Rugby union: Shotton Steel kick off year with defeat to high-flying Denbigh

AFTER finding their feet in Swalec League Division Two North before Christmas, Shotton Steel started the new year with defeat as high flying Denbigh proved just too strong, winning 25-13.

Steel came into the game on the back of two good cup results but struggled to find their rhythm in the first half, with the visitors playing a good territorial game.

Despite having plenty of the ball, Denbigh were kept at bay for lengthy periods by good home defence despite the slippery conditions.

They were able to notch up two tries, however. Sharp work by the visiting scrum-half saw him ghost in under the posts from around 15 yards out, while a pushover try from a scrum right on the stroke of half time stretched the lead.

Steel started the second period brightly and got on the scoreboard through the boot of Steve Ellson, a penalty and drop goal reducing the arrears.

Shotton showed glimpses of what they are capable of without ever really pressing the Denbigh line too much and it was the visitors who put the game to bed with another two scores, clinching a bonus point in the process.

Steel had the last word in the shape of scrum-half Nicky Wood.

Shotton’s man-of-the-match was rewarded when he crashed over from close range in the final minute, Ellson adding the extras.

The defeat leaves Steel sixth in the table. They entertain COBRA on Saturday at Rowley's Drive (2.30pm).

Nant Conwy remain eight points clear at the top of Division One North after a 40-0 whitewash of Mold.

Nant’s pack took control of proceedings and it was no surprise when Carwyn Ellis picked up from a ruck and stormed over for a try after 20 minutes, full-back Aeron Jones converting the first of his five kicks.

After half an hour winger Rob Parry sent flanker Robin Davies through to crash over the line and Mold’s hearts were broken early in the second half by flanker Gareth Jones as he somehow managed to avoid all attempts at tackling him to score underneath the posts.

From the scrum Carwyn Ellis went over for his second try, Jones with his only missed conversion.

With the four-try bonus point secured, Nant relaxed and added three late tries to compound Mold’s misery.

Mold entertain Dolgellau on Saturday (2.30pm).

Flint’s game at Porthmadog in Division Three North was postponed. They hostWrexham on Saturday (2.30pm).