DINAS POWYS RFC 1st XV 15
AFTER last week's disappointing narrow defeat at home against Treharris, Dinas Powys Rugby Club Firsts made the trip to Ynysowen for a rearranged fixture.
In contrast to the foul weather which had led to the postponement of the original fixture, the villagers arrived in Merthyr Vale in warm spring sunshine, with a stiff breeze blowing the length of the valley.
With the villagers playing into the headwind, both sides experienced bouts of possession in the early stages, but unforced handling errors stifled any effective attacking intent.
First blood went to the visitors around the half-hour mark when a loose kick by Ynysowen into Dinas' 22 was collected cleanly by full-back Nicky Coles who called for the mark. Instead of kicking, the quick thinking Coles fed scrum-half Nathan Williams who set off with winger James Smith in support. The pair worked their way up the wing, eluding the defensive efforts of the home team with some good breaks and clever passing, and culminating in a fine try by Williams in the corner. Coles missed the difficult conversion kick into the wind from out wide.
Unfortunately, the celebrations were shortlived as Dinas relinquished their lead within minutes when the home side scored a try following a determined effort by their pack. The conversion was all but a formality and the home side led 7-5 going into the break.
There was more attacking intent from the villagers in the second half and, with the home side's forwards visibly tiring as the game progressed, and the wind now hampering their kicking efforts, they simply could not find a way out of their own half.
A successful penalty from Dai Lloyd saw Dinas regain the lead by the slightest of margins and, with frustration creeping into the Ynysowen team, the penalty count increased significantly. Persistent pressure from the Dinas pack at both the scrum and breakdown areas led to the home side's flanker being sinned binned as the official's patience ran out at persistent infringements.
The turning point came when Dinas were awarded a penalty five metres from the home line following a collapsed scrum. Taking a quick tap kick, Williams was tackled by a defending player before he had retreated to the line and the referee had had enough and awarded a penalty try to the visitors. This presented replacement kicker Gavin Cooper with the simplest of conversions to seal the visiting side's victory.