40-point haul for Smith brothers
3:02pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
DINAS POWYS 1st XV 71
AS the Dinas Powys Rugby Club team set off on the hour-long journey to hosts Ferndale, memories of the same fixture last season came flooding back, both players and coaches reflecting on a game that had to be cut short due to monsoon-like conditions.
However there was to be divine intervention this year as the last of the summer sun shone down over the Rhondda valley ground.
Poor defensive play by the visitors led to the hosts scoring the first try under the posts after six minutes and, with the successful conversion, Ferndale led 7-0.
A rallying call from head coach Andy Vesey soon had the Dinas players focused on the task in hand and, from this point forward, they took control.
The reply was swift. A clean strike at the scrum allowed scrum-half Lui Morgan to quickly release the dynamic back line. James Smith cut a great angle to open up the defence, evading the tackles of four home players during his 22 metres sprint to the line. With a difficult conversion missed, Dinas were back in the game.
What followed can only be described as a scintillating movement that involved both forwards and backs. A lineout on the Dinas10 metres line was secured cleanly allowing Morgan to cross the gain line and enter the opponent's half. Sustained pressure at the ensuing rucks forced a penalty from Ferndale which was taken quickly by Morgan. The ball moved through speedy hands forcing the home team to scramble across the field in a desperate defensive effort. A well timed off load to captain Dai Lloyd kept up the momentum as he in turn despatched the ball to Gaz Williams who had a relatively easy run in under the posts. The simple conversion was successful.
With their tails up, the Villagers took the game by the scruff of the neck and a third try came just ten minutes later. Some excellent work by Morgan disrupted his opposite number and the Ferndale No10, under pressure, sliced his clearing kick into touch at the 22. Despite winning the ball, the referee blew for an infringement as the Dinas rolling mall looked to be heading towards the try line. The attempted clearance by Ferndale failed to make touch and was collected by Sam Alderman. After numerous phases of play and determined work at the breakdown by the powerful Dinas forwards, the ball ended up in the hands of Jon Evans who deftly beat two defending players to run in under the posts. The conversion was all but a formality.
The Villagers were now firmly in control and the fourth try came within minutes. Luke Dyer made his substantial presence felt as he powered his way through the defending players before making an offload that would have been more akin to that of a back to put Mike Smith in under the posts for his first points of the afternoon and securing the all important bonus point. Another easy conversion was despatched by the dependable Morgan and Dinas were steaming ahead.
Confidence was now oozing from the visitors as they continued to build momentum and, just three minutes later, Jon Evans was crossed under the posts for his second of the day presenting Morgan with yet another easy opportunity to stretch the score by another two points. The game was turning into a rout and the Villagers were merciless in their pursuit of points. Last week’s man of the match Ryan Shallish continued his rich vein of form. Indeed, it appeared at times that he’d managed to clone himself such was his involvement in the game and his participation at the breakdown all over the field. It was an excellent move and offload by Shallish that handed Smith his second score of the day and, with another good conversion, the half time score was 7-40.
With no changes at half time, head coach Andy Vesey’s charges looked to extend their lead. A turnover from Dyer allowed the Villagers to counter-attack from deep. A superlative run by Smith from a full 60 yards earned him a hat-trick under the posts in what was to be his last action as he left the field to make way for Mark Goode, having contributed significantly to the healthy scoreline.
The Dinas forwards were having a blinding game and the powerful pack pushed Ferndale off the ball at the scrum. Gaz Williams scooped up the ball and charged onwards supported by Jon Evans and Shallish, the ball finally ending up in the hands of James Smith (again). This move was to provide a comical moment in the game as Smith was almost prevented from scoring, not by a member of the opposition, but by Evans, who in his eagerness to provide support somehow managed to make contact with his team mate's legs causing him to stumble over the line.
The result was beyond doubt and only the final score was open for debate. With the Villagers in the driving seat, Vesey took the opportunity to make several changes. Off came Morgan, to be replaced by Kieran Spear, and Kyle Foate taking the place of Owen Stark in the second row.
As a proud father Tony Smith watched on son James proceeded to score a further three tries! Morgan Williams turned the ball over to put him in the corner for the third (conversion missed by Nick Coles), Goode broke and passed to him for the fourth and the final score for both James and the Villagers was courtesy of a Gaz Williams weaving run, quick hands through the backs and the ball eventually landing in the hands of James.
Ferndale continued to challenge in all aspects of the game and they were finally rewarded for their determination and resilience when the final move of the game led to a well worked converted try in the corner.
The match had been a sensational display of open, fast paced rugby with excellent hands from each and every player. However, a special note must be made of the contribution of the brothers Smith who between them had a points haul of 40 points.
The Villagers are on the road once again next week as they travel to Ogmore Vale, a venue which saw the team from the Vale pushed all the way last season.