Rugby Union: Dunvant go to town

Dunvant 26 Swansea 18
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The Independent Online
Swansea have suffered turbulent weeks in their rich history but none to rival this nightmarish one. They say bad things come along in threes - you will not have to tell the beleaguered All Whites that.

First, they were sunk at Bath in midweek, given a lesson in the Anglo- Welsh League that left them on the end of an 87-15 tuning. Two days later, the chairman, Mike James, gave the club another shock by announcing his resignation for personal reasons after six years in the job.

It could not, it seemed, get any worse. A defeat at the hands of little Dunvant was nigh on unthinkable but there was no little parochial spice to this encounter. After all, Dunvant have always lived in the giant shadow of their famous city neighbours just three miles down the road. But the villagers were ready for the city aristocrats, and reputations counted for nothing.

Dunvant supporters were secretly expecting a backlash, especially as Swansea had amassed 188 points in their previous three league games, which had taken them to the top of the First Division. But from the start, Dunvant, who had won their first three league games themselves, were unstoppable, taking advantage of a string of errors from the out-of-sorts Swansea.

Dunvant opened up a 13-3 lead after 20 minutes, and it was obvious the side without a star name wanted it much more than the All Whites, highlighted by the celebrations when the wing Jonathan Dodd went over for their first try. Swansea dug deep to bring the scores up to 13-13 at half-time with a try from the skipper, Stuart Davies, who typically bundled his way over from the back of the scrum.

After Swansea's desperate first-half comeback, you would be forgiven for thinking that Dunvant would buckle. Far from it. They again opened up a 10-point lead with a third penalty from the impressive outside-half, Mark Thomas, followed by a brilliant try by his half-back partner, Steve Wake.

Swansea, who were boosted by the presence of the former rugby league players Scott Gibbs and Stuart Evans, did their level best to respond but gutsy defence by the Villagers forced the mistakes. A fourth penalty from the boot of Thomas extended Dunvant's lead to 26-13, and, despite a last-minute try from Luc Evans, Swansea's dreadful week was complete.

Swansea: L Evans; S Davies, M Taylor, S Gibbs, A Clement; A Thomas, A Booth; C Loader, H Bevan, S Evans, P Arnold, M Evans, A Reynolds, S Davies (capt), C Charvis.

Dunvant: D Evans (capt); J Dodd, G Davies, W Lloyd, M Sutton; M Thomas, S Wake; M Harris, D Chick, R Llewellyn, M Davies, S Dickson, C Davies, M David, C Thomas.

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