HAVING seen their recent league revival halted at half-time up at Aberdare before Christmas and enjoyed their usual Boxing Day dominance over Old Penarthians, Penarth welcomed neighbours Barry to the Athletic Field last Saturday.

A mis-hit kick-off was not a great way to start, but it set a pattern for the rest of the game where all the weaker points of the Seasiders’ game were on display and Barry took advantage as the opportunities arose.

Division 2 East Central has proved to be a curious league this season, with no team giving the impression of being miles better or worse than any other, but there are some that are just that bit better at getting results, as the table shows.

Penarth were pressing just inside the Barry half after 10 minutes when they conceded the first of many penalties at the breakdown. The visitors drove the resulting line-out to the 22, where scrum-half Kyle Barros chipped ahead and touched down just short of the dead-ball line.

Despite this set-back the Seasiders continued to enjoy the majority of territory and possession, but were dogged throughout by a string of breakdown penalties. We’ve seen this before and this time it was Owen Thomas in receipt of a team yellow card for persistent infringement. Barry again drove the resulting line-out and Curtis Miller drove over for a 12-0 lead.

Penarth continued to hold the upper hand until half-time, but failed conjure up a single point. Lengthy sieges of the Barry line yielded nothing but missed opportunities.

The Seasiders started the second half strongly against a Barry side reduced to 14 men as their openside flanker had earned time in the bin, but after 52 minutes it was inevitably the visitors who extended their lead. A long drop-out was worked quickly up-field and Alyn Evans crossed in the corner.

The Penarth coaches rang the changes as injuries began to take their toll and with Barry’s 17-0 lead, you got the distinct impression that the game had gone with 20 minutes left. Penarth continued to press, but the visitors had got the bit between their teeth now and a seemingly innocuous penalty award led to another seven points as Barros tapped and went, sending number eight Mike O-Sullivan under the posts.

At this late point the Seasiders finally managed to put a scoring move together. Following a driven line-out to the line, outside-half Morgan Smith positioned himself wide on the right and scored near the flag in site of the close attentions of two defenders.

That was as good as it got for Penarth, as Barry came back from the restart all too easily as Tom Perry squeezed in at the corner for his side’s fifth try.

Next Saturday the Seasiders travel to sixth-placed Gilfach Goch. The RCT club have suffered a number of postponements, but haver only lost the one league game this season.

PENARTH Tom Smith, James Candy, Rhys Beynon, Chris Mortimer, James Crothers, Morgan Smith, Rhys Morgan, (Owain Lord), Dave Thomas (Geraint Williams), Mason Good, Alan Doyle, Owen Thomas, Scott Mackie, Miles Jones, Alex Thau © (Owain George), Richie Bowen (Harrison Pugsley)

Scorers: Morgan Smith (try).