The gloss on Dinnington’s excellent start to the North East One season is starting to fade, after a third consecutive defeat.
The 27-5 beating at Rochdale saw the Lodge Lane men drop to seventh in the table, and the honeymoon period appears to be well and truly over.
However, had you offered Dinnington six victories out of nine at the start of the season, they would gladly have accepted.
They now have a week off to recharge their batteries before hosting Ilkley on 15th.
Rochdale took the initiative from the first whistle as they ran Dinnington’s kick-off straight back at them, forcing a lineout in the visitors’ half.
From the throw, the hosts moved the ball through several phases and scored an unconverted try.
Further pressure from the home side saw them go further ahead with a successful penalty kick.
Dinnington were clearly up against it when they lost their first scrum, Rochdale, who outweighed the Dinnington pack man-for-man, dominating this area.
It was the same in the lineout as Dinnington struggled to control their own possession as the home side proved adept at disrupting the throw.
Despite all this Dinnington were able to keep themselves in the game.
Five minutes before half-time, Rochdale scored again as they capitalised on Dinnington being unable to clear, running the ball back and creating an overlap to score.
Two minutes later Dinnington responded as they had a spell of pressure close to the home line and Will Marshall was bundled over.
Dinnington improved in the second half and were able to give themselves a platform from which to set up attacks.
However, turn overs at the ruck made it hard to maintain any pressure.
Five minutes into the half they were reduced to 14 when they had a man sent to the sin-bin for illegally preventing an almost certain score but it took Rochdale a while to take advantage.
When they did it was a trifle fortunate as they charged down a clearance kick in the 22, regained control of the ball and scored under the posts.
Rochdale completed proceedings, five minutes from time, when a well-worked move saw them scoring in the corner.