THE first game of 2020 saw Machynlleth travel to Caeau Les Phillips for a Division Three (North) match versus Dinbych 2nds.

The visitors, ranked much higher in the league, travelled without a front row resulting in uncontested scrums and them fielding 14 players.

The change to the game built up anticipation among the home side for a chance to avenge a narrow defeat suffered when the teams last met earlier in the season.

Whether it was complacency by Dinbych or Machynlleth’s increased determination in adversity, it was the visitors who started the game in better spirits and a try in the opening minutes gave them a 7-0 lead.

Machynlleth doubled their lead soon after with a further converted try.

Dinbych did mount some spirited attacks up the hill during the first half and they were unlucky not to score after an accurate kick from outside half Iwan Johnson led to and effective chase by wing Gwern Pierce and full back Tomos Wynne.

Their footballing skills came to the fore and some skilled dribbling led to a scoring opportunity, only for Dinbych to be foiled by the visitors touching the ball down over the try line.

There were a series of five-yard scrums on Machynlleth’s line and only spirited defence led to them preventing Alun Davies - playing at number eight rather than in his customary centre position - from crashing over the line.

After that, the tide turned somewhat and Machynlleth scored twice again before the half-time break to leave them 26-0 ahead.

Dinbych managed to exert some continued pressure in the second half.

Rory Tolley gave the forwards some increased impetus on his return after shoulder surgery and Tom Davies, playing at prop, was unlucky not to have added to the score after the referee adjudged that he had marginally knocked the ball on before crossing the touchline.

Dinbych scored after a well-placed kick allowed Iwan Johnson to touch down under the posts, with centre Ben Reed successfully converting.

Despite the pressure, Machynlleth dug in and their resistance paid dividends as they managed to restrict the home side to one score in the second half.