CAR, van, bus, bicycle and train were put to good use by supporters to attend this local derby last Saturday. A glorious winter day welcomed Barry and it was they who enjoyed both seasonal wind and the ever-present ground slope for the first half.

Although quickly into their stride, the visitors appeared very tentative when attempting to spread the ball wide. Perhaps this was as a result of recent matches when such adventurous tactics had, unfortunately, come to grief. To the credit of both sides, they sought to play with some style and panache, but their efforts came to grief when faced with a referee who displayed little ability or inclination to contribute.

On the 10-minute mark Llantwit had an opportunity to open the scoring via a penalty, but, disappointingly, the attempt sailed narrowly wide. The Barry eight now decided to take a more aggressive role and, with Evans, Hadfield and Tanner leading the charge, Llantwit were forced on to the defensive. The pressure exerted led to several penalty awards but these came to nought through the absence of a place kicker. However, a series of scrums on the Llantwit line did bring a reward when the hard-working Degaura crashed over from short range. The attempted conversion barely left ground level.

There followed a purple patch from the visitors who began to dominate all phases of play. So it came as no surprise that, on the half hour, their lead was extended. Following excellent approach work involving Evans, Gooderham and Luke O’Sullivan, the coup-de-grace was administered by an impressive Jennings. The missed conversion meant that Llantwit Major remained in touch despite being two tries behind. This deficiency will surely cost Barry dear in close encounters to come.

Barry began the second period facing the setting sun and they were dependent upon Hardy to give them territorial advantage. The visitors added to their woes by trying to keep the ball in hand even in their own 22 area. This led directly to Llantwit being presented with a simple penalty to reduce the arrears.

Things appeared to get even worse for Barry when the home winger intercepted a pass on the halfway line. But, when confronted by lone defender Dix, he panicked and turned into the arms of grateful Barry defenders. From this juncture Barry played very sensible rugby to run down the clock – something that Wales were unable to accomplish a week earlier!

A gutsy win by Barry that was characterised by a sterling performance from their captain, Jones, who led from the front and encouraged the younger members of the team throughout. These greenhorns scored the tries, but their elders would claim it was they who provided the platform for success!

Barry: Dix, Gooderham, Provis, Buckland, L O’Sullivan, Hardy, Thorne, Jennings, Evans, R O’Sullivan, Tanner, Degaura, Parker, Jones (capt) and Hadfield.

Reps. Hollister, O Poole, T Poole and Scott.

Next Saturday, December 15, Barry travel to Penygraig for a re-scheduled league fixture.