbina who were next on the scoresheet, as they extended their lead to ten after a well-converted try. At this point the away side were at risk of being cut adrift.
The green-and-whites never gave up however, and their industry was rewarded when persistent pressure from their pack forced the home side deep into their own 22, resulting in a well earned penalty which also saw Rhiwbina reduced to 14 men.
The away side showed the confidence in their own ability when they turned down the opportunity for three points, opting instead for a scrum. Their endeavour was rewarded with a well-worked Owain Poole try. Lee added the extras.
At half time there was all to play for, and indeed in the second half, despite the home side being back to their full 15, it was Barry whose forwards began to exert their dominance. Slightly against the run of play however, the home side managed to convert turnover possession in their own half rapidly into another seven points, seemingly ending the contest.
But Barry continued to press, despite the game being progressively more stop-start with the introduction of substitutes, the referee’s persistent whistle, and the scrums becoming passive.
As the away backs threatened to string together a series of moves to threaten the home line, it was down to the big men to drive forward and set up the platform for substitute Alyn Evans to score his third try of the season. Lee failed with the conversion out wide.
Barry had one last good chance in the dying minutes, when Adams collected his own kick and charged for the line, but superb last ditch tackling by Rhiwbina ensured that they hung on for a narrow and hard fought victory.
All the players clad in green-and-white on the night could return home with their head held high with a committed and spirited performance.
Team: Lee; T. Poole, Provis, Taylor, Thorne; Williams, Adams; Heard, Hosking, McTavish; Scott, Deguara; Jones, O. Poole, Rolfe (c).
Subs used: R. O’Sullivan, L. O’Sullivan, Parker, Evans.
Man-of-the-match: O. Poole.
BARRY RFC 2ND XV 12 CARDIFF HSOB 2nd XV 24
BARRY 2nd XV played their third game in seven days on Saturday as they continued their league campaign against Cardiff High School Old Boys 2nd XV at Reservoir Fields.
Fatigue has taken its toll on several players due to the hectic fixture list, and coach Rhidian Scott and interim manager Ken Chow were forced to reshuffle the pack once more. Ryan Case, Tom Griffiths and Josh Flynn were handed debuts while Luke Booker started at fly-half for the first time for the 2nd XV.
Barry belied their underdog status, controlling proceedings early on. HSOB hardly had a touch of the ball as the home pack, led by captain Nick Rolfe, applied constant pressure on the away line.
There was some good ball-carrying by Gavyn Elsworth, Nick Lundy and Rhys Gooderham. Unfortunately the side lacked the incisiveness to cut through a resolute defence, and too often the wrong decision was made at crucial times. Adam Lee did have an early chance for three points from a penalty, but he pulled his kick wide.
Instead it was the Harlequins’ who scored from their first attack, profiting from weak tackling to score under the posts. The conversion was a formality.
The Barry pack continued to dominate in the contact area, and there were vast improvements in the scrum and line-out, the Achilles’ heels last weekend, despite the withdrawal of player-coach Lee Jones due to injury. Unfortunately, it was once again the lack of ruthlessness in front of the whitewash that cost Barry dear, as the away side broke away to score a try in the corner despite constant Barry pressure.
With line-out jumper Kyle Case forced off with an injury just after half-time, the game seemed to be up for the green-and-whites, but dogged determination kept them in it. They were rewarded when a forward drive, led by Tom Haigh following a line-out, was just kept out, but scrum-half Joel Williams was on hand to dive over for his second try in a week. Lee missed the extras.
Barry continued to threaten despite losing flanker Josh Flynn to injury. Rolfe, Elsworth, Corne and Lundy carried tirelessly, whilst Griffiths was everywhere, dominating line-outs, the contact area, and also open play.
However, it was again a poor tackle in midfield which allowed the away side to score again under the posts to put the Harlequins two scores clear with the clock ticking down.
Barry countered swiftly and created another opportunity. Ben Taylor and Joel Williams combined well on the right to cut through the defence, and Gooderham was on hand to finish the move to score his first try for the club. Lee added the extras.
With only seven points the difference, the green-and-whites went all out to draw level. Unfortunately too often the ball was dropped following a flowing move, or the wrong option taken again.
Instead it was the away side who had the last say when they took advantage of Taylor’s injury, which temporarily reduced Barry to 14 men, to create an overlap to score in the corner.
A much improved performance for the home side though, and the management team will take heart with the spirit of the team despite the result.
Team: Lee; Taylor, Gooderham, J. Jones, R. Case; Williams, Booker; Lundy, L. Jones, Elsworth; Griffiths, Haigh; Flynn, K. Case, Rolfe (c).
Subs used: Corne, Hall, Evans, M. Jones.