FOR their latest league fixture Barry travelled to Abercwmboi and, with the referee under WRU consideration for promotion to a higher league, no fewer than three assessors were present!

Barry have made a habit this term of starting slowly and thus being forced to play “catch-up." And Saturday was no exception, with little evidence of concentration. Poor tackling soon gave the home XV the chance to open the scoring with a converted try.

Again there were valuable but individual contributions, notably from Tanner and Evans in the forwards. However, the lack of cohesion was hampering their efforts and soon the home side went further ahead with a well-struck penalty.

Having gifted Abercwmboi a 10-point start, Barry woke up to the size of the task ahead. With Dix, Buckland, Provis and Lee providing penetration in midfield, things improved. It came as no surprise that the home team were forced to concede a penalty, which was converted by Lee. The increasing pressure brought rewards when Evans crossed for a short-range try, and the excellent conversion from out wide levelled the scores.

There followed a spell in which Barry dominated. With ruck, maul and lineout operating smoothly, Barry were looking the good side they are when concentrating. Unfortunately, and against the run of play, Abercwmboi scored a further try. The conversion was the last action of the first half.

The second session was played under a thundery sky with heavy showers. The light was such that the floodlights were utilised for considerable periods.

From the outset, naive tactics and sloppy execution resulted in Barry having to defend for long periods. When they did break out, they looked effective and were soon rewarded with two further penalties. With Lundy and O’Sullivan prominent, they set up some useful field positions.

With a win looking a distinct possibility, Dix went over only for the referee to adjudge that the ball had not been grounded. The visitors edged into the lead via a Lee penalty at the end of normal time but bitter disappointment replaced euphoria when Abercwmboi succeeded with a penalty right at the end of added time.

Barry could, and perhaps should, have won this fixture. If they had opened each half of the game playing with a little more concentration and accuracy, the spoils would have been theirs.

It is pleasing to record that the assessed referee performed his task to a very high level.

Barry: Dix, Adams, Provis, Buckland, Poole, Lee, Thorne, O’Sullivan, Evans, Hollister, McTavish, Tanner, Jones (capt), Parker and Hadfield. Subs: Lundy, Poole, Davies and Scott.