Barry secure an historic treble

Football: Barry Town 2 Cwmbran Town 1
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The Independent Online
Barry Town will go into next season's European Champions' League buoyed by an historic hat-trick of trophies that have made them the dominant force in Welsh football.

Two goals from the former Cardiff City favourite Cohen Griffith enabled the already-crowned League of Wales champions and League of Wales Cup winners to add the Welsh Cup at Ninian Park yesterday.

It was a fitting end to a season of unprecedented success for the only professional side in the League of Wales, although Cwmbran, in their first final, refused to lie down and let history take its course.

Despite falling behind to a goal in the seventh minute by the ever-alert Griffith, who swivelled to volley home after his initial header had been blocked on the line, Cwmbran forced their way back into the game with an equalising goal three minutes after the break.

That was no mean achievement against the meanest defence in Welsh football and a goalkeeper in Mark Ovendale who had kept 10 clean sheets in his previous 14 outings.

But as soon as the Cwmbran striker Matthew Davies had got around the back of the Barry defence and pulled the ball back to Chris Watkins, a goal looked certain.

Watkins had rattled Barry's nerves with a 30-yard shot in the last minute of the first half that went inches over the bar, but this time he made no mistake from eight yards as he beat Ovendale.

The goal forced Barry to show why they have become the most feared force in Wales. With player-coach Gary Barnett urging them on from midfield, they kept pressing forward in search of the goal that would give them the treble.

Griffith hit the post with a header from another corner after 55 minutes before finally scoring with a pin-point, side-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area in the 71st minute.

That goal knocked the stuffing out of Cwmbran and brought to an end a long, long season for Barry, although a highly profitable one.

The consolation for Cwmbran is a trip into the European Cup-Winners' Cup next season.

Goals: Griffith (7) 1-0; Watkins (48) 1-1; Griffith (73) 2-1.

Barry Town: Ovendale, T Evans, Knott (Knott, 67), Lloyd, York, Jones, Barnett, Loss, Bird, Griffith, Ryan. Substitutes not used: C Evans, O'Gorman.

Cwmbran Town: O'Hagan, Walker (Battle, 84), Powell, Gibbins (Payne, 78), Blackie, Parfitt, Carter, Goodridge, Davies (Summers, 55), Dyer, Watkins.

Referee: A Howells (Port Talbot).

Bookings: Cwmbran: Goodridge, Dyer.

Man of the match: Griffith.

Attendance: 3,000.