Barry 2nd XV 12-17 St Josephs 2nd XV

FOLLOWING last week’s narrow reversal in the Vale of Glamorgan derby there were plenty to look forward to the 2nd XV’s hosting of St Josephs.

Manager Joel Williams and coach Glyn Pirso were, however, given a selection dilemma as they were forced to make nine changes to the starting line up due to a number of injuries and unavailability. Such is the nature of grass roots rugby.

The lack of match practice showed early on as it was St Josephs who piled on the pressure.

Barry lacked cohesion in attack and too often kicked away meaningful possession.

It was no surprise when the visitors scored a deserved try in the corner after sustained pressure on the Barry line.

The conversion was missed.

Barry finally awoke from their slumber, and perhaps with some match minutes on the clock their attack began to click, with ball going through hands utilising the strong running of their centres Ethan Dicks and Luke Hewitson.

With the forwards setting the platform, Dicks powered through the St Josephs defence only to be hauled metres short of the line.

Patient and sensible play from the Barry support players saw the ball go through hands as Hewitson dove through to even the scores.

Ashley Adams failed to add the extras but the scores are tied.

Sensing a change in momentum Barry put their visitors under more pressure.

The early advantage in the scrum for the visiting side has now all but evaporated, and indeed it was the home side who scored next.

Turning the screw in the tight, Barry probed patiently at the St Josephs line before the defence ran out of numbers and Tom Hunt crashed through to score in his first game for the club this season.

Adams stroked over the extras to give the hosts a 12-5 lead at half-time.

Unfortunately as was the case last week injuries were to further disrupt the Barry side as Adams went off at the interval with a head injury with Mike Hamonda the replacement and forcing the back line to reshuffle.

This disrupted the Barry tempo and after the break the visitors dictated play.

The home side were not helped by frequently falling foul of the referee’s whistle, with some decisions dumbfounding both spectators and players alike.

The rising penalty count finally told as the visitors broke through a tiring Barry defence to score out wide, and with the conversion successful the scores were tied again.

Williams and Pirso emptied the bench but could not turn the tide, and it was St Josephs who went for the jugular as they spread the ball out wide to score the try that would put them in front again. The extras were missed but it was now 17-12 to the visitors.

Barry tried to rally but too often attacking runners were isolated and there was a lack of aggression in the ruck area – a possible result of lack of match practice and cohesion, something that should come as the season goes on.

Barry could not find a way through and were eventually beaten by the clock.

Despite the narrow reverse this was another spirited performance by the 2nd XV. Surely if they continue with this attitude a win will not be far away.

They have come on leaps and bounds since a disjointed start of the season and are improving every week.

Next weekend Barry 2nd XV travel to Clwb Rygbi, kick off 2.30pm.

Team: Mepham; Chucas, Dicks, Hewitson, Corson; Adams, Cotter; Hunt, Evans, Bowditch; Hall, Morris; Goodfellow, Miller, Rolfe ©.

Replacements: Ring, Hamonda, Pugh.

Tries: Hewitson, Hunt, Pen: Adams.