Heavy rain failed to dampen Dinnington’s spirits as they made a winning start to their third season in North One East, beating hosts Wheatley Hills 19-14.
Wheatley Hills narrowly avoided relegation last season but Dinnington knew that meant nothing at the start of the new season.
The conditions played their part in the opening exchanges with handling errors to the fore but both sides were also guilty of giving away penalties.
Dinnington gained the initiative in the opening quarter and this culminated in them taking the lead after 16 minutes. An attack saw them set up a driving maul which was halted on the line but quick thinking by Josh Brown saw him pick up and dive over the mass of bodies for the opening try. Jonny West converted.
Dinnington continued to enjoy the majority of the play but were caught out ten minutes before half-time when they spilled the ball deep in the home half and Wheatley ran it back to score under the posts and level the scores.
This failed to knock Dinnington out of their stride and they were soon back on the attack, regaining the lead with three minutes of the half remaining.
A catch and drive was stopped short of the line but Dinnington recycled the ball to set Steve Leitch up to go over from close range. West converted to put Dinnington 14-7 ahead at the break.
Dinnington made a strong start to the second-half and nearly went further ahead when Chris Williams was held up in the opening minute.
Five minutes later a catch and drive was also held up but cost Wheatley a player to the bin.
Dinnington failed to make use of their extra man in the next ten minutes but did extend their lead mid-way through the half when the forwards created an opening for Leitch to claim his second try.
Dinnington had enough possession and territorial advantage to stretch away but errors and some good home defence prevented it.
Five minutes from the end Wheatley produced their best spell of pressure as they took advantage of a Dinnigton knock-on on half way to drive the visitors back into their 22, winning a penalty ten metres out. Wheatley worked the ball through several phases before forcing their way over the line for a converted try in the last minute.
A good start from Dinnington, considering they had several players unavailable, and they hope to continue in the same vein as they take on an old adversary in Huddersfield YMCA at Lodge Lane in their next game.