Dinas do the double
A breathtaking display of attacking rugby that produced fourteen tries, secured the league title for a talented Dinas Powys team to crown a historic week. Fourteen was an apt number as it was also the number of players starting the match who had progressed through the club’s mini and junior section – a true grass roots success story.
The ‘Villagers’ had only lost one league game all season and were fully aware that near neighbours Barry were ready to capitalise on any potential upset. Consequently there was a mixture of nervousness and excitement amongst the large crowd that had gathered on the common prior to kick off, each one hoping to witness history in the making.
Fantastic First Forty Seals the Victory
Two quick-fire tries within the first six minutes, scored by centre Adam Williams and hooker Ryan Shallish, calmed a few nerves and when wingers James Smith and Jim Wiltshire combined to allow the latter to cross for the third try after just ten minutes, the vital point needed to secure the league title seemed imminent.
Llandaff North appeared shell shocked but were able to momentarily steady the ship. The title clinching try looked to be coming via Jim Whiltshire as the exceptionally quick winger sprinted clear of his opposite number. The crowd were cheering but their celebrations were premature as a last ditch tackle by the visitors brought Wiltshire to a halt tantalisingly short, just metres from the line.
However the spectators didn’t have to wait long for former club captain David Lloyd to score the crucial bonus point gaining fourth try. The enigmatic utility back was a fitting scorer of this vital try as on darker days during previous seasons he often provided a rare ray of hope. Lloyd added a further try before half time following great interplay between forwards and backs, and with fly half Ben White converting three of these five tries the half time score stood at 31-0.
Sensational Season Ceases on a High
Dinas had only conceded seventeen tries in the league all season and therefore this margin allowed them to relax and enjoy the occasion, producing a complete team performance in the second half.
Tries came thick and fast as the ‘Villagers’ mesmerised their opponents with the speed of passing and superb support play. The fitness levels needed to play this style of rugby is a compliment to the players’ commitment and to the coaches, John Dunleavy and Andy Vesey, who have ensured the training sessions have be varied and demanding.
Centre Dan Evans started the second half scoring followed with tries by Lewys John, Ben White, Corey Imperato, Nathan Williams who added a brace and bother Adam Williams who also scored two late tries to achieve his hat trick.
Nathan Williams alone has scored more tries than some clubs this season, a record breaking personal contribution by this modest individual. The tries by back-rowers Imperato and Lewys John epitomised their work rate and support play when in attack, not to mention their tremendous contribution in defence.
The visitors did threaten to score but the determined defensive efforts of the ‘Villagers’ ensured that there was not even a consolation score to be had.
The tackle count is invariably topped by Lewys Dunleavy who once again belied his stature as he drove back opponent after opponent in determined fashion. The platform for victory as always was laid by the front five and prop Andrew O’Mallia crowned a fine few days with his all around contribution. Fellow prop Lee Imperato enjoyed every minute of the contest appreciating that he was part of something very special. The boundless energy of hooker Ryan Shallish provided an extra back row player around the field and the intelligent contribution of second rows Gareth Williams and Huw Thomas delighted club Chairman Keith Bryan who had himself played in that position.
The final whistle was blown at 3.50pm and the presentation of the league trophy to Captain Josh Dunleavy was made and the party started.
The finest week in the history of the club was completed as former Captain and Chairman Brian Phillips was announced as the President of Dinas Powys RFC to the cheers of a packed club house.