CHIPPENHAM U15s made their way over the bridge to South Wales to play Barry RFC as part of their preparation for next week’s Bristol Combination Cup Final next weekend. Having no knowledge about the opposition, apart from the fact that they were unbeaten this season, Chippenham went into the match with their own unbeaten reputation to protect.

The initial skirmishes were evenly split ,with Barry proving strong up front and Chippenham’s pack was thoroughly tested in the rucks and mauls. With the Welsh RFU playing slightly different rules at the age group, Chippenham had their first experience of lifting in the lineout and this proved successful.

From one such set-peice, Angell caught the ball cleanly and passed it back to scrum-half Waddington who darted through the forwards, chipped the ball over the defence and ran on to catch it and score. Barry were still proving a tough nut to crack but the try gave Chippenham confidence and, having realised that the opposition was fallible, they upped the workrate.

The attack was helped by Taylor floating several balls deep into Barry territory, providing opportunities for the backs to chase and try and open up the defence but for a good period of time it held firm. Unfortunately for Barry, their backline was not quite firing on all cylinders and there were one or two handling errors which spoiled their attacking moves.

However, it was a Chippenham error that provided the opportunity for the second try.

From a knock-on, Barry got the put-in at the scrum and the ball was passed back to the fly-half to clear the line. Waddington though, had him covered and charged down the ball from the ensuing kick.

He was also quickest to recover, snatched the ball from a kind bounce and scored his second of the morning.

The next 10 minutes saw the two teams tussling in midfield, with neither able to gain any real advantage. Whenever Chippenham broke through, the Barry defence tracked back and put in some crunching tackles.

However, two scores ahead, Chippenham were determined to press on and they continued to run at the opposition.

Having camped on the Barry 22 for five minutes with no reward from their endeavours after some superb defence from Barry, the ball was passed back infield to Taylor who slotted a drop goal to make it 13-0 at half-time.

In the second half, Barry appeared determined not to let the game go by without scoring.

With the handling errors eradicated, they passed the ball well and had several runs at the Chippenham line.

In fact, they had Chippenham pinned down deep in their 22 for the first five minutes of the half, but the defence held firm and each time Chippenham managed to clear the line and release the pressure. When Chippenham did have the ball, they looked dangerous and, having withstood the Barry onslaught, they burst out of defence.

Once again it was Waddington who ended up with the ball and put in a grubber kick through the backline. He was taken out off the ball and Chippenham kicked for a line-out. From the set piece, they mauled the ball up to the line and had several pick and drives before Atkin succeeded in getting the ball down for the fourth try of the morning.

Barry continued to put up a good fight and were desperately unlucky not to finish off the chances they had. They remained determined to take the game back to Chippenham and, following a period of pressure, were awarded a series of penalties in Chippenham’s half but could not add the final flourish.

Chippenham eventually gave away a scrum but, having defended in earnest for several minutes, the pack put on a mighty push and turned over the ball.

It was duly shipped out to the backs and passed through several pairs of hands before Parry took the ball on with a good run through several tackles before passing to Brown who ran it in from the 22.

With a few minutes remaining, Chippenham again continued to press forward for one last onslaught and, following a further series of runs into the Barry half, Graham took the ball and sprinted up the wing to place the ball in the corner.