This may prove to be one of the most significant weeks in the history of North Wales Rugby. The WRU has reaffirmed its commitment to semiprofessional rugby offered by the strategic plan and granted the region development status.

It was against this headline that team Gogledd Cymru, the commited group of North Wales players who, under the tutelage of Jon Aby, have acheived so much during the past 18 months, took to the field against a large West Park St Helens squad.

At the final whistle the score was 26-17 to the Gogs and another stepping stone had been placed in the region's march towards Premiership rugby. The result was both justified and fitting for a week which has seen the WRU establish a high level working group to chart the pathway of Gogledd Cymru into the semiprofessional game.

Twenty hours before kick-off scrum half Patchet picked up a training injury and with all five alternative squad scrum halves either injured or unavailable things looked bleak. Once again Gogledd Cymru's unique coach nomination system came to the rescue with Dinbych's coach Tegid Phillips and scrum half Rhun Jones responding to the emergency call.

It was this partnership between Jones and Caernarfon's Kelvin Morris which was to prove critical to the Gog's success. Morris ran in three tries and added the conversions.

West Park opened the scoring with a break by their ever threatening South African scrum half to go 5 points up. Gogledd Cymru came close to scoring on a number of occasions but inexperience and hesitation, in end game decision making, denied them. The Gogs first score came from hooker Baston, who, showing both speed and self belief, beat four defenders to score just wide of the posts. Morris converted to put the Gogs in the lead 7-5 at the break.

In the second half, the forwards, led by hard working captain William Bown, began to dominate the scrum and with the deft use of the wind Morris pinned the opposition into their 22 for long periods. With the score at 19-5 the game seemed won but West Park showed that they were not beaten an individual converted try to make 19-12. Gogledd responded to make it 26-12 and in the dying minutes a second breakaway try brought the score to 26-17.

Players from 10 clubs were represented in this truly regional side. When semiprofessional rugby is a reality in North Wales, the real heros will be the players who clamber off midweek team buses at stops between St Asaph and Parc Menai 6 or seven hours after starting their journey for nothing more than the dream of a better future.