VALE of Clwyd bragging rights belong to the lads from Cae Ddol, but they were made to work hard for their success.

It was a hard-fought encounter as Ruthin played host to Dinbych in Division One North and it was the Blues who triumphed 24-13.

Despite the big difference in their league positions, local rivalry made this derby encounter a much closer contest than the final score would suggest.

Whilst many of Dinbych’s players showed good individual skills, it was Ruthin’s more cohesive unit skills which proved to be the difference between the sides

Ruthin were surprised by Dinbych’s attacking play early in the first half and the visitors opened the scoring in the 10th minute when they counter-attacked from near their own line. Centre Gruff Roberts made a long break down the right touchline before reaching the Ruthin 22 where he passed inside to flanker Gwern Pierce who did well to be in close support to cross wide out for a try, converted by outside half Dan O’Sullivan.

The same player increased Dinbych’s lead three minutes later with a successful kick from 35 metres when Ruthin were penalised for a high tackle.

Ruthin were quick to reply when they worked their way upfield through several phases of play ending with Emyr Gwynedd going over near the corner for an unconverted try.

O’Sullivan then nudged Dinbych further ahead with his second successful penalty following obstruction by Ruthin.

On the stroke of half-time, the match was changed significantly when Dinbych were reduced in number when wing Aidyn Jones was yellow carded for obstruction just short of the Dinbych line.

This also resulted in a penalty try for the hosts leaving them trailing by a single point at the interval.

Ruthin soon took advantage and five minutes into the second half they attacked deep into the Dinbych 22 down the left before swift handling across the field led to Hari Hughes crossing for an unconverted try near the right hand corner.

Ten minutes later and they capitalised on a sequence of Dinbych errors scoring a breakaway try which took them two scores ahead.

This resulted from a Ruthin lineout just outside their 22 which was stolen by Gwern Pierce, but unfortunately for the visitors the possession was lost and a hack downfield was not secured leading to play being taken close to the Dinbych line.

Dinbych were forced to concede a penalty under pressure which Ruthin took quickly with Emyr Gwynedd going over for his second try which was converted by Gwion Richards.

Play was fairly even for the remainder of the half with Dinbych taking every opportunity to attack with the backs launching several long distance counter attacks.

One by Gruff Roberts was an outstanding effort from deep in the Dinbych 22 beating a number of defenders by his speed and guile before being halted deep in the Ruthin 22.

The character of the Dinbych team in the closing stages was epitomised by the pressure which they exerted on the Ruthin scrum close to their line in an effort to gain a bonus point before the final whistle.