BARRY kicked off the new campaign last Saturday with a visit from the newly-promoted Wattstown club.

Barry took advantage of playing with the slope in the first half and began with plenty of enterprise.

Both backs and forwards were intent on giving the ball plenty of air, but this did not overawe the visitors whose defence held their own during the opening exchanges.

On the 10 minute mark, however, Barry went up a couple of gears, during which time there was some very good offensive tackling. This power play had its just reward with the visitors being forced to concede three penalties in quick succession. These were all coolly converted by Cummings to give the home team a 9 points buffer. This confident start was marred when Captain Jones conceded a penalty by interfering with the Wattstown scrum half who was intent on taking a “quick tap-and-go”. The inevitable penalty was well struck to reduce the deficit to 6 points.

The next period saw the visitors coming into the game and only determined defence kept them at bay. Notable contributions were made by the tackling of Hadfield, Evans and Hunt.

On the stroke of half time Barry gained a foothold in visiting territory; from a well-orchestrated shove at the set piece, scrum-half Lee wriggled his way over at the foot of the posts. The conversion was a formality and gave a half way score line of 16-3pts in favour of Barry.

The atmosphere during the first half had lacked the usual expected banter and some of the vociferous activities on the touchline did the game of rugby no favours. To his credit the referee handled this problem with tact and the minimum of fuss.

Wattstown commenced the second session in a much more determined mood and were soon storming the Barry defence. Barry were strangely reluctant to release set piece ball and allow the half backs to clear their lines.

Another tactical gaffe of throwing to the very back of a defensive line-out was punished once the ball had been spilled. An alert Wattstown player pounced and scored a converted try at the posts.

The home side went on the attack and thanks to a long run by Hadfield, they were able to set up field position for a penalty score.

This was nullified by a penalty to the visitors when the Barry midfield were adjudged to have “crossed”on their own 22 line.

Barry continued to make elementary mistakes with poor defence against kicks out-of-hand and attempting risky passes to non-existent support players.

It was no surprise that Wattstown took full advantage of these unforced errors to go into the lead with another converted try.

They extended their lead with a further penalty on the stroke of normal time.

Barry shook themselves into action soon afterwards with a good try scored by Lee from close range. The conversion gave them a 3 points cushion.

The second half had lasted over 50 minutes when the last kick of the match saw the visitors fail with a reasonably simple penalty: this would have squared the match.

Barry: Ryan, Adams, Provis, Busitil, Williams, Cummings, Lee, Hunt, Evans, Hollister, King, Degaura, O’Sullivan, Hadfield, Jones. Subs.Gallivan, Walsh, Harrison, Parker.

* This Saturday Barry visit Pontyclun with the coach leaving the Reservoir Field at 12.30pm.