By Ken Watkins

Pictures: Judith Dutton

Barry RFC 7 Pyle 0

Hard on the heels of their two excellent displays against Cardiff Met, Barry took a step backwards with an uninspiring performance at a windswept Reservoir Field on Saturday in a pre-season match hurriedly arranged less than 48 hours earlier.

Both teams had been left without a fixture after scheduled opponents called off late. Barry had been expecting to play St Peter’s in a Mallett Cup tie, and Pyle were due to meet Tondu, in what were their final pre-season fixtures before the league programme starts on November 13.

It turned out to be a stop-start game, the one redeeming feature being Barry’s by now customary excellent defensive display. They came under some pressure in the second half when Pyle twice pinned them in the red zone, but the home side produced their signature backs-to-the-wall approach to come away with the ball.

The match was unsurprisingly low-scoring, with both sides guilty of errors, and the flow not being helped by six yellow cards, four of them for Pyle. Pyle also had one of their coaching team sent off at the interval after a conversation with the match referee.

“I wouldn’t want to tally up the error count, knock-ons, wrong decisions,” said Barry head coach Liam Scott. “It was frustrating more than anything else. The one positive was our defending, which was heroic.”

There was just one score in a game which never really threatened much more, Alyn Evans going over from close range following a lineout just before the interval, with Kyle Barros converting.

Evans was denied a second try late on, when he appeared to go over in the corner, only for a disputed lineout decision to rule it out.

The occasional handling move apart, not that there were many, it was a game that really struggled to get going, with Barry’s performance leaving Scott frustrated. “It was really disjointed, and our discipline was poor,” he said.

Barry have five training sessions to get things back up to speed before the league season starts with a visit to Ynysybwl on November 13, and Scott is aiming to make a couple of them opposed sessions as the international break means game time has run out.