Shallis shines in opening away success
1:02pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Penarth sport
FIRST POINTS: James Wiltshire scores Dinas Powys' first points of the season in Saturday's match at Penygraig. Picture: Mark Harris.
DINAS POWYS 12
THE opening day of the rugby season saw Dinas Powys 1st XV travel to Penygraig, with players, committee and supporters alike keen to maintain last season’s superb away record.
After an intense opening 15 minutes inside the Dinas half, no points were conceded. With stout defence from Lui Morgan and Gaz Williams, the villagers were finally able to get out of their own half and start pressurising the home defence. With ball in hand, the Dinas back line always looked threatening, James Smith and James Wiltshire causing the home team problems.
A loose kick from Penygraig was charged down resulting in a swift counter attack from halfway, and an infringement by the defending players led to Dinas being awarded a penalty and the opportunity to put the first points on the board. Unfortunately, Lui Morgan's kick edged just wide. However, the resultant 22 drop-out was put out on the full and, opting for a scrum, Dinas attacked down the blindside through Wiltshire. The ensuing line-out, five metres from the Penygraig line, provided a platform from which the villagers looked capable of scoring. With the forwards driving off a front of the line, clean, quick ball allowed the pass to Wiltshire and a clever dummy run from Mark Goode allowed the former to score under the posts. The conversion was dispatched with ease by Morgan.
With a breakdown fumbled from the restart, Morgan Williams was adjudged to have infringed play and received a harsh yellow card. Penygraig opted to kick the penalty to touch. Having successfully won the line-out, the home team showed quick hands between forwards and backs who combined well to present a significant attacking threat but play came to a halt when centre Goode was deemed to have made a late tackle. The Penygraig 10 was unsuccessful in his penalty attempt. With the villagers again under pressure in their own 22, a thumping tackle by captain David Lloyd led to Mike Smith pouncing on the ball and breaking through the Penygraig line and into the opposition's last 40 metres. Mike was tracked back by the defending player who managed to snare him and a ruck ensued. Support from the away team arrived swiftly and the ball was soon back in the hands of a Smith, James Smith, who dummied a pass, creating a gap through which he darted to score Dinas' second try. The resulting conversion was narrowly missed.
With Dinas leading 12-0, the second half began with a high ball which was secured by ever reliable James Walters who deftly passed to David Lloyd who kicked for territory, pinning the home team in their corner. A huge attacking effort by the forwards of Dinas lead to the referee awarding the visitors another penalty, this time in the opposite corner. After an excellent tackle by Ryan Shallish, a small scuffle broke out between the two sets of players. Having deemed the tackle to be dangerous, the official awarded a ‘pressure relieving’ penalty to Penygraig. The kick into the Dinas 22 was followed by a strong drive. Only another superb tackle by Ryan, who was excellent on the day and seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, prevented the home team scoring their first points of the season. ?More exceptional defence from Dinas led to a series of five-metre scrums which eventually led to a clearance kick from John Evans who looked comfortable at full back all afternoon. Another five minutes of stalemate set the tone for the remainder of the second half. ?A long range kick by the opposition went over the dead ball line as they attempted to gain vital field position resulting in a scrum on the halfway line for Dinas. What followed would have been more appropriate on centre court at Wimbledon as both sides struggled in an effort to win the territorial battle. During the foray back and forth a committed tackle outside the Dinas 22 led to a Nick Vagges colliding with a fellow team mate. Both sustained injuries, with the former having to leave the field with a broken nose. Such was Nick's desire to ensure the win that only the stern words of physio Jess Smith convinced him to remain on the touchline. ?With everyone’s spirits raised, the team’s effort levels increased and, with Penygraig in the Dinas 22, the defence still had a lot of work to do. With an overlap for Penygraig, a try looked certain. However the never surrender mentality of this youthful team were epitomised by the heroics of captain Dave Lloyd who could be seen scrambling into the corner in time to disposess the Penygraig winger. ?In the dying moments of the game the referee awarded the home team a penalty for offside in the midfield. Looking to salvage something from the game, the Penygraig winger looked to go over in the corner but was thwarted by another superb defensive effort by James Wiltshire. As the ball cruised into touch, the official brought the game to a close.
Dinas’ defensive display was exceptional and every player had given 100 per cent. There were many stand-out players but man of the match was Ryan Shallish who was excellent and key at the breakdown for the villagers who now play Ferndale away on September 14.