Injury-hit Dinas slump to first defeat



RETURNING to league action after the last of the autumn internationals, Dinas Powys Rugby Club Firsts were once again on the road to take on promotion-chasing and third-placed Cambrian Welfare.

Overtaken in the league table by Treherbert, Dinas opened with some excellent attacking play to pin Cambrian in their own half. From the second of two early penalties, Dinas captain David Lloyd had a shot at goal, but the ball sailed wide.

A second blow to the away team came just minutes later as scrum-half Louis Morgan left field with an ankle injury and was replaced by Kieran Spear, who himself was not 100 per cent fit, having sustained a similar injury during training.

With little opportunity to warm up, Spear was immediately thrown into the fray and, to his dismay from a defensive scrum, his pass didn’t go to hand and the home outside half hacked ahead and gathered for an unconverted try.

Taking heart from the early points, the home side crossed for a second try just three minutes later, and the conversion put them 12-0 up.

Some bright phases of play saw the villagers gain territory, but, unfortunately, a second penalty attempt failed to bisect the posts.

Following a series of scrums and penalties as both sides traded possession and territory, a torrid first half for the visitors was made worse as the home forwards drove over the whitewash for a third try. Another impressive conversion secured the additional two points.

The anguish for the visiting spectators and coaches was palpable and exacerbated further just minutes from the end of the half. Despite numerous infringements, all of which were disregarded by the official, Cambrian crossed for their bonus point securing try. A fortuitous conversion attempt saw the ball hit the upright before crossing.

Leading 26-0, Cambrian put the villagers under pressure at the start of the second half and, as the game progressed, it was evident to the travelling entourage that the visitors would not benefit from the decisions of the referee as much as the home team appeared to be, and the number of highly contentious decisions increased.

With 30 minutes left, the ball landed in the hands of Nathan Williams who ran fully 40 yards to cross for the Dinas' first and only try.

Spurred on by the try, the visitors looked to push on and Lloyd Horward replaced Nick Vegas. Alarmingly play was brought to an abrupt halt just minutes later as young flanker Ryan Shallish appeared to sustain a serious injury (thought at the time to be a broken ankle). The sight of one of their own being stretchered off seemed to ignite some fire and passion within the villagers and the familiar sight of flying winger James Smith soon returned. Sadly he was snagged just metres from the line, spilling the ball forward in contact.

A spirited final 10 minutes saw Dinas' best passages of play on what was to be a disastrous day at the office. Unfortunately, salt was rubbed into the open wound in the final minutes as Cambrian broke down the wing to score their fifth try to complete the 31-5 scoreline.

Dinas were beaten for the first time this season by a team who took full advantage of scrappy handling errors to score breakaway tries. Indeed, the only positive news filtered through on the journey home as the team learnt that the injury to Ryan was not as bad as first thought.

This weekend Dinas are in cup action at home to Llantwit Major when they will be looking to reaffirm themselves and return to winning ways.


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