Unbeaten Dinas Powys progress in Bowl competition
6:01pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Penarth sport
BARRY RFC 1st XV 5pts
DINAS POWYS 9
AFTER the disappointment of a no-show by Rhigos last week, attention switched to SWALEC Bowl duties as Dinas Powys and a plethora of supporters made the short journey to the Reservoir Field - home of League Division 4 side Barry. Having received a bye in the first round, this was the villagers' first match in the competition.
From the outset, Barry looked to play the ball from deep, and Dinas also signalled their attacking intent, opting to kick to touch after Barry conceded an early penalty. The villagers gained hard yards against a stern Barry defence, but a turnover by the home team and a break from their winger almost resulted in the first try, but James Smith was on hand with a good clearance kick.
Barry sensed an opportunity to attack from halfway by breaking through the midfield and Dinas, aware of the threat, quickly closed ranks and forced the handling error to earn a scrum. Having secured the ball, it was immediately back in the hands of the home team as the pass from the base of the scrum was intercepted. This time Dinas’ saviour was Welsh Deaf international Ryan Shallish as he hauled down the attacking player.
The game was turning into a typical local derby. John Evans broke on the wing and threw an inside pass to Smith who looked odds on to cross, but it was Barry’s turn to produce a try-saving tackle as the winger spilled the ball in the clash.
A solid scrum from Dinas saw them win the ball against the head, but they were prevented from capitalising by a deliberate knock on from the defending player, and the home team found themselves down to 14 players for 10 minutes. Up stepped captain Dai Lloyd to convert the penalty and put the first points on the board for the villagers.
Spurred on by the setback, Barry launched an attack from deep and, following a line out, they began a rolling maul to push Dinas back over their own line for an unconverted try in the corner.
Keen to bounce back, Dinas looked to attack from the halfway line with a break from Ashley Morgan, but, unfortunately, the kick ahead rolled across the dead ball line. Scrum-half Nathan Williams was making his opposite number’s life a misery at the back of the scrum and skilfully regained possession for the villagers. With ball in hand, Dinas drove determinedly towards the Barry line only to knock on in their eagerness to cross the whitewash. However, all was not lost as an earlier infringement handed Lloyd a chance to add another three points.
Despite some promising first-half moves and a great deal of enterprise, the villagers' eagerness had, to some degree, been to their detriment and a little more composure in the final phase would undoubtedly have yielded more points.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, Barry missed a penalty and several minutes later Dinas were awarded a scrum in the home team's half from which Nathan Williams expertly dodged through the defence to release Lloyd who, with the try line close, had the ball dislodged from his grasp by some last-ditch tackling.
The home team were finding it extremely difficult to get out of their own half and the villagers continued to pile on the pressure, going through multiple phases of play, but a forward pass and then a wayward pass thwarted their efforts.
Arguably the most contentious issue of the match came when a break from Lloyd released Duke Durham on the wing who, in turn, fed flanker Morgan Williams whose pass saw Nathan Williams cross the try line. However, a loud vocal appeal by a member of the Barry coaching team saw the referee declare Morgan’s pass to be forward and the try disallowed.
Further Dinas scrum dominance allowed sturdy Ashley Morgan to dive over but Barry’s excellent last-ditch defence prevented the grounding. Barry cleared their lines from the resulting scrum, but it was only a brief reprieve as, within minutes, the visitors were back in the Barry half and awarded a penalty. After some debate, Gavin Cooper, who had replaced Lloyd minutes earlier, stepped up to take the penalty and, under great pressure, landed the kick.
Numerous phases of play saw repeated attempts by the home team to score the points required for the win. It looked at one point as though there would be a travesty of justice as, despite being besieged in their own half for nearly the entire duration of the second half, Barry appeared to cross for a try yet they were held up by some heroic defending. Tensions were high and adrenalin flowing and an altercation between Luke Dyer and a Barry player resulted in a disappointing red card for each.
The final minutes seemed to last a lifetime, and a collective sigh of relief could be heard by the travelling supporters as eventually the referee brought the match to a satisfying, if not tense, conclusion.
The match had not been a classic, with far too many handling errors and knock ons. Indeed, without these the winning margin would have been significantly higher. That said, the Dinas players can be proud of their performance in taking the scalp of a local rival from a higher division. The villagers remain undefeated with six wins from competitive games this season.
Next week Dinas return to league action with a trip to Hirwaun.