Any away win in this highly competitive league is one that is to be cherished, however, the Villagers will feel that this was a lost opportunity to gain a try-scoring bonus point. The fact that they scored three tries with thirty minutes of the contest remaining is almost unbelievable especially given the commanding 6-22 lead! A combination of poor decision-making at critical stages, and some peculiar refereeing decisions allowed Llantrisant to gain an unlikely losing bonus point.
A sunny autumnal day provided perfect conditions for rugby. Llantrisant, also known as the Black Army, played downhill in the first half, taking advantage of the appreciable slope on the pitch. Dinas were the first to put points on the scoreboard courtesy of the boot of scrum-half, Sam Middlemiss. But, as has been too common this season, several needless penalties handed Llantrisant two opportunities to kick at goal. Fortunately for Dinas, the first was wide of the mark so within three minutes the game was all square.
The Villagers enjoyed a substantial proportion of the territory and possession during the first thirty minutes and their determination and drive reaped rewards. A surging run by powerful centre Sonny Driscoll saw him break the gain line to dive over between the posts to give Middlemiss a conversion he could not miss!
Dinas’ powerful front row, consisting of props James Greenfield, Caleb Robinson and hooker Tom Baister, dominated at the set scrum. However, this prowess was negated by the some odd officiating which saw the home side repeatedly stand up under pressure without being penalised. The visiting three-quarters made several promising line breaks but unfortunately, the last pass wasn’t precise or sympathetic enough and often failed to find the hands of the intended recipient.
It was the Villagers turn to take advantage of the slope in the second half. They came out of the blocks at full tilt and scored two tries within the first ten minutes of the restart. There were a series of five-metre scrums on the Llantrisant try line and as in the first half, the match official allowed Llantrisant to continue standing up under pressure. After four such scrums, Middlemiss moved the ball to left-wing Nathan Williams on the blind side. His elegant side-step gave him the extra yard he needed to score. A superb kick by Middlemiss from out-wide sailed between the posts although none of the sun-bathed crowd would appreciate the importance of the kick until the final whistle.
Allan Sharkie, who has joined the club this season, scored the third try of the contest. The Scot, took advantage of a searing break by full back Dai Lloyd to crash over in the shadow of the posts. Unfortunately, Middlemiss missed the conversion and unbelievably, Dinas didn’t score any further points throughout the remainder of the match.
The home side scored two tries during the rest of the contest, one of which was whilst Dinas were temporarily down to 14 men, to drag themselves back to within two points and to gain a losing bonus point.
The final score Llantrisant 20 – 22 Dinas Powys.