THE 200 plus Jenner Park crowd was larger than that which attended the Bala ground to witness Barry Town's historic return to European football.

Having won all three of their league encounters with Cadoxton Barry this season, this was expected to be a walk in the proverbial Jenner Park for the Vale League Division One Champions, Holton Road.

But it didn't turn out quite like that. The result might easily have been 3 - 2 in favour of the underdogs had there been a VAR presence. It would probably have confirmed a penalty, denied by the referee, to Cadoxton Barry and also ruled in a fairly obvious off side situation missed by the referee's assistant in the build up to Holton's third goal.

As expected, Holton started very much on the front foot to take the lead in the 9th minute when excellent passing through the middle of the park culminated with a simple tap in. Was this the beginning of that expected walk in the park? Well, for a short period it looked a possibility as Holton continued to press.

But then an impressive interchange of passing which started deep in CB territory on the right saw Yeoman spotting the Champions' 'keeper forward of his line. And he didn't need to be asked twice as he launched a perfectly measured dipper over the ‘keeper’s head and into the net.

However, the walk in the park looked very much on again as, within a couple of minutes of the CB equaliser, Holton restored their lead along with their dominance of possession. A slow, deliberate and accurate build up out of defence saw the ball worked across to the left and then back inside, bamboozling the CB defense once more to execute another quality goal.

Whilst seeing less of the ball, ironically, it was CB who earned the most corners as a number of promising breakaways were thwarted by a solid Holton rearguard. Meanwhile at the other end, Kinch, in the CB goal, was called into action on numerous occasions, pulling off the string of miraculous saves that made him a strong contender for man of the match.

It was very much thanks to Kinch that the difference remained at just the one goal at the break.

The half time talk seemed to have some effect as Cadoxton Barry started the second half matching Holton in the possession stakes, whilst continuing to ensure that the corner count remained in their favour. With the exception of an excellent move which resulted in the smiting of a CB post for Holton, the now end to end encounter continued with neither side looking capable of adding to their tally.

That was until a cleverly constructed passing move from Holton down the right saw the final pass looking to yours truly, who was right in line, to be comfortably off side. Also in line was linesman Mr J Miller who kept his flag down to the amazement of those around - allowing the pass to set up Holton's third goal.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, although Holton were 3 - 1 up, it hadn't turned out to be quite the walk in the park that was expected. And that walk in the park turned into something much more akin to a narrow squeak in the 15 minutes that were to come.

Cadoxton Barry were now gaining the larger share of possession as, with nothing to lose, they threw everyone forward at every opportunity. A string of opportunities came and went as a resolute Holton defence parried everything that CB could muster.

Then, in what must have seemed like déjà vu for Yeoman out to the left edge of the box, he once again spotted the Holton 'keeper out of position.

And in perfect replication of the first half goal, he dipped his shot home well beyond the reach of the 'keeper. But, with time running out in this entertaining and sporting encounter, it proved to be too little too late to prevent Holton from adding the Divisional Cup to their well deserved Champions Shield.

In a carnival atmosphere at the end of the game, Tim Johnson, life vice president of Cadoxton Barry and multifunctional volunteer with Barry Town, presented the medals and trophies to the teams.