BARRY travelled to Llandaff last Saturday for a fixture which had all the hallmarks of a potential banana skin, in a season which has started so positively for the Bombers.

And so it almost turned out to be, with Barry scraping through in the dying minutes against a team who threatened throughout the game to steal a match which swung back and forth all afternoon.

Llandaff kicked off and with a slight wind advantage played a kicking game which rebounded on them as early as the second minute; Barry counter-attacked using backs and forwards, and saw the ball passed to Adams, whose clever chip was caught by Ryan for a fine early score.

Back came Llandaff though, who were putting pressure on at every opportunity and were rewarded with a penalty to reduce the deficit.

Barry continued to attack from every opportunity, and had ball gone to hand would surely have scored a couple of tries, with Provis being held up just short of the line as scores always looked imminent but didn’t come.

From a centre field scrum Llandaff struck the ball quickly to allow their lively scrum half to score unopposed from the halfway line - a fine individual try which gave Llandaff the lead on 15 minutes, and led to Barry having a spell of defending as the home side piled on the pressure.

However, after weathering that period, Barry got back into the game, and with further good interplay, a clever break by Hardy saw Jones in support to crash over the home line to give Barry the lead 12-8.

Barry didn’t relax and continued to pressurise the Llandaff defence, and following good work by Buckland and Evans, Llandaff conceded a penalty which was converted by Lee.

Llandaff were not finished though, and a scrappy lineout saw them collect the loose ball and cross the Barry line to bring the scores level at 15-15 at half time.

The second half began in the same vein with both sides trying to play open rugby, which when it doesn’t work out creates opportunities for both sides to attack , which is exactly what happened in the opening period.

Ryan who had been totally safe under the aerial bombardment all afternoon, continued to threaten Llandaff with the counter-attack, but the final pass wasn’t going to hand, allowing Llandaff to take advantage of the loose ball and pressurise Barry to an extent that the away side lost their shape for a time.

However the Barry defence somehow held firm and were lucky the home No 10 didn’t have his kicking boots on as two chances were missed.

From yet another counter-attack Barry wasted a chance to get in front by taking a quick penalty, but were fortunate a moment later when common sense prevailed and a further penalty was converted by Lee to give Barry a slight advantage as the game entered the last quarter.

The ever-dangerous Llandaff No 9 and 15 always challenged the Barry defence, and their exceptional pace saw them linking together to create a good try for the home side, and to take the lead with five minutes left. Two things have become evident with the Barry side this year - firstly the ability to last for the full 80 minutes; and secondly their belief and confidence in themselves to achieve results.

And so it turned out that following a clearance upfield, Barry managed to turn the ball over and release the backs, the ball reaching Adams who, faced with two defenders, cleverly chipped and re-gathered the ball to score under the posts. Lee kicked the easy conversion and Barry were back in front.

The drama wasn’t over as Barry lost a scrum against the head to give Llandaff one last chance, but resolute defence saw them to safety to gain their third win of the season.

It would be unfair to mention individuals in what was a fine team performance, but certainly Ryan and Buckland in the backs together with Evans and Degura in the forwards epitomised the commitment the team are showing at the moment.

A further challenge awaits next weekend as Barry travel to face also-unbeaten Wattstown in what promises to be another nailbiter. All support welcome - a coach is leaving the club at 12.30pm.

*Members and players are advised that the 125th Anniverary Dinner is only three weeks away, and those who have yet to obtain their tickets should do so immediately by contacting Andy Jamieson on 01446 411737 or by email at andyjam68@yahoo.co.uk



BARRY Rugby Club Seconds Barry continued their league campaign on an overcast day against a side who put 50 points past them in the corresponding fixture last season.

Barry’s preparations, already hampered by various players injured or otherwise unavailable, were dealt a further blow when Josh Westall withdrew from the squad with less than two hours to kick off.

Coach Rhidian Scott and interim manager Ken Chow had no choice but to make some bold decisions, handing Neil Fulton a debut – his first game for six years – recalling Joe McCann at fly-half and giving Luke Hewitson, normally a half-back, a start in the back row.

The omens were not good; Barry had started poorly all season and have yet to take the lead in any game, and this seemingly makeshift side looked set to struggle.

The reality was very different. Every player from one to 15 were focused on the job at hand from kick off, and the Barry pack bullied their opposition early on to concede territory.

Following a textbook line-out catch-and-drive, Andrew Corne was on hand to break free to score and reward the away side’s early dominance. Adam Lee failed to add to extras.

Clwb Rygbi, famed for the wide, flowing game, tried to respond with their strike runners in their back line, and were rewarded when they took three points from a penalty opportunity following Barry indiscretion at the breakdown area.

Barry continued to hammer at their opposition, using their strong runners, with Rhys Gooderham, David Williams, Gavyn Elsworth and Julian McTavish to the fore. However, it was the home side who took the lead via another penalty.

With half-time approaching, McCann sent a long searching kick into the opposition 22, with Alex Evans and Gooderham in hot pursuit but, with the try line seemingly at their mercy, the ball was knocked on and the chance butchered.

Clwb Rygbi took that as a turning point. It wasn’t. Barry came out after half time with renewed vigour as Gooderham and David Williams cut through the home defence with some strong, direct running. Joel Williams conducted matters behind the dominant pack, and it was from his chip over that his brother, David, profited to score under the posts. The conversion was a formality.

The home side once again looked for their strike runners in midfield to do damage to the Barry defence but it was to no avail as they ran into a solid defensive wall in McCann, Gooderham and, ultimately, Williams. When they tried to exploit the fringes of the contact area, they were beaten back by Lee Jones, McTavish, Flynn, and makeshift flanker Hewitson, who was relishing his new position.

It was, indeed, such frustration that led to David Williams intercepting a forlorn pass in the CRCC 22 to score his second try of the game, with Lee adding the extras.

By now, the home side were beginning to run out of ideas, not helped by some hesitant play by the outside half and some poor tactical kicking. David Williams rounded off his near-perfect performance by completing his hat-trick on the hour mark, slicing through the home defence at will. Lee failed to land the conversion.

Joel Williams was finding the chip-and-chase game particularly profitable and, from another pin-point kick, Lee gathered to score his first try of the season. He converted his own try from out wide.

There was still time for scrum-half Williams to be rewarded a try near the end as he scored from a characteristic quick-tap penalty, with Lee failing to add the extras.

The final score was 36-6 to Barry, and it was just reward for the endeavour and enterprise of the players and coaching staff that turned up on the day. It begs the question as to whether those players who declared themselves unavailable this weekend will find their way back into the team next Saturday.

Next weekend sees the 2nd XV return to Reservoir Fields to face Llandaff 2nd XV, whilst the Barrians begin their season away to Old Penarthians. All players please declare their availability to management at the first possible opportunity.

Team: Lee; Case, Gooderham, D Williams, A Evans; J. Williams (c), McCann; Thomas, Elsworth, Corne; Flynn, Fulton; Jones, Hewitson, McTavish Subs used: Houldey, Hall, Booker, E Evans. Man-of-the-match: D Williams