ON Saturday Guisborough RUFC entertained Dinnington RUFC, with the season reaching its half-way point and the home team still looking for their first victory.

Guisborough kicked off and asserted early pressure on their opponents. A break out of defence by Jack Robinson took play up to half-way, before passing to PJ Finken-Hayes. The winger motored along the right wing before a kick infield was collected by the covering defence. Dinnington cleared but Mark Ferguson ran the ball back along the left wing and into the opposition 22. Switching play to the right, James Clark and Gareth Lodge combined to create space for Alex Ruff to run into and score. Clark’s conversion missed its target.

Immediately from the re-start Rob Leggott took possession and stormed through the midfield up to half-way. An inside pass to the supporting Lewis Robson saw the scrum-half race clear to touchdown under the posts. Clark made no mistake in adding the extras. The visitors had hardly touched the ball, but it was all to change after the opening 10 minutes.

Gaining a foothold in the game, Dinnington were awarded a scrum 22 metres out following a handling error by Guisborough. A penalty at the set-piece was kicked to touch 5 metres from the home team try-line. Winning the line-out, a catch and drive by the visitors’ pack saw Dinnington score their first try of the game. The conversion was missed.

It was not long before Dinnington were on the attack again. Guisborough tried running the ball out of their 22, but a handling error in midfield gave possession back to the visitors. An arcing run to the left saw the away team run through some poor attempts at tackling to score. The conversion came back off the post.

Guisborough were struggling at the scrum and had no answer to Dinnington’s superiority at the set-piece. A scrum to the hosts was dismantled by Dinnington, giving them a penalty. This was kicked to touch 5 metres from the Guisborough try-line. A carbon copy of the first try saw a simple catch and drive resulting in a score. The conversion stretched the opposition lead.

Guisborough looked dangerous in the wide areas of the pitch. Finken-Hayes and Phil Shields linked up on the right wing and, as the full-back raced clear, a foot in touch brought a try-scoring opportunity to a halt. After a penalty was awarded to Guisborough, a kick to touch saw a line-out 5 metres out won by Michael Henderson. The ball was carried towards the whitewash by Leggott. Switching play along the backs, Ruff tried his luck through the midfield once more but an infringement gave Dinnington the chance to clear.

The kicked clearance did not reach touch and Robson ran back into Dinnington territory. Passing the ball left, Ferguson ran up the left wing and was tackled close to the try-line. Guisborough piled forward and several attacks were thwarted by a resolute defence, before the referee brought the first half to an end with the scoreboard reading: Guisborough 12 points, Dinnington 17 points.

Dinnington were soon attacking in the second half. Following an early infringement at the scrum, Dinnington kicked to touch 5 metres from the Guisborough try-line. A well-oiled opposition pack won possession at the line and a catch and drive worked again. Trying to force the game, Guisborough attempted a long pass on half-way to get the ball wide. The pass was well read by Dinnington though and an interception saw the opposition run clear. Finken-Hayes tracked back to down the player short of the line, but the tackle was high and the referee had no option but to award the penalty try and send the winger to the ‘bin’ for 10 minutes.

Dinnington were in total control and sapping the energy out of the home team with a powerful forwards display. This in turn was causing Guisborough to concede numerous penalties. From one such infringement, Dinnington kicked to touch 5 metres from the home team try-line. A catch and drive was halted, but several thrusts forward eventually breached the hosts’ defence for another try. It could have been worse but for a try-saving tackle from Shields, before Guisborough rallied late on in the game.

The home team’s line-out had been a positive factor during the match. From one such set-piece just inside the Dinnington half, Henderson secured possession. Releasing the backs, Ruff cut through the midfield before an inside pass allowed Shields to break clear and score under the posts. Clark added the conversion.

With a bonus point to go for, the home team attacked along the left wing through Ferguson. Cutting inside, Clark passed out to Richard Cahill, but he could just not hang on to the ball with a scoring opportunity in front of him. With this the game was brought to an end with the scoreboard reading: Guisborough 19 points, Dinnington 34 points.

Tomorrow Guisborough host Old Crossleyans at the Belmangate ground, who are near the top of the table, but Guisborough hope for a present for Santa.