BARRY travelled to Abercwmboi last Saturday with a team ravaged by injuries and unavailable players.

The problem was compounded by these absences being in the vital areas of half back and front row, and shortage of substitute cover also weakened the squad.

The game started with the visitors on the offensive and following good forward pressure, scrum half Lee crossed wide out. He was unable to register the added points.

After 20 minutes or so Barry incurred the wrath of the referee and the official issued two yellow cards to Barry players. Whilst one was for an offence that mystified many, the other was for punching and got the punishment such unnecessary behaviour warranted.

From one of these indiscretions Abercwmboi narrowed the deficit with a well-struck penalty.

Players who have themselves yellow-carded should understand the consequences for their team-mates. Down to 13 men, the Barry team did well to contain the home side, who only added a further 2 penalties. Their cause was not helped by the referee who missed a tackle in the air. He also decided that a deliberate knock forward deserved a penalty, but was not worthy of a yellow card.

During the latter part of the first half, there were some notable contributions from captain Jones and Hadfield.

The second period opened with Barry very much in touch but the time spent “in the bin” was having its effect in such hot conditions. The play continued in fits and starts with the fluency of last week notably absent.

There were valiant efforts to create some continuity by Evans, Hollister and particularly Parker. With the introduction of two replacements, Barry soon earned a penalty converted by Lee, which put them within 1 point of the home side. However, conceding a penalty for indiscipline spoilt the good work.

Barry began to attack with some intent, so it was galling to fall further behind when they made a mess of dealing with a hack through by an Abercwmboi centre. Undeterred, Barry continued to throw everything they had at their opponents' line.

But in chasing the game in stoppage time, they fell further behind when the home side risked all on an interception and the ploy paid off.

The final score did not truly reflect what had been a close-fought encounter.

Barry: O’Sullivan, Evans, Hollister, King, Degaura, Hadfield, Jones (C), Parker, Lee, Ryan, J.Williams, Busutil, Brown, Adams, Provis. Subs. A.Brown, D.Williams, Poole.

* This Saturday Barry are at home to Llanrumney in the SWALEC Bowl competition.


BARRY Seconds lost their first league match of the season despite a spirited display by an injury-ravaged side.

A combination of long-term and short-term injuries, along with last-minute first team call-ups, meant the squad was down to the bare bones.

Coach Rhydian Scott was forced to play at scrum-half, with the Barrian pair of Ian ‘Stavros’ Davies and Chris Bailey drafted into the squad, as well as third team player-manager Ken Chow who made his first start for over six months.

The uncertainty in the back line early on was evident as Cathays cut through with ease. Undeterred, Barry kept the ball in the tight as Scott began to take charge behind the scrum. The Barry set piece, shaky at first, began to function and allowed the pack the go-forward needed to generate momentum. Nick Rolfe, on his first game of the season, was outstanding in ball-carrying with Kyle Rendall and David Hosking also doing their shifts tirelessly.

The home side’s efforts were rewarded finally when Kyle Case drove over in a simple forwards move. Adam Lee couldn't add the extras with his boot.

Whilst the green-and-whites were showing promise in attack, their defensive frailties have not been addressed. With a back line who had never played together before, they were allowing their opponents far too much room. After Chow had managed to bundle the Cathays number 8 into touch after he evaded the attentions of both Scott and Rolfe, the away side scored under the posts when the home defence were caught napping following a quick tap penalty. Barry didn't learn from their mistakes and soon after the away side further increased their lead as they overloaded their right to score in the corner.

Barry had a chance to reduce the deficit just before half-time, when Mike Jones was released out wide and looked certain to score in the corner, but somehow Cathays managed to scramble back to smother the danger. Barry attempted to reverse their fortunes by bringing on Luke Bounds and he appeared to have the measure of his opposite number, but again Barry were punished for poor tackling as the away side cut straight through the midfield to score under the posts.

With the game almost out of reach, Barry relied on the boot of stand-off Lee to gain them territory, and from the pressure created Scott rolled back the years to inch across the line and give them hope. The conversion was missed.

Lee was given a second opportunity with a penalty attempt later on which he duly took, with the help of the post. He was less successful with his next kick, after Barry had been awarded a penalty for a Cathays infringement. Despite dominating territory and possession, and with the set piece giving the home side the platform to build on, they failed to add to the scoreboard.

Gavyn Elsworth combined with Rendall and was odds-on to touch down but somehow the chance was butchered. Instead, it was the away side who slotted over a late penalty to ensure the victory.

Barry 2nd XV: Bailey; Chow, M. Jones, Hewitson, Davies; Scott, Lee; Lundy, Hosking, Elsworth; Munro, Tobin; Rendall, Case, Rolfe (C).

Subs used: Houldey, Summerhayes, Thomas, Bounds.

Men-of-the-match: Scott and Case.