Unconvincing Dinnington edge past lowly Horden

Dinnington RUFC & Horden, at Dinnington on 21-3-15.'Dinnington are in Blue & Yellow kit, Horden in Maroon & Blue.
Dinnington RUFC & Horden, at Dinnington on 21-3-15.'Dinnington are in Blue & Yellow kit, Horden in Maroon & Blue.
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Dinnington boosted their chance of a third place finish in the North Division North One East table with a 31-8 win over Horden.

It took Dinnington until late in the second half before they saw off a very determined Horden side.

Dinnington RUFC & Horden, at Dinnington on 21-3-15.'Dinnington are in Blue & Yellow kit, Horden in Maroon & Blue.

Dinnington RUFC & Horden, at Dinnington on 21-3-15.'Dinnington are in Blue & Yellow kit, Horden in Maroon & Blue.

Earlier in the season, Dinnington had put 50 points past bottom-of-the-table Horden, but the visitors were clearly intent on not letting that happen again as they made the stronger start to the game.

The visitors had a chance to take the lead in the opening minute, but were off target with a penalty kick.

And then they came close twice more inside a minute, but both times Dinnington stole the ball at line outs as Horden looked to catch and drive.

Further pressure resulted in Dinnington having a player sent to the bin, for too many penalties, and Horden thought they had taken full advantage as they went over in the corner only for play to be brought back for a foot in touch.

Dinnington were struggling for possession, but they were able to relieve the pressure with a couple of kicks to touch from penalties and were back to full strength having not conceded any points.

Two minutes later they took the lead as Jonny West was on hand to take a pass out of a tackle from Ryan Donnelly to cross in the corner.

Play then became stop-start as the referee’s whistle dominated proceedings and five minutes later Dinnington were penalised in front of their own posts giving Horden a straightforward three points.

The last ten minutes of the first half were littered with errors on both sides leaving Dinnington 5-3 ahead at the break.

Dinnington made the best possible start to the second half as they drove Antony Ross over the line in the first minute from a catch and drive after Horden had been caught offside.

However, they could not build on this as errors continued, from both sides. Fifteen minutes into the half, Dinnington were down to 14 again as they had another player binned and this time Horden took advantage claiming an unconverted try.

Horden have only won one game this season and, at this point in the game,it looked like they were about to claim their second until they lost the ball and allow Dinnington to go clear.

But the home side applied pressure and, even with a man down, they were able to breach the visitors’ defence as West broke a tackle to get to the line and add the conversion.

This gave Dinnington a nine point cushion and they set about trying to build on it only to see chances come and go with handling errors.

Horden were by no means out of the contest, but Dinnington were about to deliver the killer blow.

Three minutes from time Donnelly skirted round a ruck to score and then, two minutes later, Dinnington regained possession after a kick over the top setting West up for an easy run to the line for his third try. West converted both tries to seal a far from easy victory.