Roberts brace secures Cup glory for Dinbych
In a thrilling encounter at Parc Eirias, Clwb Rygbi Dinbych stole victory at the death to win the North Wales Intermediate Cup.
Dinbych came back from the dead as the trailed Dolgellau by twenty four points to six at the interval to recover with a dominant second half display to snatch victory in the closing minutes when they took the lead for the only time in the match to claim the North Wales Intermediate Cup by the narrowest of margins. It was fitting that despite desperate Dolgellau defence the crucial winning try was scored by the Man of the Match Youth Full Back Gruff Roberts
. Centre Owain Davies
also played a vital role as he nailed four vital goal kicks in the difficult windy conditions.
Dolgellau played with a stiff diagonal wind in their favour in the first half and soon began to exert pressure at the scrums and took the lead in the fourth minute after pressurising close to the Dinbych line when they counter attacked from a relieving kick on half way with Dylan Evans going over for a try after good handling by the backs. Henri Roberts added the conversion points before Dinbych capitalised from a series of forward drives in which prop Harri Evans
and No.8 Niall Duke
were prominent taking play deep into the Dolgellau 22. When Dolgellau offended in front of their posts Owain Davies
opened the Dinbych scoring with a penalty from 15 metres then added a second from 35 metres when Dolgellau offended at a scrum to reduce the deficit to a single point.
Dinbych were well in the game despite struggling at the scrum where inside half Jordan Wynne
did well to rescue possession from a retreating scrum and they obtained quality possession at the line out from lock Gareth Beach
and flanker Jonathan Morgan
. They also defended well near set pieces and the breakdown areas to halt forward drives by Dolgellau. However Dolgellau were clinical finishers whenever they were in the Dinbych 22 and with outside half Gerwyn Thomas pulling the strings they went further ahead with a try by Rhys Roberts converted by Henri Roberts. They increased the lead further when Roberts then kicked a monster penalty from half way. Dinbych tended to use the power of Matt Hulse
in the centre to make ground in attack but full back Gruff Roberts
gave indications of his attacking threat with a blistering run deep into Dolgellau territory just before the interval. Dolgellau then eased further ahead in first half injury time when clever play again by Gerwyn Thomas put Dylan Evans for his second try converted by Henri Roberts.
Trailing by twenty four points to six at the interval Dinbych began to introduce their replacements including veteran Hooker Iwan Roberts
adding his experience to the front row and flanker Dafydd Evans
punching holes with his bullocking runs in open play. Dinbych now had the elements in their favour and soon started chipping away at the deficit when Owain Davies
kicked his third penalty with a well judged kick from forty five metres. They reduced the deficit further from a short range line out when slick handling in midfield gave Gruff Roberts
the opportunity to squeeze over in the corner converted with an excellent kick from the touchline by Owain Davies
. With Dinbych now on a roll and with an improving scrum they now began to dominate both territory and possession and reduced the deficit to a single point when Dolgellau under pressure close to their line conceded a penalty try converted by Gruff Roberts
. Unfortunately Dinbych then knocked on the restart kick and compounded this by being offside leaving an easy penalty kick from in front of the posts by Henri Roberts to increase the Dolgellau lead to four points and leaving Dinbych with a try to win the match.
With time running out Dinbych resumed their territorial dominance as they pressurised Dolgellau close to their line through a series of forward drives and mauls with Gruff Roberts
supplying the coup de grace as he went over in the corner to take Dinbych into the lead for the first time in the match. Although the conversion attempt from the touchline narrowly failed Dinbych learned from their previous mistake by securing the restart kick and then used the forwards to keep possession to close out the game. The second half revival was a testament to the character of the Dinbych team who recovered from their set piece problems of the first half to give the coaching team of Russ Rowlands and Huw Edwards the best possible end to a successful season.