|13th May 2016||7:15 PM||Mallett Cup||2015-16|
From founding members to Mallett Cup winners
Dinas Powys RFC’s second team (affectionately known as the Dingoes) won the 111th final of the historic Cardiff and East District, S A Brain Mallett Cup by beating St Josephs 25 – 24 in a thrilling final at Cardiff Arms Park. The Mallett Cup is the second-oldest rugby cup competition in the world and was first played for in 1894. The annual competition is organised by the Cardiff and East District RU of which Dinas Powys was a founding member way back in 1892.
The Dingoes only held the lead twice in the entire match; early in the first half and crucially in the dying moments of the game. At the final whistle the large contingent of from Dinas Powys could eventually relax and so began the wild celebrations as captain Morgan Williams lifted the trophy for the first time in the club’s long history.
. . . most of us agree that it was on of the best finals we’ve ever seen (and some of our more “senior” guests have been going to finals since the 1960’s!) and to have such a dramatic ending as well just put the icing on the cake, certainly from a neutral observers point of view – Gareth Thomas, Cardiff and East District RU
The resilient Dingoes make a comeback
The game was fiercely competitive and the Dingoes, who trailed by 18-8 at half time, showed great resolution to claw their way back into the game before proving to be meritorious victors outscoring their opponents by three tries to two.
The first of the tries for the Dingoes was scored by veteran second row Matt Knibbs after twenty minutes. The missed conversion put the Dingoes two points clear of their well drilled opponents who had taken an early three points courtesy of a short range penalty.
However, the Dingoes lead was to be short lived as the Joes struck back with a try and conversion of their own in what seemed a single heartbeat. The margin was further extended just ten minutes later as the Joes crossed out wide for what was to be their final try of the encounter just ten minutes later. The angle of the kick was too great for the oppositions’s kicker, a miss that turned out to be highly significant. With the end of the half in sight, St Joes were given another opportunity to rack up the points courtesy of another penalty. This time the kick was clean and true and, as the half time whistle blew, the score was 18-8 in the Joes favour.
At half time coach Andy Vesey and his assistant “Chunky” Boyland implored their charges to put more width into their game and soon after the restart full back Ben White was to benefit from this more expansive approach as he gathered a pass from replacement scrum half Tom Davies to cross for the Dingoes second try close to the post giving himself an easy conversion. The “Joes” were resolute and maintained their lead through a series of penalty kicks and time was running out for the Dingoes.
A series of inspirational runs by captain Morgan Williams, replacement hooker Tom Baister and loose head Tom Paterson proved decisive. Fly-half Gavin Cooper was now being provided with quicker ball and controled his backline competently. A series of sweet passes released right wing Mark Good who cut back against the covering defenders to crash over ten metres from the touchline. Good punched the artificial surface of the pitch through sheer delight, but the Dingoes still trailed by a single point. The pressure moved to White who strode forward to attempt the tricky conversion. His strike was true and White advanced his tally for the evening to fifteen points and crucially placing the Dingoes ahead by a single point.
The remaining minutes comprised of desperate defending by the heroic Dingoes; flanker Lewys John and replacement number eight Josh Dunleavy were to the fore in this frantic action. Fittingly it was Lewys John that regained a loose ball that allowed scrum-half Davies to kick the ball into the crowd, brining the contest to an end and starting the celebrations.
An emotional evening for all associated with Dinas Powys RFC and especially to second row James Walters who had to bid farewell to his boots who themselves had parted company from the sole after succumbing to the rigours of the artificial surface at the Arms Park.
Former Chairman Keith Bryan surveyed the celebrations from the committee box with a large smile beaming across his face, a well deserved reward for his industry over a long association with the club.