A league fixture on Boxing day is somewhat tricky and with so many players unavailable it was a mix and match team that headed off to play at Abercynon.
With three scrum halves and a flanker in the back division the large travelling support were not sure what to expect from their team.
The first half saw the home side play with the wind at their backs. They used the elements well and pinned back the ‘Villagers’ of Dinas Powys in their own territory for large portions of this time. The visitors defence was severely tested on several occassions but resolute tackling from the back row of Luke Gibbson, Rhys Gambold and Lewis Dunleavy ensured that the hosts were limited to only one try during this period and indeed during the whole contest.
The forwards lay a strong foundation and with the scrum and lineout functioning efficently even though trailing 7-3 at half time. There was a belief amongst the team that with the wind now in their favour that victory could be gained.
Within a minute of the restart the ‘Villagers’ scored their first try. A clever kick by outside half Ben White pegged the home side into the corner and, with Lewis Dunleavy winning the lineout against the throw, the threequarters passed smoothly from one side of the pitch to the other. After a further strong carry from prop Andrew O’Mallia scrum half Liam Driscoll popped the ball up for centre Sam Middlemiss to cross for the try in the right hand corner.
Ten minutes later Middlemiss scored his second try following fine interpassing between White and centre Lewys John and right wing Rhys Evans. With the conversion added the ‘Villagers’ led by 7-15 with just half an hour remaining.
The mystery of the afternoon is how there were no further tries for the visitors as they dominated all areas of play. The combination of a brave home defence, a slippery ball and equally slippery playing surface contributed to to this failure.
The introduction of Owen Stark into the second row, allowed Ryan Shallish to return to his favoured position in the backrow, adding further power to an already dominant scrum. The front row of O’Mallia , Lewis Christopher and loose head Caleb Robinson were magnificent in all aspects but a man of the match from captain for the day Gareth ‘Gazza’ Williams in the second row inspired his charges to a comfortable victory. A series of five metre scrums were collapsed but a tolerant referee called reset after reset in the tricky underfoot conditions. Finally ,with the match coming to a close, White added a further penalty to arrive at the final score of 7-18.
Special mention must be made of wingers Duke Durham and Rhys Evans who thrilled the crowd whenever they had the ball. Rhys in particular made five 50 metre breaks during the game, displaying great elusiveness with side steps and body swerves but amazingly failing to score or find a telling pass at the end of these line breaks.