Fine defensive effort sees Dinas to victory
8:40am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
DINAS POWYS RFC 8pts OGMORE VALE 3
THE weather on The Common for the visit of Ogmore Vale was a trial of endurance for players and supporters alike as the falling rain was blown towards the hamlet of St Andrew's by the cold Arctic wind.
Conditions were not conducive to playing sport, let alone the style of rugby that the Villagers had tried to play all season; cold hands, a heavy pitch and a gale force wind would prevent the speedy threequarters from playing their normal game.
The conditions determined that this was to be an afternoon for forwards not backs, and a low scoring game was inevitable in the circumstances. The visitors had lost narrowly 24-30 to the Villagers in September and a close contest was anticipated.
The team from Ogmore Vale had a huge pack of forwards and an afternoon wallowing in the mud on The Common appeared in their favour. Their tight head prop weighed in at over 25 stone and a difficult afternoon seemed in prospect for the home forwards.
The home side won the toss and decided to play with the strong wind at their backs and, with the elements in their favour, the Villagers dominated the first half as the visitors struggled to clear their lines into the teeth of the gale. Cold fingers and the gusty wind ensured a series of scrums, and a huge effort from the front row of Owain Stark, Lloyd Horwood and Tom Paterson saw the home side gain dominance.
The technique and strength of Paterson had to be admired as, in a series of scrums, he drove back an opponent nine stone heavier than himself. After 10 minutes a powerful scrum allowed scrum half and captain, Nathan Williams, to collect at the base and cross for a try from 10 metres out.
The written word makes this sound simple but the powerful scrum half danced, drove and spun his way through a series of defenders to score what was to prove the only try of the match. A superb individual effort from an inspirational player who has performed sensationally all season and was once again the best player on the pitch.
He continued to torment the men from Ogmore Vale with his sniping runs, and his control from the base of the scrum proved vital in gaining the precious victory.
The visiting defence proved determined and impossible to breach and powerful carries from the back row players of Ryan Shallish, Morgan Williams and Gareth Williams were repelled by committed defenders. Anxious Dinas Powys officers realised that, with the elements in their favour, it was vital that a good lead was held at half time for the second half was inevitably going to be a defensive exercise.
The home side added to their total with a penalty kicked by fly half Gavin Cooper after half an hour and advanced their lead to 8-0. The conditions ensured that the first half was disrupted with a series of injuries that made it a disjointed affair, with players and supporters alike struggling to keep warm as the injured were treated. The half ended with the score stuck at 8-0 and with the visitors delighted after their massive defensive effort.
The Villagers defended their line for the majority of the second half, with the visitors dominating territory and encamped in the home half. A series of attacking lineouts were defended stoutly, with the magnificent Gareth Williams disrupting the visitors at the front, and the winning of defensive lineout ball by the same player and Morgan Williams ensuring that the rolling maul was nullified at source.
The backs defended bravely, with abrasive centre Dai Lloyd a committed tackler and a scavenger of ball in the tackle area. The home side tried to run the ball into the gale, and mesmerising runs from full back Nick Coles and James Smith raised hopes of a further score, but even these mud gliders were slowed by the squelching conditions.
The tension increased with 10 minutes remaining as the visitors kicked a penalty to take the score to 8-3; but, with the gloom descending, it was a predominantly happy group of frozen supporters that saw Cooper kick the ball dead and bring a dreary game to an end.
The victory was gained, and a huge defensive effort from a determined group of players delighted coaches Vesey and Boyland.
The league campaign continues with the visit of league leaders Porthcawl to The Common for what should be an enthralling contest.