THE weekend saw the most unusual spectacle of a Reservoir Field bathed in winter sunshine! In spite of the recent very heavy rainfall, conditions underfoot were surprisingly good and gave both sides the opportunity to run off the excesses of recent celebrations.

The home XV began in determined manner and went into an early lead via a well-struck penalty by Ryan. The visitors hit back and were able to level the scores with a penalty of their own after 10 minutes.

But when they attempted to play the ball wide, they were met with destructive tackling by both the Barry back row and centre combination. Such defence is difficult to break down and they earned true reward with a further penalty on the half-hour mark.

The home side were playing with a positive attitude and no little skill. They were holding their shape well, both in attack and defence. None exemplified this more than Deguara, O’Sullivan and Scott, whose driving play kept the visitors fully occupied over long periods.

When Taffs Well were presented with the chance of a straightforward penalty to cut the deficit, they opted oddly for a kick to touch in the corner. Barry battled hard to drive the visitors back and relieve the pressure on their own line. What came next was certainly the try of the match and possibly of the season.

Tanner and Hadfield set up a move from fully 50 metres. The momentum was maintained by Hardy, Buckland and Adams who released Dix to fly over the line. The result was that Barry were able to start the second half with a healthy 13-3 advantage.

The first 10 minutes of the half were particularly scrappy as Barry went off the boil and Taffs Well ground their way back into contention. Thorne, who had had a good afternoon at the base of the home scrummage, was replaced by Lee and some efficient work by Jones and Hollister steadied the ship for the home side.

Barry entered a phase during which they monopolised both line out and scrum. Good approach work from Buckland and Gooderham set up a set scrum near the Taffs Well posts. A push-over try was the obvious ploy; and with the help of Evans and Jones the score was achieved, and the conversion a mere formality.

Barry went searching for further spoils and, although some handling errors were made, their threequarter defence served them well. Their reward was a last try for Ryan who ran an excellent angle to cross near the posts.

He added the extra points, concluding the scoring for the afternoon. Barry were able to withstand a late surge by the visitors thanks to some desperate but effective defending.

The 27-3 final scoreline was a fair reflection of play, and a reward for a positive attitude and a willingness to work for one another.

There was a very pleasant event in the clubhouse following the game. The president of Taffs Well presented the Barry president with a plaque that commemorated the occasion of both clubs reaching the milestone of playing rugby for 125 years. Such consideration for others is a vital part of the game of rugby.

Barry: Ryan, Dix, Gooderham, Buckland, Adams, Hardy, Thorne, O’Sullivan, Evans, Hollister, Degaura, Tanner, Hadfield, Scott and Jones (c). Replacements: Lee, Giddins, Lundy and Harrison.

* On Saturday (January 12) Barry play a Division 4 South East league match away against CRC Caerdydd, kick-off 2.30pm.