When the final whistle sounded last Saturday and brought to an end the league match with Wootton Bassett it also brought to an end (for the time being) flanker Steve Brown’s playing involvement with Minety.
Steve, who is moving to London soon, first joined the club as a 10 year old and played in all of the youth teams up until Colts level before moving out off to university. Shortly after finishing his degree he was contacted by Minety stalwart Dale Langdown and persuaded to come back to the club, and he’s been with Minety ever since.
“I can remember Dale’s telephone call. Minety were one player short and I was on their list. I agreed, turned up at the club and played. It was freezing cold, -3 degrees or so and I’m sure I got a dose of hypothermia but I knew that I wanted to play for Minety again.”
Steve admits to having a very bad memory for games that he’s played for the club but the run to the league title and promotion 6 years ago and the Dorset and Wilts Vase win last year stand out.
“I have massive fondness for Minety, not only the players but also the other club staff who make it such a great little club. We’ve had some great and not so great seasons but through it all the club has been very welcoming and a fun place to be.”
Steve will be looking for clubs in London as soon as he re-locates and will be a real asset at both Minety’s level and a level above. Certainly his friends at Minety believe he has it within him to succeed at a higher level.
1st XV captain Andrew Hibbard was quick to praise Steve and his performances on the pitch. “He’s the sort of player you want on your side; you certainly wouldn’t want to see him on the opposition. He’s an annoying little flanker for those we play against. He’s always there, tackling, rucking, picking up the ball and spotting gaps; he always seems to come away with the ball in his hands. He’s also an inspiration to those around him – you can see others encouraged by his exploits. He’s been a great laugh on and off the pitch, an exemplary clubman and we will miss him enormously. I’m sure everyone at Minety wishes him all the very best and hope that he’ll come back to us occasionally for the odd game.”
Dave Peirce, club chairman, feels that Steve’s departure is a huge loss for the village side. “We’d love him to stay and I have suggested that we might help with transport costs to get him back here each Saturday but it’s not going to happen.”
“Steve has been tremendous on and off the pitch and is a real club stalwart. His tackling and overall defensive skills are amazing and he’s led from the front and exerted an enormous influence upon those who play around him. He’s a small chap and certainly is far from being the biggest flanker in the league but I haven’t seen a better flanker. It doesn’t matter what size they are, when Steve tackles them they stop and then go backwards. I’ve seen many forwards get up off the ground and look at Steve and be unable to believe that it was him who put them down. But he doesn’t just tackle in ones, he makes one tackle, gets up and then repeats it until the ball is won. Tremendous.”
Assistant coach Craig Smith has both played with and coached Steve. “He’s just been great both as a team mate and as a member of the training squad. He’s unbelievably fit and precise in all that he does and his timing of tackles means that he plays well beyond his weight. A model player.
Fellow forward Ben Collins shared Craig’s sentiments. “He’s a top man both on and off the field and we’ll miss him.”
Winger Dave Cooke was also fulsome in his praise of his team mate. “He’s a great bloke to have as a teammate. He’s always there for you and is always positive; he doesn’t let his head go down when things turn against the team and he doesn’t let others feel down. I wish him all the best in the future and hope to see him back at the heart of the defence sometime in the future.”
Yes, I know that it’s almost December, but with a couple of blanks in the fixture list it’s been difficult to get everyone on the selection committee together.
However, we are delighted to announce that the Jacamo Minety Player of the Month for October is Stephen Brown.
Steve plays flanker for the 1st XV and is renowned for his tenacious and fearless tackling and his boundless energy that sees him prominent at almost every breakdown.
1st XV captain, Andrew Hibbard, made the announcement at the end of the Wootton Bassett match at Minety.
I caught up with Steve in the club house afterwards. “It’s fantastic news. I’m really pleased,” he said. “I know how many really excellent performances were put in on the pitch by so many Minety players during October so to be chosen as the Jacamo Player of the Month is a real honour.”
Steve’s award comes with a £50 voucher to spend on Jacamo clothing. “I can’t wait to get on line to see what they’ve got to offer.”
Saturday was, sadly, Steve’s last match for the club (for the time being, anyway). A tremendous servant to the club, we’ll be a doing a special post on Steve and the other departee, winger Ben Langridge, over the coming fortnight.
Probably the first fixture that Minety players look for when the lists are published is the match up with local rivals, Royal Wootton Bassett.
When the two teams met for the first time this season at Minety Fields in the league last Saturday the result was a bruising encounter with the visitors eventually emerging 22-19 winners.
Minety started the day in 5th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North, their visitors just two places below them, buoyed no doubt by their excellent performance the week before when they were only narrowly defeated by the unbeaten Corsham side.
In a fast paced opening sequence of play, both teams moved the ball well but were unable to retain possession long enough to make real inroads into the defences.
Minety took the lead in the 15th minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted a penalty from 25 metres out after Bassett players were penalised at a ruck.
Bassett hit back 5 minutes later after some sustained pressure had pinned the villagers back in their own 22. Spotting the defence out of position, Bassett’s scrum half picked up the ball at the base of a ruck and ran in to touch down beneath the posts. The conversion was successful and Wootton Bassett led 7-3.
Minety struck back four minutes later when Garland fed the Minety captain Andrew Hibbard, who crashed through the Bassett defence to score near the posts. Garland’s conversion restored the home team’s lead at 10-7.
When Bassett’s defence was caught offside Garland extended the lead to 13-7 with a well taken penalty in the 27th minute.
The visitors hit back soon after when an attempted clearance kick was charged down and Minety’s defence were unable to reset properly. Bassett stole the ball from the ensuing ruck and spread it out left for the outside centre to run in and score. The unsuccessful conversion left the villagers with a narrow 13-12 lead which Garland extended in the final minutes of the half to bring the half time score to 16-12.
The home side started the second half promisingly. Tall second row Ben Collins made his presence felt up front whilst full back Duncan Simpson’s entries into the line placed added pressure on the visitors’ defence.
In their final matches for the village club, long serving flanker Steve Brown and winger Ben Langridge both put in huge tackles to force Bassett back as Minety upped the pressure.
The match, so evenly balanced, changed direction in the 60th minute when Minety were forced into major alterations up front after prop forward Peter Andrews was withdrawn after a head injury and influential scrum half Garland was yellow carded shortly afterwards.
With Minety down to 14 players and Simpson moving from full back to scrum half, Bassett took control and crossed for their 3rd try wide on the left in the 66th minute. Their 4th, and bonus point winning try, came four minutes later, this time the inside centre touching down wide out on the right.
Garland, back from his 10 minutes in the sin bin, kicked a penalty for Minety in the 73rd minute to cut Bassett’s lead to just 4 points but, as the light faded and the minutes ticked away, Minety were unable to convert pressure into points and had to settle for a losing league bonus point as Bassett emerged 22-19 victors.
For the home team Garland kicked four penalties and one conversion while Hibbard scored their only try.
Man of the Match: Front row forward Will North who put in a battling performance up front.
Playing their last matches for Minety: Steve Brown and Ben Langridge. We will be reporting on both in the coming days and weeks but I’m sure that everyone at Minety will wish them well as they take on new challenges.
Both Minety teams go into league fixtures this coming Saturday hopeful that the outcomes will be very different from last weekend. Last Saturday the 1st XV narrowly managed to hold on to a win at Supermarine, despite a dramatic 2nd half comeback from the home team, whilst the 2nd XV were unable to fulfill their D&W3N fixture at Corsham when they were unable to raise a team due to injuries and unavailabilities. Not only did the 2nd XV concede the match and the points, they also conceded the return fixture later on in the season, which has now be swapped, under league rules, to Corsham’s ground.
Andrew Hibbard’s 1st XV take on Royal Wootton Bassett’s 2nd XV at Minety Fields, kick off 2.30pm, and the skipper will be hoping to welcome back some of the 1st team squad from injury and prevent the sudden slide that almost cost them dearly at Supermarine. Bassett arrive in 7th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table with 17 points accrued from their 8 matches, two places below Minety. Even though they have won only 3 of their 8 matches in the league, the team are on something of a high after holding runaway league leaders, Corsham, last weekend, in the end only going down to a creditable 21-16 defeat. Other victories have also come recently against both Chippenham and Frome.
Matt Stone will be hoping that he can put out a full team against Swindon III’s at Minety Fields. The visitors have lost their last three league matches, at home to Bradford and Supermarine and away to Trowbridge, but they have recorded victories over both Corsham (league) and Chippenham (cup) this season.
Full match reports on this site on Sunday and the film of the Bassett match should be available on MTV on Wednesday.
The date is 22nd November 2010 and Minety Under 17’s are through to the Dorset and Wilts Vase final against Bournemouth Academy Under 17s in the mud at Minety. Click here, or use the History of the club link, to access the story and pictures from a momentous day in the club’s history.
We get terrific support and coverage from Danny Hall and his team at the Wilts and Glos Standard newspaper – here is a link to their report on our game at the weekend. Click here to read it.
The paper’s photographer, Terry Parker, has also published all of his photographs from the game in a Gallery on the paper’s website. They can be accessed through this link.
Minety hang on for one point win
Seemingly coasting to a comfortable away victory, with a half time lead of 22-5, Minety had to cling on for the win as home team Supermarine fought back in the second half, eventually falling just one point short in a thrilling climax to an error strewn game.
Once again Minety coach Richard Hall was forced to make numerous changes to his line-up with teenage fly half Tom McAllister moving to scrum half, second row Tom Windle at inside centre and numerous others changing roles as injuries and unavailabilities bit hard.
Minety started promisingly with Windle’s powerful running always a threat to the home defence.
Both teams found the wet ball and the slippery conditions difficult to manage and all too often the final ball went to ground as Minety pressed forward and Supermarine defended doggedly.
Minety’s more mobile pack, led ably by hooker Tom Claxton, began to assert their authority and it was no surprise when prop forward Peter Andrews picked up and drove over for the opening try after another Claxton led drive after 20 minutes.
Minety doubled their lead in the 26th minute. Outside centre Robin Greenway won the ball in midfield and McAllister, seeing a gap behind the home defence, chipped the ball over the Supermarine backs and ran in to collect the ball and touch down from 20 metres out.
The home team hit back three minutes later, moving the ball across the width of the pitch to score in the left hand corner but Minety restored their lead seconds later when Academy star Ben Kingston, playing on the wing, picked up a loose ball, shrugged off a tackle and ran in a fine solo try from 60 metres out.
As the first half wound down, Minety’s defence handled all that Supermarine could throw at them with relative ease and the speed of flanker Josh Bull and the back line kept the home team pegged in midfield.
When McAllister broke through the home defences and fed Bull for Minety’s 4th try in first half stoppage time, and fly half John Blair slotted home the conversion, the lead was a deserved 22-5 for the villagers.
Supermarine’s dramatic second half comeback started in the first minute when a wayward pass was intercepted by their outside centre who ran in from 35 metres. Four minutes later Supermarine had their 3rd try when the ball was moved out left quickly and, with the Minety defence outnumbered, the full back raced in to touch down. The successful long range conversion brought the score back to 17-22.
An injury to McAllister saw Greenway move to scrum half and further changes to the back line as Minety repelled the menacing Supermarine attacks.
Blair slotted a penalty for Minety in the 54th minute to extend the lead to a crucial 8 points.
Only a last ditch intervention from Minety captain Andrew Hibbard prevented Supermarine from scoring as the game entered its final quarter.
Minety re-grouped and played some of their best rugby of the second half and kept the home team back in their own half as the clock ticked down.
With just seconds remaining the home team launched one last attacking move and their winger, playing fly half, picked up the ball at a ruck and ran in past four defenders to score in the corner. The conversion was successful but it proved to be the last play of the game and Minety were home and dry by 25-24 to move up to 5th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.
Joint Man of the Match: Josh Bull and Tom Claxton.
After the game Claxton was philosophical. “We had the first half under control but then we didn’t stick to the game plan in the 2nd half and the game became really ugly.”
Coach Hall said, “It really was a game of two halves. We were comfortable but then switched off for 15 minutes and the whole momentum of the game changed. We’ll need to be far more focused next week when we entertain Royal Wootton Bassett at home.”
Minety 2nd XV match at Corsham was called off when it became clear that the villagers’ limited playing resources would not allow them to put out a team for the match.
Minety scraped to a 25-24 win at Supermarine this afternoon, despite looking comfortable at half time with a 22-5 lead. The four tries which Rich Hall’s team scored gained the team a bonus point and has moved them up to 5th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.
Full match report and reactions to follow tomorrow (Sunday).
Minety RFC has published its revised policy regarding the application for, and distribution of, tickets for international matches. To view policy click here or access it through the link on the right hand menu.
The latest Minety newsletter is available to download as a pdf file from the Newsletter page. Click the image below:
Bradford on Avon 3 Swindon College old Boys 29
Bradford, who knocked Minety out of the cup in the quarter final this year were themselves knocked out by Swindon College Old Boys, who scored 5 tries in a 29-3 win at Bradford last Saturday.
The Swindon team, who sit atop the Berks / Bucks and Oxon Premier league, extended their winning run, stretching back to the start of the season, to 8.
The full text of the 1996 Minety RFC Jubilee Porgramme has been upload to the site so now you can see who played in the 2nd XV in those halcyon days, read a brief history of Wootton Bassett Rugby Club (who shared the anniversary) and see who the fixtures for 1996 / 1997 pitched our two teams against.
Click here or visit the History of Minety RFC through the link on the right hand side of the page.
In our latest of occasional additions to the history of Minety RFC, we are delighted to publish the first part of a recently restored edition of a match programme, this one the Jubilee Match programme from Saturday 7th September 1996, when the club celebrated its 25th birthday with a special match against local rivals Wootton Bassett.
Click here or use the History shortcut on the right of this web page.
So no matches to prepare for this weekend for Minety’s two senior teams, but we can still have some fun.
Here’s a chance to test your creativity / naughtiness etc. What is going on / being said in this photograph, taken during the recent D&W1N match against Corsham?
Both sets of Minety players will be able to take a deserved weekend break with neither team being in action of Saturday 12th November.
We will endeavor to keep putting up new material on site on a regular basis and hope that you will visit the site regularly before the Minety teams return to league action for the run up to Christmas.
In the meantime, here’s Matt Roberts and Jack Ward combining for the latter to score Minety’s only try against Corsham last week:
Corsham maintained their unbeaten record in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North with a 36 points to 11 victory at Minety in a Bonfire day match that promised much but failed to catch fire for the village side.
With two comprehensive victories behind them it looked as if Minety’s faltering start to the season was turning the corner but Andrew Hibbard’s men knew that the Corsham encounter was likely to be their toughest of the season. The power of the Corsham pack was soon clear as they dominated the early scrums and forced the Minety backs to play largely on the back foot.
Corsham’s power told in the 9th minute when, from a lineout on the right, the ball was passed along the backs to centre William Chivers. His clever kick over the advancing Minety defence was latched on to by Liam Snape who ran in to touch down close to the posts. The conversion was missed leaving the visitors 5 – 0 up.
Minety hit back in the 13th minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty from 25 metres out. With the howling cross field wind making handling difficult both teams resorted to defensive clearance kicks to touch to relieve pressure and re-set lines.
Minety took the lead in the 29th minute with another Garland penalty.
The points inspired the home team and they enjoyed their best spell of the game when their lighter, but more mobile pack moved the ball quickly out to the centres where Matt Roberts and Dave Church were always a handful for the Corsham defence.
Some desperate tackling by Hibbard and flanker Steve Brown prevented a Corsham try in the 38th minute but less than 60 seconds later a fine move from a ruck on the right saw Corsham winger Hamish Miller touch down wide on the right to restore the visitor’s lead.
Deep into first half injury time a Minety attack was broken up and Corsham exploited defensive weaknesses to allow winger Aaron Gale to score by the right hand side corner flag to leave the half time score at 15-6 in favour of the league leaders.
Injuries to front row forwards Owen Richardson and Peter Andrews meant assistant first team coach Craig Smith had to re-shuffle his pack, bringing himself and fellow prop Nick Britten into the action.
Despite having to contend with the Minety slope, Corsham pressed forward, giving the home team little chance for the open, running game that they enjoy.
The visitors’ 4th, and bonus point winning try, came in the 54th minute when Gale’s perfectly timed run split the home defence. The conversion took the Corsham lead to 22-6.
A superb break by Roberts saw Minety encamped on the Corsham line but after a series of penalties and scrums they were unable to penetrate a resolute Corsham defense until a clever interplay between Roberts and full back Jack Ward saw the latter cross for a try wide on the right.
Hopes of a Minety revival were dashed in the 75th minute when a fine kick through found touch metres from the home team’s line. Corsham took the lineout and their forwards drove over for the score. The conversion took the score to 29-11 and the tiring and injury ridden home team were unable to prevent a 6th Corsham try in the 78th minute when Snape ended a pitch long move to register his second try of the match. The successful conversion ended the scoring leaving Corsham 36-11 victors.
Captain Andrew Hibbard was philosophical afterwards. “It was a really tough day. We started well and matched them for long periods of the game but we gave away some silly points and we’ll need to re-group as we prepare for the run in to Christmas, where league points will be vital.”
In the day’s other match, Minety 2nd XV surprisingly lost 36-26 at home to a Supermarine team that had come into the game with just one previous win this season.
Matt Stone’s Minety team gave up a try early on in the match but hit back with tries from second row Colin French and inside centre Jon Blair. Fly half Kieran Gash scored their third try just before half time but they were unable to stamp their authority over a Supermarine team who kept coming back at them.
Strong forward play at the start of the second half saw Supermarine take the lead through a try but Minety hit back when Blair scored his second try to close the gap to just three points.
Supermarine exploited Minety’s defensive lapses and extended their lead in the closing minutes of the game to take the league points with a 36-26 win.
Skipper Matt Stone said after the match, “We played well in the first half but fell apart a little in the second half. I’m gutted to see our winning ways end but we now have a week off to work on things and come back strong in the weeks up to Christmas.”
Both teams have a week off with no games next Saturday before resuming league action on 19th November when the 1st will travel to Supermarine while the seconds make the trip to Corsham.
Both Minety teams are in action at Minety Fields this Saturday (5th November), looking to build upon excellent results last week, where both picked up bonus point winning wins on the road.
Andrew Hibbard leads his 1st XV into action against table topping Corsham at 2.30pm on Saturday and is under no illusions about the size of the challenge ahead of his team. Corsham sit at the top of the table having won all 6 league matches this season, only missing out on a Try Bonus point in one of them. In total they have accrued 281 points on the field whilst conceding just 32. That gives them a frightening average score of 46 points per match. Their impressive run of scores started at Devizes with a 53-7 win and was followed by wins against Supermarine (43-12), Swindon (41-5), Pewsey Vale (22-5), Frome (64-0) and Chippenham (55-3). Minety will still be smarting from the drubbing that Corsham dealt out last season in a top of the table clash at Corsham.
The Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table still shows Minety in 6th place but the missing bonus point (see the Harry Potter story for more) gained at Devizes last week has still not been added. When it is Minety will leapfrog Pewsey Vale on points difference and move up into 5th place.
Matt Stone’s 2nd XV face up to Supermarine II at Minety Fields on Saturday, again kicking off at 2.30pm. The 2nd XV are also incorrectly represented in the league table. Last week’s comprehensive win at Melksham was incorrectly reported in as a home win, thus denying Minety the two league points for their win and an additional bonus point for scoring four of more tries. When the table is corrected the 2nds will move up to 5th place.
Their opponents, Supermarine, languish in 10th place with just one victory from their league programme but will be sure to be doughty opposition in what is traditionally a close encounter.
For our latest astonishing blockbuster from the quill of Jay Kay Howling, click on the picture above. “It’s deadly serious stuff!”
As a result of their bonus point winning win on Saturday, the 1st XV have leapfrogged Chippenham and now stand 6th in the table.
The scores and table for the 2nd XV are not available at present; the incorrect score was sent in to the league and, until the correction is brought about, results and the D&W3N table are incorrect.
We’ve cracked the 3,000 hits record for a single month! Over 3,000 hits / visits to the Minety website in October 2016 – must be doing something right! Many thanks and keep on coming back!
Both Minety teams recorded bonus point winning victories on the road on Saturday. Rich Hall’s 1st XV won a hard fought match at Devizes by 32 – 10 whilst Matt Stone’s 2nd XV ran out a resounding 50-10 victors at Melksham.
Minety’s 1st XV recorded their first away win of the season with a bonus point winning 32-5 victory at Devizes, pushing the village side up to 6th in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.
Devizes started brightly but a combination of excellent tactical kicking from scrum half Garin Garland and full back Dale Langdown pushed the home side into defending deep in their own territory.
Garland opened Minety’s scoring with a penalty kick in the 11th minute and then doubled the lead when Devizes were penalised for not releasing the ball after a tackle.
Minety laid siege to the Devizes line and only a last ditch tackle prevented Minety’s captain Andrew Hibbard from scoring under the posts to extend their lead.
After losing influential centre Jack Ward to a rib injury, Minety were forced to shuffle their line-up but when fly half Tom McAllister’s kick through was fumbled by the Devizes full back, front row forward Owen Richardson seized the opportunity to kick ahead and won the race to touch down under the posts for his first try in Minety first team colours. Garland’s conversion took the half time score to 13-0.
Minety continued to press at the start of the second half. Moving the ball well and handling confidently, the villagers set up chance after chance, so it was surprising that it took until the 53rd minute for them to score their second try. Prop forward Will North fed 2nd row Ben Scott, whose slip pass allowed Langdown to score by the corner flag.
With the score at 18-0 and the Minety side suffering further injuries to Scott, fellow 2nd row Ben Collins and flanker James Stuart, Devizes played some of their best rugby and were only denied by some resolute Minety defending.
The home side eventually breached the Minety line in the 69th minute to bring the score back to 18-5.
Minety regained their composure and pushed forward in an attempt to score the two extra tries required to enable them to pick up a valuable league bonus point.
Man of the match Tom Windle set up Minety’s third try with a brilliant 40 metre burst through the Devizes defences. Garland collected the ball and fed McAllister for an easy try over on the right. Garland’s conversion took the score to 25-5 and the left the villager’s with the chance of the bonus point in the final minutes of the match.
Deep into injury time, hooker Tom Claxton collected the ball from a lineout and, with Devizes defenders desperately trying to pull him down, barged through to score Minety’s 4th try. Garland’s successful conversion was the last action of the match as Minety ran out 32-5 victors and with an important try bonus point in their pockets.
Captain Andrew Hibbard was quick to praise the contributions of all the 2nd team squad players who had stepped up to fill gaps left by injury in the 1st team. “It’s good to know that we have quality cover in every position and I’d like to thank the 2nd team lads for their tremendous support.”
In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nds scored 8 tries in their resounding 50-10 victory at Melksham. After conceding an early try, Matt Stone’s team hit back with a Keiran Gash try and a Will Mason penalty before three tries in the space of just 12 minutes at the start of the second half sealed the win. A late Del Murray try took Minety’s score to 50 points just before the end.
Captain Stone praised his side’s second half display. “I was really impressed with how consistent our scrummaging and line outs were, even with people playing out of position. We have a great team and I look forward to seeing how we can compete through the season.”
Final score: Melksham 10 Minety 50.
Minety 1st XV, buoyed by their excellent home win last weekend against Chippenham II, will be hoping to build on that success at Devizes II on Saturday.
Rich Hall’s team find themselves in 7th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table, with two wins from their five fixtures, but given that four of those fixtures have pitted them against the top teams in the league table, they will hope to move up and bridge the gap to unbeaten league leaders Corsham and Warminster.
Minety’s opponents, Devizes II, lie in 11th place in the 12 team table, without a league win this season. Last weekend they found themselves on the end of a 77-7 home defeat at the hands of a Bradford on Avon team who recently completed a league and cup double over Minety.
Matt Stone’s Minety II’s travel to the Oak Community School in Melksham (SN12 6QZ) for their away encounter with Melksham. Minety sit 6th in the Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North table, six places above a Melksham team who have recorded a solitary win from their five scheduled matches thus far.
Minety II’s will be looking for maximum points on the road if they are to put pressure on the teams immediately above them, Swindon III and Afred’s Nomads.
Both matches kick off at 3pm. These will be the last 3pm kickoffs until the end of March. In between, all matches will kick off at 2.30pm or earlier.
We have just been notified of a change of ground for the Minety II fixture at Melksham on Saturday 29th October. The match will now take place at : The Oak Community School, SN12 6QZ.
It’s not all glamour at Minety; sometimes it’s just hard graft, as these hardy souls showed when they trained in the fog and darkness last night.
Next games, this weekend, at Devizes and Melksham.
After a disappointing run of losses Rich Hall’s Minety returned to winning ways with a convincing 27-10 victory over local rivals Chippenham 2nds , who started the day in 3rd place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table, 5 places above the village side.
Choosing to play uphill in the first half, Minety took the match to Chippenham with strong forward play featuring the two Windle brothers in the second row. The village side took the lead in the 9th minute when returning scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty after a high tackle.
Chippenham responded with some strong running, especially from centre Daniel Jones, but Minety full back Matt Roberts was always on hand to clear the lines.
Against the run of play, Chippenham scored their only try in the 17th minute when a mix up at the base of a home scrum on the half way line allowed Jones to latch on to a misplaced pass and run in under the posts. With fly half Richard Stone slotting home the conversion, Minety found themselves 7-3 down.
Garland kicked his second penalty in the 20th minute to reduce the arrears to a single point and the teams exchanged penalties in the closing minutes of the first half to leave the visitors 10-9 up at half time.
A surging run from Roberts in the 42nd minute split the Chippenham defence and from the ensuing play Garland fed veteran front row forward Craig Smith who crashed over for his first league try in 7 years. Garland’s long range conversion took the home side into a 6 point lead.
Minety consolidated their position 3 minutes later when their other front row forward Will North took the ball at the tail of the lineout to score Minety’s second try. Garland narrowly missed with the conversion but the home side now led 21-10.
Garland slotted home two further penalties and Minety appeared comfortable at 27-10 with 20 minutes to go. Two yellow cards for replacements Collins and Richards meant the villagers had to hold out in the closing minutes as Chippenham mounted wave upon wave of attacks upon the home line.
Coach Richard Hall was particularly pleased with the result and his team’s performance. “The moves we practiced in training came off and I was pleased with the way that we controlled the game.”
Captain Andrew Hibbard praised the defence in the final quarter of the game. “We were outnumbered but our defensive tackling and cover was superb today.”
The result moves Minety up to 7th in the D&W1N table with an away fixture at Devizes next Saturday before a mouth watering encounter with hitherto unbeaten league leaders Corsham at Minety on the 5th November.
In the weekend’s other fixture the Minety 2nd squad entertained a big Trowbridge team. After a promising opening from the home side, Trowbridge took the lead with a try and conversion.
Matt Stone’s side recovered quickly and, through a combination of strong forward pressing and expansive back moves, soon created an opening for flank forward Matt Chisholm to power over for the home team’s first try.
Trowbridge hit back and penned Minety into their own half for long periods of play but a mistimed pass allowed Stone to intercept and run in Minety’s 2nd try from 60 metres out. The successful conversion took the lead to 12-7 in the home side’s favour.
Minety extended their lead when fly half Kieran Gash dummied the away defence and raced through to touch down for Minety’s 3rd try. Mike Scott added the conversion and the teams swapped ends with Minety 19-14 up.
Down to 14 men early in the 2nd half, Minety threw the ball wide and after a series of fine forwards moves, 2nd row forward Ben Scott was able to pick up from a ruck and score to extend Minety’s lead to 10 points.
With the opponents visibly tiring, the pacey Minety backs were able to create holes in the defence and Jon Blair was able to add another try in the corner. Scott scored his 2nd try soon after and Minety’s win was assured.
A further penalty and then a second try from Blair ended the game with Minety 2nds running out comfortable 46-14 victors.
Captain Matt Stone was naturally delighted with the performance. “We played an organised and intelligent match, defending well and then attacking decisively.” Stone picked out Ben Scott and flanker Jay Thomson for special praise. “We had notable performances throughout the team but those two really stood up to the plate and made crucial contributions throughout the 90 minutes.”
Both Minety teams recorded confidence building wins yesterday, the 1st XV overcoming Chippenham 27-10 while the 2nds completed a 46-14 victory over Trowbridge III’s.
Mathc reports to follow later today.
Both Minety teams will kick off at Minety Fields at 3pm this Saturday (22nd) with the 1st team hoping for a change in form, and luck, against Chippenham II’s while the 2nd XV will face Swindon III’s.
Andrew Hibbard’s 1st XV have endured a rocky start to the 2016/2017 season. Recent losses away and at home to Bradford on Avon have seen them lose contact with the top of the table clubs and also miss out on a Cup run. In 8th place in the Dorset and Wilts League 1 North table, the 1st XV have just one home win to their credit after four outings and will need a victory on Saturday against close rivals, Chippenham II’s, who are sitting in 3rd place in the table having defeated Frome II’s in their last match. Chippenham II’s sole loss this year was against newly promoted Pewsey Vale, who surprised Minety in the first match of the season at Minety Fields.
Matt Stone’s 2nd XV take on Trowbridge III’s in a D&W3N clash at Minety Fields. Trowbridge lost their opener to Corsham but then bounced back with a resounding 62-10 demolition of Westbury but since then have suffered defeats at the hands of both Warminster and Bradford.
The 2nd XV will hope to recapture some of the form that saw them defeat Bradford on Avon in their last home match.
Match reports and interview will follow the games.