SHOTTON STEEL 13
DIVISION Two (North) top dogs Dinbych started the New Year in fine style.
The high-flyers gained their first double of the season with a bonus point victory over Shotton Steel, which arrived as a result of a fine all-round performance in which they dominated both territory and possession.
The foundation of the victory was laid by the forwards, especially in the scrum where the front row of skipper Dan Jones, debutant Peter Shoosmith - playing out of position at hooker - and man of the match Osian Williams pressurised their opposition throughout to deny any quality possession for Shotton.
The forwards were also lively in the loose, with lock Max Sharples leading the way with some strong surging runs.
The backs thrived on the quality possession provided and their dangerous running should have resulted in further scores, only to be denied by a combination of a brave Shotton defence and the final pass going astray on several occasions.
Equally impressive in a complete team performance was Dinbych’s cast iron defence, epitomised by a typical all-action display by flanker Gavin Rizzi which restricted Shotton to only a consolation try in the final minutes of the match.
Dinbych started on fire as they opened the scoring after only two minutes.
Rob Schrimshaw cut through the Shotton defensive line after a series of pick and drives to cross at the posts, leaving Tom Seddon with an easy conversion.
Dinbych continued to have the upper hand with play confined largely in the Shotton half, but the visitors were unable to add to their score until the half-hour mark when Shotton were caught offside 20 metres in front of their posts, allowing Seddon to successfully convert the penalty.
Despite desperate Shotton defence in the final minutes of the half which stopped left wing Dafydd Cartwright just short of the line in the corner, Dinbych increased their lead from the resulting scrum when they shunted the home pack over the line for number eight Liam Allsup to claim the pushover try.
With Dinbych leading 15-0 at the interval, Shotton raised their game in the first 10 minutes of the second half when they managed to produce their only period of sustained pressure.
Although unable to breach Dinbych’s defence, Shotton clawed their way back into the game through a short-range penalty and a sharp drop goal by outside half Steve Elson.
However, they were unable to sustain this pressure mainly because of Dinbych’s total domination at the scrum, whilst in contrast the visiting backs were able to thrive on the quality possession they received.
The away side increased their lead with a searing break by Seddon putting Dafydd Cartwright over for a try.
Seddon successfully added the conversion points.
Jamie Winning then scored Dinbych’s fourth and bonus point try with a typical scything run through the Shotton defence from near halfway.
Steel showed their mettle to gain some reward for their competitive play with a rare incursion near the Dinbych line in the final minutes of the game.
A quickly taken penalty gave scrum half Nicky Wood the opportunity to breach the defence and go over at the posts for a try converted by Elson.
Dinbych will now hope to build on this promising performance when they face title challengers COBRA at home in what could be the crunch game of the season on Saturday.
The Mid Wales side could go top with a victory, while a Dinbych win will make the Vale of Clwyd side red hot favourites to win the championship.
See full story in the Free Press