Rugby Union: Dunvant joy

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The Independent Online
Dunvant 23

Bridgend 13

DUNVANT, a village club in the suburbs of Swansea, who have gone up eight places in the Welsh league in 16 years, yesterday escaped the drop into the Second Division. Broadacre, therefore, was the scene of wild celebrations, by virtue of a well- executed victory over Bridgend.

It was all the more creditable for they played the second half with only 14 men after their prop was sent off five minutes from half-time. Dunvant will continue their delightful flirtation with the First Division at the expense of Aberavon and Cross Keys, two clubs who historically have a longer tradition in Welsh first-class rugby, but who are now both relegated.

From the beginning Dunvant looked more than capable of beating Bridgend as they won most of the rucks and mauls and launched a succession of neat attacks to lead deservedly by 10 points after 30 minutes, from a penalty goal by Mark Thomas and a try by Richard Greenwood.

Matthew Lewis then kicked a penalty for Bridgend before the Dunvant loose-head prop, Robin Williams, suicidally got himself sent off for landing a haymaker on a fellow prop Dinlle Francis who also left the field to be replaced by Sean Gale. The indiscretion was further punished when Lewis kicked the consequent penalty to make it 10-6.

Adversity can be a great spur, however, and Dunvant continued to outplay their opponents and increased their lead by another penalty by Thomas and an opportunist try when Warren Lloyd chased a fumbled ball and a kick-ahead to score and Thomas converted. Thomas also kicked another penalty before Bridgend made the scoreline more respectable with a penalty try converted by Lewis.

Dunvant: Tries Greenwood, Lloyd; Conversions Thomas 2; Penalties Thomas 3. Bridgend: Try Penalty; Conversion Lewis; Penalties Lewis 2.

Dunvant: D Evans; P Hopkins, G Davies, W Lloyd, P Farnworth; M Thomas, C Hutchings; R Williams, D Morris, R Llewellyn, D Niblo, D Crane (capt), I Callaghan, P Morris, R Greenwood (W Phillips, 77).

Bridgend: G Wilkins; G Webb, G Jones, G Daley, C Bradshaw; M Lewis, R Howley; D Francis (S Gale, 38), I Greenslade, T Bumford, S Jenkins, N Jones, J Derrick, S Bryant, D Bryant (capt).

Referee: D R Davies (WRU).