O65s WorkwearSupermarket.com CUP 23/24

By Alun Huish

Barry Town complete League & Cup double!

Another memorable o65s season campaign concluded with WorkwearSupermarket.com o65s League winners, Barry Town, securing the ‘double’ with a consummate performance at the Ocean Park Arena in Cardiff....

29 May – 2024 Cup Final
Barry Town 8, Merthyr Tydfil 1
With both sides missing key players but with two o70s in the Merthyr ranks and no less than four in the Barry squad, including, 76 year old Frank Lennon, this was a fine advert for o65s football.

The match itself, delayed from the 19th May and, consequently moved to the 9-a-side pitch at Ocean Park Arena in Cardiff, certainly suited the Barry team more and they started with real intent. Brown linked well with a rejuvenated Peterson and Branch and Evans moved the ball swiftly (as per the manager’s instruction) to the outstanding Bobbett - who was, frankly, on a different level. He had two early shots well-saved by Merthyr stopper, Searl, but he put his team ahead on 13 minutes after good work by Evans. He scored again moments later, latching onto another Evans pass. At the other end, a teasing cross by Pope was expertly cut out by the faultless Gibbins, whose cute pass found Evans, who clipped in the goal of the game from 25 yards. Good work by Merthyr defender Newton was almost rewarded when he put Sharp through on goal, but Barry keeper, Jones collected well. Bobbett completed his hat-trick, this time, after a sublime Evans through ball. Mackay should have extended the lead further, but Searl again saved well. Merthyr substitute, Wallace, unfortunately deflected into his own goal and just before the interval, Evans was brought down in the penalty area and Branch converted the spot-kick to give Barry an unassailable 6-0 half-time lead.

Within minutes of the start to the second half, Evans again found the net after good work by Morgan and Branch. A break by the speedy Merthyr striker, Arnold, was blocked by Mullins, but the hard-working O’Sullivan was quickest to react and drilled home to put his team on the scoresheet. Merthyr were noticeably lifted and the same player threatened on a couple more occasions only to be foiled by Blackaby and then Williams. Then his teammate, Pope, drove into the box but was cut short by ‘sprightly’ gloveman, Jones! Barry threatened once again, this time Lennon turning well and sending Miles into the penalty area where he was halted by astute Merthyr captain, Collins. Bobbett scored his 4th and Mackay should have made it 9, but failed to convert after good work, again by Searl, and the game ended with a comfortable victory for Barry.

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23rd April
Two close and competitive games in the WorkwearSupermarket.com o65s CUP semi-finals at the SDM Glass Stadium in Bridgend. Merthyr will face Barry Town in the final on 11th May at Leckwith campus with both teams winning their matches on penalties...

Penybont 0, Barry Town 0 (Barry Town win 4-2 on pens)
A slightly off-colour Barry Town still dominated possession, but the hosts certainly had more urgency in their play and both Morgans were always a threat on the break, particularly in the first half with the slope in their favour. Barry pressed forward with improved accuracy after the break and although they came up against a defiant Penybont rear-guard of Davies, Roberts, Whitmore and keeper, Braham, the latter making several superb saves to deny Bobbett and Evans and Mackay. Barry’s outstanding defender, Gibb converted the deciding penalty to take his team, deservedly, through to the final.

Merthyr 1, Swansea 1 (Merthyr win 5-4 on pens)
Another closely-contested game which was also decided after a penalty shoot-out. Merthyr welcomed back O’Sullivan after injury and, inevitably, he opened the scoring after 7 minutes with a confident strike. An own-goal by Newton drew the Swans level before the break, but although they were decent in possession and well-marshalled by ‘Nobby’ Edwards, they lacked a cutting edge and in fact keeper, Meacham, kept them in the game with several fines saves, but Merthyr deservedly advanced to the final.

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10th April
Penybont 4, Newport 0
In this preliminary match of the WorkwearSupermarket.com o65s Cup competition, the ‘hosts’ faced a Newport side who, again, featured a number of o70s players in their line-up, and although these players are of the highest quality, they were well-beaten by their younger opponents. Paul Morgan, Jason Morgan, Mike Roberts and Dick Steer were on target for the Bridgend outfit who now face WorkwearSupermarket.com o65s League winners, Barry Town in the semi-final on the 23rd April.

Although they will be without Jason Morgan, who was sadly injured in the tie, they can welcome back talismanic namesake, Peter.

Where next?

o55s lose out to England in Cambridgeshire England o55s 3, Wales o55s 1 St Ives, Cambridgeshire 25th May 2024

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