GRABBING a last-gasp try to frustrate their visitors, Barry Rugby Club 1st XV maintained their unbeaten start to the league season in a hard fought and entertaining game.

With enforced changes due to injury and unavailability, Barry faced the newly-promoted Cardiff side who are known for their open style of play and who had beaten the home club in last year's cup competition.

The game opened with the visitors taking the game to Barry, using both backs and forwards, but, like last week, the Barry defence was sound and, with some good counter attacking, took play into their opponents' half. And, when the visitors were penalised, Lee slotted home a 40-yard penalty to give the home side the lead.

Following a clever break between Hadfield and Buckland, Barry lost the ball and were driven back to their 22 where some loose defending saw them concede a try.

Barry continued to counter attack when the chance arose, a tactic which unsettled CRC. From one such sortie, a fine break by Adams, superbly supported by Poole, broke down 30 yards out. Following up, Hadfield picked up the loose ball and scored under the posts for a fine team try duly converted by Lee.

Unfortunately, the line out was proving to be problem for Barry and, from one such loss, 70 yards were lost. The home side were mixing their game up well, posing threats to the visiting defence either from fluid threequarter moves or barnstorming charges by the pack.

With the scrum also working well, Barry looked to be well on top and, although they conceded a further penalty, they reached half-time with a 13-8 lead.

It was obvious from the start of the second half that the visitors were not ready to lie down and, with unforced errors creeping into the Barry game, an early penalty brought CRC right back into the match.

With the visitors upping the ante, Barry were forced to make a number of changes due to injury and, despite two 30-yard bursts from props Hollister and Hoskin, the hosts were pressurised into conceding a penalty close to their line. From the resulting line-out, CRC drove over to score a converted try and take the lead.

The game moved backwards and forwards, with Barry trying too hard on occasions to break the visiting defence and create a platform from which to launch attacks.

As the game entered the final minutes, it appeared that the chance of victory had gone, but, in one last attack, Evans and Poole combined well to provide Provis with a chance from 20 yards out; a chance he duly took to cross under the posts to give Lee an easy conversion and a winning 20-18 lead.

There were a couple of scary seconds to navigate before the referee finally blew the whistle to end an exciting game.

Once again the spirit of the Barry team was evident in a display that, while peppered with some lapses, proved that they are prepared to stick together and work hard for each other to achieve success Another pleasing factor is that there is now some strength in depth in the squad and the boys that came into this match as fringe players performed admirably and did not weaken the team in any way.

On Saturday Barry travel to Llandaff (kick off 2.30) for what could be a difficult fixture but they go full of confidence.

Finally, congratulations to the eight Barry players who have been chosen to represent Cardiff and District in a game against Taffs Well as part of that club's 125th anniversary.