SOMETHING had to give as the leading duo in Division Two (North) clashed over the weekend.
The top-of-the-table encounter between unbeaten Dinbych and Shotton Steel lived up to its expectations.
It was an evenly fought encounter, with Dinbych claiming the spoils through a late three-try burst, which gave them a seven-try bonus point victory over their title challengers.
An efficient Shotton side competed fiercely in all departments, especially in the scrums, while their attacking play was only thwarted by a strong defensive effort by Dinbych.
However, the Dinbych forwards won enough quality possession for outside half Dan O’Sullivan to launch his dangerous three-quarters, all of whom got on the scoresheet as a result of their excellent running and handling.
In addition, full back Gruff Roberts was always a threat with counter-attacking runs from full back.
Dinbych were given a wake-up call in the second minute as Shotton took the lead.
Left wing Darren Rees kicked a penalty when the hosts offended at a ruck 20 metres out.
The home side responded immediately when they took play deep into the Shotton 22 for number eight Liam Allsup-Jones to go over for an unconverted try in the corner, after good work by Garin Roberts and Gareth Beach from the blind side of a short-range ruck.
Dinbych edged further ahead after a quarter-of-an-hour when centre Tom Seddon went over for his side’s second unconverted try, finishing off a sweeping attack from halfway involving slick interpassing by the backs after a lineout steal by Gareth Beach and a run infield by hooker Chris Forshaw.
Left winger Owain Davies then added Dinbych’s third try following another good long-range attack, after Gruff Roberts had made inroads down the right-hand touchline.
Dan O’Sullivan added his first conversion of the day.
Shotton then gave notice of their threat just before the interval when outside half John Ketland broke through from a lineout near halfway.
He beat several defenders to score a superb solo try, which was converted by Darren Rees.
Leading 17-10 at the interval, Dinbych managed to increase their lead six minutes into the second half after they kicked a penalty to touch for a short-range lineout.
The forwards then generated a powerful driving maul for Chris Forshaw to go over for try, converted via a well-judged kick by Dan O’Sullivan.
Shotton again responded with a period of pressure in the Dinbych 22, with number eight Hugh Sargeant forcing his way over for an unconverted try following short-range drives by the forwards.
With Shotton now trailing by only nine points and the match evenly balanced, Dinbych killed off any hope of a revival by the visitors as they scored three high-class tries in the final quarter-of-an-hour.
Full back Gruff Roberts scored the first of the trio when he went over in the corner after the ball had been recycled following a burst down the middle by centre Mat Hulse.
This was followed by a try in the left hand corner by Mat Hulse, who finished off another attack from near halfway, with forwards - including skipper Narmer el Lamie - involved.
Right winger Aidyn Jones went over in the same corner for Dinbych’s magnificent seventh try as he outflanked the defence after Liam Allsup Jones had made the initial break down the left before the ball was recycled.
A measure of Shotton’s determined resistance was the fact that all three tries were scored in the corner, but this did not deter Dan O’Sullivan, who converted all three with excellent kicks to cap a fine individual performance.