Dinnington promoted after extra-time win

Dinnington Rugby Club v Old Brodleians
Dinnington Rugby Club v Old Brodleians

Dinnington ended the season in the best possible way, clinching promotion to North East One with a 34-20 extra-time victory over Guisborough in a play-off.

The Lodge Lane men entered the game in confident mood, having just been pipped to the Yorkshire One title by Ilkley.

But Guisborough had the experience of last season’s play-off to count upon, having lost to Huddersfield YM a year ago.

With only two minutes on the clock, a well-executed inside pass by Jonny West, as he moved away from a ruck, opened up a gap for skipper Matthew Starr to come bursting through and score.

West added the conversion.

The visitors took a penalty quickly and forced their way over to level the scores.

West kicked two penalties to reclaim the lead, but the Guisborough winger took advantage of some hesitant defending to score, with the conversion added.

Guisborough had Dinnington on the rack in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, kicking two penalties.

Chances were hard to come by and Dinnington, in their frustration, had a man sent to the bin.

Their opponents too had a player yellow carded, and as the game went into injury time the home supporters were constantly clock watching, hoping the next stoppage would not see the final whistle.

Seven minutes into that injury time a roar of relief went around the ground as Ryan Donnelly took the ball close to the line and scored by the posts.

West converted to level the scores and force extra-time.

After only two minutes of the extra period, Danny Pilkington stretched to the line and West converted.

There seemed no way back for Guisborough but twice they managed to force play into the Dinnington 22 but the home side were able to clear.

There was a huge sense of relief when with three minutes to play they stole the ball just outside the visitors’ 22, moved it wide and set up Donnelly to sprint for the line to claim his second try and put the result beyond doubt.

Chris Williams was given the honour of kicking the final points of Dinnington’s most successful season since the league structure began, before promotion celebrations could really get going.