Barry RFC 1sts hold out to deny Wattstown
8:40am Thursday 27th September 2012 in Sport
WATTSTOWN RFC 6 BARRY RFC 6
IT was a case of all hands to the pump, as Barry travelled to Wattstown for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash. Last season's games were both close encounters and this was no different with honours even at the end, the game being drawn 6-6.
The scoreline however does not reflect the story, as Barry absorbed tremendous pressure through most of the game and once again their defensive qualities shone through as they continually thwarted the home side.
From the start Barry attacked and caused Wattstown to concede a couple of early penaties, the second of which Lee converted for a 3-0 lead.
Wattstown seemed stunned by this early Barry agression and following a good steal by Hadfield, taken on by Evans, the home side conceded yet again for Lee to put Barry 6-0 up with 20 minutes gone.
Then the game changed, as Wattstown launched attack after attack at the Barry line but were unable to breach it due to fine defensive work by the whole team, their only reward being a penalty which was successful to reduce the deficit to 6-3.
As the half drew to a close Barry made a couple of forays to relieve the pressure, and from one could have scored had the pass gone to hand.
But the final minutes of the first half set the pattern for the whole of the second, during which Barry had to defend for their lives.
They conceded a string of penalties during the early period, and it was difficult to understand the home side's tactics as they chose to go for tries rather than take the kicks at goal and get themselves in front.
Wattstown were also guilty of white line fever as chances were created but not taken.
Things became more difficult when Barry were reduced to 14 men after 15 minutes, and as the home side continued their onslaught it seemed only a matter of time before they scored.
A fine tackle by Hardy saved the day following a good break by the home centre, but the Barry defence were up to the challenge.
Barry were not helped by some strange refereeing decisions concerning playing the ball on the floor.
Some good attacking defence from Poole then gave Barry a penalty to relieve some pressure, but following an indiscretion on the floor Barry were reduced to 14 men once again - and this time the home side elected to go for goal, the penalty bringing the scores level at 6-6.
One would have suspected that having absorbed constant second half pressure, Barry would have tired. Having lost King earlier in the game, the coaches decided to ring the changes in the front row, bringing on Lundy and Hoskin, as well as Evans to the wing.
As the half wore on Barry were still conceding penalties (some of which looked harsh), and Wattstown made three attempts to kick for the lead, all of which failed.
Occasional break outs by the visitors gave them short-lived respite and it was the home side who continued to attack, but they were met by a solid defence which was holding firm.
The final minutes saw Barry counter attack but lose the ball forward, giving the home side one last chance to win the game from 40 yards out - fortunately for the visitors this was unsuccessful and the final whistle went.
The amount of effort, no little skill and huge commitment it took to achieve this result cannot be underestimated, and shows (as did last week's game at Llandaff) that the whole Barry squad are playing for each other, prepared to take whatever is thrown at them - and more than one kitchen sink came their way this week!
So congratulations all round to to the players and coaches - they will not play many harder games this season.
* On Saturday Barry travel to play Cathays in the Cup, kick off 2.30pm * Those interested in the Club's 125th Anniversary Dinner are reminded that time is getting short to obtain your tickets. Call 01446 411737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address.