A sun drenched Common provided perfect conditions for running rugby and the gathered crowd were rewarded with a humdinger of a match, the result of which was decided in the final minutes of the contest. The “Black Army” from Llantrisant dominated the early period of the encounter and after a series of rolling mauls the inevitable try was scored.
However, it wasn’t long before the home side began to find their feet and settle into the game, enjoying a period of possession within the visitors twenty-two. Unfortunately, Dinas’ endeavour was brought to a disheartening stop as a two-man overlap was squandered; the long-range floating pass deftly intercepted by the opposition’s right wing who ran unopposed from one end to the other to score between the sticks.
With only twenty minutes of the contest elapsed the home side were trailing by twelve points and facing an uphill challenge against an accomplished Llantrisant side. The visitors’ full-back utilised his huge boot to full effect, gaining significant territory at every available opportunity.
The Villagers’ response during what remained of the first half was a display of exhilarating running rugby resulting in three superlative tries and nineteen unanswered points. The quality of the Dinas’ interplay was outstanding. The ball appeared to move effortlessly from all areas of the pitch; outside half Ben White controlling the game masterfully. With centre Bryn Evans giving his forwards a target over which to ruck, quick clean ball was presented to the excellent scrum half Sam Middlemiss.
The first of the Villagers’ tries came from full back Rhys Evans who crossed in the corner following some fine interplay between White and Tom Davies. The home side were rampant. A hurried clearance kick by the visitors saw full back Evans beat the first tackler with a burst of pace before chipping over the advancing defenders and regathering the ball to scoring under the posts in a moment of shear brilliance. The final try of the first half was the finest try seen on the Common this season. White ran from deep in his own half, the ball was passed between forwards Gareth Williams and Lewis Dunleavy before being returned to White who crossed for a sensational try in the right hand corner. The outside half, enjoying his finest performance of the season, converted his try from the touchline and the Villagers led by 19-12 at half time.
Llantrisant started the second half in much the same way as they had the first, levelling the scores after just ten minutes following a period of sustained pressure.
From this point forward the match became a tense affair played in good spirit as two well matched and accomplished sides strove for victory. Strong carries by flanker Ryan Shallish and Huw Thomas saw the Villagers start to gain the territorial advantage that drew the penalty. White stepped up and struck the ball cleanly to regain the lead for the home side just as the game entered the final twenty minutes.
The defensive display from the Dinas during this final period assured victory as huge tackles by number eight Josh Dunleavy and skipper Rhys Gambold prevented further scores by the visitors. The climax of the game saw the Villagers of Dinas Powys enjoy a sustained period of pressure as the forwards drove relentlessly towards the touchline. Despite their efforts chances were missed; final passes were not thrown or went astray.
Victory was finally assured when the ball was moved sweetly along the backs to release the admirable Tom Davies on the right wing who crossed in the corner in the final minute of the game.
A stunning bonus point gaining victory against a side that are pushing for promotion will hopefully allow the youthful home side to push for a strong finish to the season.