A FIRST-RATE performance enabled YMCA to show their abilities with a 27-3 success at Dinnington.
Against a side who are always difficult to beat on their home ground, YM produced by far their most complete performance of the season – looking slick in attack and resolute in defence.
It was difficult to select a man of the match, but Mark Whitehead, standing in at No8, had a strong game, as did Steve Dyke and Josh Wrafter in the pack, with Ben Hill probably turning in his best performance in a YM shirt.
In the backs Ed Barber and Chris Williams worked well together off a platform provided by Phil Wilson and James Swift and the whole team played well as a unit.
YM looked the stronger side right from the start with a clear willingness to throw the ball about and utilise all their players as runners.
Dinnington appeared a little one-dimensional, relying on their forwards to run the ball in hope of forcing a way through.
After seven minutes of pressure the visitors took the lead with a Barber penalty.
A midfield battle ensued with both defences being tested to the full, but neither managed a breakthrough until just before half-time when winger Chris Beever was hauled down just short of the line, but Hill was in support to crash over and Barber added the goal.
With a 10-point lead the visitors took control in the second period and some excellent work from the YM forwards forced back the Dinnington defence, creating a gap for Whitehead to sneak through to go over for YMs second try, and Barber was again on target.
Dinnington continued to rely on their forwards but made some headway when referee Downing awarded a penalty which stand off Williams kicked.
From then on it was all YM and the Dinnington pack were looking decidedly weary as the visitors stepped up a gear.
YM made the home side defend for all they were worth but in their efforts to break through, the visitors were penalised a number of times for going offside at the ruck and eventually the referee singled out Alex Shaw for the yellow card – which was as a result of the cumulative penalties count which had been incurred.
Having a man advantage didn’t give Dinnington any respite as the visitors continued to press at every opportunity.
The pressure resulted in a further penalty – which was kicked by Barber – after the Dinnington men committed a foul at the ruck.
Barber then made an audacious attempt at a drop goal from wide out on the wing just inside the Dinnington half which bounced off the crossbar and back into play.
And it was Barber who had the last word a few minutes later when he finished off a super move involving most of the team to score out on the right wing.
He converted his own try, bringing the final score to 27-3.
It was a very satisfying result for YM, particularly given the manner in which it was achieved.
The defence was rock solid and there was adventure in the backs with the forwards offering options and support along the way.
YMCA: Bahdori, Shaw, Barber, Williams (Marshall), Beevers, Swift, Wilson, Sanderson, Murphy, Wrafter, Merrick (Lockwood), Dyke(Steve), Hodge, Whitehead, Hill(Mazza). Subs: Marshall, Lockwood, Mazza