Old Penarthians Veterans v Dinas Powis

Dinas Powis 31 Old Penarthians 0 Veterans fixture

THE match played on Saturday, December 28, was billed in the Old Penarthians fixture list as a Veterans fixture.

Unfortunately the Dinas Powis fixture secretary had forgotten to pass on this message to the relevant organisers and it was only on the Thursday preceding the fixture that emergency calls were placed to any Dinas players who fancied a run out.

The assembled teams were therefore somewhat different in ages with everyone in the starting XV for Old Pens over 30, with the majority over 35 and Dio Martin nearer 60 than 50. On the opposition side it was difficult to see anyone over 30.

The first ten minutes were however all in favour of the Veterans, with the home team camped in the Dinas 22. It was however a tackle by Mark Lloyd on the opposition No 8 that will be remembered by all the spectators. Lloyd was in fact one of five previous first team captains on show who included, Mark Smart, Alun Haines, Scott McCarthy and Martin.

Dinas then decided that a close game may not be in their favour and determined that a running game would be more effective. On 15 and 20 minutes they enacted their preferred tactics and with moves starting in their own half scored two tries, one of which was converted.

The defensive effort of Paul Kemp, Steve Thomas and Richie Craven (the Under 7s coach playing his first game for 20 years) was however exemplary and with good ball from the scrums that were dominated by Malcolm Penberthy, Bali Salisbury and Neil Margetson (later to be replaced by Mark Curtis and Peter Harry) it ensured a competitive game. The referee did somehow not appreciate some of the coarser forms or rugby and lacked a certain empathy for the game and at various times awarded yellow cards to captain Robert Crimp, Stuart Gunnarsson and Peter Bennett.

A third try was scored by the visitors just before half time to make the score 19 points to nil.

At the start of the second half Penarthians introduced a few of their younger substitutes but it was one of the oldsters, Peter Bennett, who claimed a try when he was pushed over the tryline by Geraint Evans and Gareth Clancy. The referee claimed to be unsighted however and the try was not awarded.

This was probably the turning point in the game as the Old Penarthians did not launch a serious attack after this disappointment and the game was wandering to a half of rugby without points until the referee again intervened and determined that rugby was a game of two 40-minute halves, which is technically correct, but against the rules of Veterans rugby and Dinas Powis scored two further tries and a conversion in the last three minutes to win 31-0.

The Veterans hope to play two more games before the season's end so please watch out for email and text messages and if skipper Crimp calls please respond and find those muddy boots and that unwashed kit for however old the opposition may be.

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