CARDIFF have an array of talent at their disposal and it was all brought to the Reservoir Field on Saturday for the first of a series of high profile games to mark the Barry Rugby Club's 125th anniversary year.

Indeed, the visitors were able to field almost two complete teams; one for each half! With black clouds scudding up the channel, it was always going to be a lottery with the weather. Even Ken Chow's barbecue needed regular baling out!

Barry began a first half of heavy and regular downpours playing up the slope and, although their illustrious opponents did not overawe them, they soon found themselves seven points behind from a smartly taken try near the posts. Following good forward pressure, Barry cut the deficit with a penalty after 15 minutes.

The home back row was giving Cardiff plenty of problems at the breakdown. Good ball retention allowed the home side to set up camp on the Cardiff line and the home side were justly rewarded when Evans crossed near the corner flag.

During the first half, Cardiff were able to secure the ball at most line-outs via their much bulkier and taller locks. However, the home side's first up tackling was proving formidable enough to meet this threat. With another hard-earned penalty, Barry went into half-time leading by six points. The second half commenced with an almost fresh visiting XV being greeted with the hardest rainstorm of the day.

With a good pick and drive, the Cardiff team managed to control the 'bar of soap' that was a rugby ball and splash over for a good try wide out. The angle and distance were too great for the conversion to be successful. The visitors took the lead after 20 minutes with a swallow dive through the 'pools,' which was well within kicking range.

Barry closed the gap with a long-range penalty to set up an exciting finish. They had the opportunity at the death to win the game via a penalty but it was not to be.

This was a commendable effort against a side with far greater resources, and bodes well for a successful campaign in the coming season. Every player performed heroically but, more importantly, each did so for the team. They will also have benefited from the officiating of a first-class referee and touch judges.

Barry squad: Ryan, Hardy, Provis, Dix, Chucas, Alex Evans, Adams, Lee, Thorne, Gallivan, Joel Williams, D.Williams, Busitil, Richie O'Sullivan, Rhys O'Sullivan, Alun Evans, Hollister, Hunt, Deguara, Westall, Tanner, King, Jones, (c) Parker, Hadfield and L O'Sullivan.

* Fixture lists for the forthcoming season will be available shortly.

* This coming weekend, in another special anniversary event, a group of mainly ex-players take on Brynhill Golf Club in a golf match. The match tees off at 2pm, and it is understood that one or more places may still be available. If you are interested, although a game cannot be guaranteed, please arrive at the course no later than 1pm and ask for Steve Jones. The golf will be followed by a barbecue and evening disco.

* This weekend also sees the closing date for applications to be part of the Rugby Club Brick Wall of Memories; completed forms should be returned to the address on the application or handed in to Vale Street Post Office where forms are available on request. The bricks need to be ordered on Monday next so, to avoid disappointment, please ensure you are included and get your order in on time.