2009 Shield Final – Newport 32 Dinefwr Sharks 24

Newport Titans won a exciting Shield Final against the Dinefwr Sharks at Porthcawl RFC outscoring the West Walians by seven tries to four.

Welsh Conference top try scorer Alan Pope scored early on but the Titans hit straight back thanks to a break away score from Dan Esposito, and moments later veteran forward Mark Wheeler crashed over under the posts and Scott Bessant converted to make it 10-4 to the Titans.

The score remained the same until the 30th minute when a break from prop Steve Wood resulted in a try for Sharks captain Dave Norman and Norman also converted to bring the score level. Seconds later Alan Pope crossed for his second and 16th try of the season, Dave Norman again converted and then added a penalty goal to give his team an eight point lead.

Titans captain Scott Bessant then scored his sides third try and moments before the break the referee over-ruled a decision from his linesman and allowed a score from John Lavender and the scores were level at 18-18 at half time.

It took 20 minutes for the opening score in the second half, and that went to Newport centre Christian Hawkes, Bessant converting for a six point lead, then Lewis Rees went over to make it 28-18.

Dave Norman then claimed his second and the Sharks fourth and again converted to set up a tense finale but Newport hooker Ross Bridgman made the game safe with a score on the final tackle.

The Sharks had chances to get back into the game as the seconds ticked away and Norman almost claimed his hat-trick, but the Titans defence held firm and the Gwent men claimed a hard fought 32-24 victory.

On Friday the Cup Final will be held at Caerphilly RFC between the Blackwood Bulldogs and Bridgend Blue Bulls, kick off at 7:15pm.

Dan Esposito
Mark Wheeler
Scott Bessant
Jason Lavender
Christian Hawkes
Lewis Rees
Ross Bridgman
Scott Besant (2)

Alan Pope (2)
Dave Norman (2)
Dave Norman (4)

article by Simon Green