Barry RFC 2nds beat Old Penarthians
7:50am Thursday 11th October 2012 in Sport
BARRY RFC 2nd XV 25 OLD PENARTHIANS 2nd XV 10
THE BARRY side returned to the Reservoir Field on a fine October afternoon and, facing local rivals Old Penarthians, they were looking to avenge the Barrains’ defeat by the same opposition two weeks ago.
Coach Rhidian Scott and interim manager Ken Chow, returning from Barrians duty, gave a debut to Latvian international Mikus Ozols on the wing, and promoted Rhys Manford from the Barrians following his devastating performance last weekend.
Despite having the advantage of the slope in the first half, Barry struggled to get out of first gear in the early exchanges. Too many basic individual errors were evident as tackles fell off runners and kicks failed to find touch. It was no surprise when Old Pens took a deserved lead after capitalising on another Barry mistake.
Fortunately that served as a wake-up call for the home side, especially with the forwards. Despite being dominated by a heavier scrum, the tight five were finding more joy in the loose, with Elsworth, McTavish and Jennings making good ground.
Joe McCann was finally given quick ball with which to work and, with one of his pin-point kicks, pinned the visitors in their 22 where, after a few good phases, Jennings scored out wide. Adam Lee added the extras from a difficult angle.
The lethargic play by Barry was addressed by the management at half time, with Flynn and Jones brought into the fray. It paid almost immediate dividends as Lee added three points with his boot from a penalty opportunity.
The visitors did, however, level matters soon after when they put the full back under pressure from a long kick and, as Lee failed to gather the bouncing ball, it was left to the chasing Old Pens winger to saunter through to score.
With the conversion missed the game was on a knife-edge at 10-10. Back came Barry. McCann utilised the strong running from the Gooderham brothers and the giant wing Ozols as Barry pressed to get back in front. Their efforts were soon rewarded when Lee stroked over another penalty to give his side a three-point advantage.
Instead of the usual loose play immediately after scoring, the home side went for the jugular, sensing that the visitors were there for the taking. Manford was once again outstanding behind the scrum, mixing his game with some superb tactical kicking, strong tackling and blistering, sniping runs. The half-back combination was proving too much of a handful for the Old Pens defence as they set up Lee to outpace the defensive line to score. He was also successful with the conversion.
The away side threw everything at Barry in the closing stages but the defence, led by the aggressive tackling of Cieran Thomas, held firm. Jason Thomas, another promoted player from the Barrians last weekend, came on and shored up the scrum, and it was from a turnover from a set piece that the home side achieved the final score. Manford and Hewitson created the space, Ozols supplied the long pass out wide, and it was down to Rhys Gooderham to score in the corner to crown a fine individual performance. Lee missed the extras.
Barry: Lee; Case, Rhys Gooderham, Ryan Gooderham, Ozols; Manford, McCann; Corne, Jennings, Elsworth; Rolfe (c), Griffiths; Giddings, C Thomas, McTavish Subs used: J Thomas, Flynn, Jones and Hewitson. Man-of-the-match: Rhys Gooderham.