Minety RFC

This weekend’s action

The last pair of fixtures for 2018 with valuable league points on offer for both teams before they enter the Christmas break.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 14th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Melksham match lineup

This the team who represented Minety on Saturday 8th December 2018 against Melksham at Minety Fields.

1. Colin French

2. Tom Claxton (c)

3. Mark Glew

4. Matt Stone

5. Ben Scott

6. Ash Windle

7. Jay Thompson

8. Gareth Peirce

9. Garin Garland

10. Dave Cooke

11. Steve White

12. Will Crisp

13. Jack Howse

14. Ben Langridge

15. Chris Rule

16. Andy Darrell

17. Dave Church

18. Sam Hughes

Written by Graham Cooke

December 13th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Ready for Christmas?

Two great offers for fans of Minety RFC.

1).  “Three Years Behind the Camera” – the story of Minety RFC between September 2015 and April 2018. A4 sized with 250+ pages.  Full colour cover and balck and white images (too many to count) inside.  Only 3 left, so will be sold at the club house on a “first come, first served” basis.  £15.


2).  The 2018 / 2019 1st Team Photo, taken at Salisbury in November 2018 just before the Dorset and Wilts Senior Vase Final at Salisbury RFC.  A4 size in full colour on premium gloss paper. £5 each.  

Email me at ghcooke@hotmail.com if you are interested.


Written by Graham Cooke

December 12th, 2018 at 11:31 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV Melksham

The film of the match against 3rd placed Melksham, played at Minety Fields on Saturday 8th Decemeber is now available on the Minety (MTV) player.  We have included “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” extra section at the end but, for copyright reasons the music that accompanies the DVD version seen by the players has had to be removed.  Just imagine a good piece of classic rock music as you’ll get the idea.  

The film can be accessed by clicking on the MTV icon, clicking here or by using the Minety Player option on the right hand menu.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 12th, 2018 at 7:57 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results and analysis from the weekend

Minety’s last gasp loss to Melksham was a real hammer blow for the village team.  In 2015, at roughly the same time in the season, Melksham landed an injury time penalty to win a match against Minety.  As the teams approach the half way point in the league, Minety find themsleves in 7th place and now 6 points behind Trowbridge and Warminster and 22 behind league leaders Combe Down.  This coming Saturday the team travel to the unpredictable Pewsey Vale knowing that only a win will suffice.

Elsewhere in the league, Warminster pushed league leaders Combe Down hard but the league leaders came away with a win, although they dropped only their second bonus point of the season.  Second placed Avonvale were also made to fight by a spirited Sutton Benger team who appear to be settling down well into life in the top division after their hugely successful promotion winning year last season.

Royal Wootton Bassett kept up the pressure at the top with a close run win over Chippenham, the latter now finding themselves languishing in 10th place in the league. At the start of the day the bottom two teams were pitched against each other and it was Calne who came out with a win at Supermarine by just two points.  The win lifts Calne above Pewsey Vale and Chippenham.

The “HWO” for Trowbridge against Pewsey set the alarm bells ringing at Minety, who travel to Pewsey next week.  We knew that they had struggled with a crippling injury situation this season but to all intents and purposes it looked as if next week’s fixture might be in doubt.  After an email exchange with Pewsey Chairman Steve Park it now seems that they actually travelled to Trowbridge but were forced to play the game as a friendly, with a Home Walkover awarded, because they had been unable to register new players in time to make them eligible to play.  And they won!  It does make us wonder about all of the “Nr”s that appeared on the Chippenham team sheet when they visited Minety earlier in the season – does “NR” mean not registered and if so, could Pewsey not have claimed the same rights?  We will see!


Written by Graham Cooke

December 11th, 2018 at 9:11 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety fall to last gasp try

The league match between 7th placed Minety and 3rd placed Melksham on Saturday was decided only by a late try and conversion as the visitors pulled themselves back from 13 – 0 down to take the points by 15 – 13 in a pulsating and hard fought encounter at Minety Fields.

Beaten only once since the opening day of the season, Melksham came to Minety on a fine run of form and Tom Claxton’s Minety were aware that they would have to be on top form to match them.

Kicking down the slope and with a fierce wind behind them, Minety pushed Melksham back but the opposition soon demonstrated why they hold 3rd place in the league with some assured handling and movement of the ball under pressure.

The home side took the lead in the 5th minute when Garin Garland stroked home a penalty.

Melksham struck back, rucking aggressively and turning the ball over.  Confident in possession, they forced Minety back and only some strong tackling from 2nd row Ben Scott and full back Chris Rule kept them at bay.

Garland used the advantage of the wind to clear Minety’s lines down field but the home side were unable to string together sufficient phases of play to exert real pressure on the Melksham line.

Minety had a chance to double their lead in the 18th minute but a long range penalty drifted wide.  Tempers flared shortly afterwards with the referee being forced to speak to the captains after a melee in midfield following a high tackle on Minety’s free running centre Jack Howse.

Garland kicked the resulting penalty and Minety were 6 – 0 to the good.

Steve White

Melksham were denied the opening try soon after and only some excellent defensive tackling by new Minety centre Will Crisp and flanker Jay Thompson kept the visitors out.  As Melksham continued to play neat and accurate rugby, Minety wingers Ben Langridge and the returning Steve White were both called upon to make telling tackles as the visitors sought to impose themselves on the match.  Melksham’s defensive line speed meant that scrum half Garland and fly half Dave Cooke had little time to settle and set up the backs but it was Garland who reacted first when Minety won a scrummage against the head.  Picking up the loose ball, he sped through a gap and crossed for Minety’s opening try in the 29th minute.  With the conversion successful, Minety were 13-0 up.

Will Crisp

One of the key moments of a tight match came in the 33rd minute when the promising Crisp, playing only his second match for Minety, dislocated his shoulder and was forced off.  A minute later Minety were down to 14 men when No. 8 Gareth Peirce was yellow carded after an infringement at a ruck.

Veteran Dave Church, making his first appearance of the season, replaced Crisp as Minety held off wave after wave of Melksham attacks as half time approached.

The home side ended the half on top as they desperately sought a second try to maximise their advantage of the slope and wind but Howse was stopped short after a good backs move and the sides changed ends with Minety leading 13-0.

The biting wind was augmented by driving rain as the second half got underway.

Melksham transferred territorial advantage into points in the 47th minute with a penalty after the Minety defence were caught off side deep in their own 22.

Coach Andy Grayson brought on Sam Hughes at scrum half, Garland moving to fly half, in an attempt to stem Melksham’s progress.

Despite some heroic defending, Minety were powerless to prevent Melksham scoring their first try on the hour.  A fine move involving numerous phases of play ended when the Melksham hooker touched down near the posts.  The conversion caught in the wind but Melksham were just 5 points behind with 20 minutes left to play.

As both teams chased the next score, which would almost certainly decide the outcome of the match, play became frantic and loose.  A brilliant last ditch tackle by Langridge prevented an almost certain Melksham try in the 76th minute and strong tackling from Rule, Church and Thompson held up Melksham down the centre.

Just when it looked as if the home side might hold on a clearance kicked stalled in the wind and a scrum against the Melksham head saw the ball loose near the Minety line.  Melksham exploited Minety’s desperate attempts to re-organise, with Howse on the ground after a clash of heads.  The ball moved out wide on the right and a good interchange of passes allowed the try to be scored bringing the scores level as the match entered added on time.

Melksham won the game with a fine conversion kick and took the league points by 15-13, the second time in 4 years that a match between the two has been won by Melksham with the last kick of a game.  (24th October 2015 Minety 6 Melksham 9)

Coach Andy Grayson was philosophical in defeat.  “The only reason we lost that game was because we didn’t score enough points in the first half when we had the advantage of both slope and wind.  It was as good a defensive performance as we’ve given all season.  I certainly can’t fault the lads on their efforts.”

Man of the Match, for his superb defensive work out wide, Steve White.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 9th, 2018 at 12:06 pm

This weekend Preview

Just one fixture this weekend, with Steve Wilson’s 2nd XV sitting it out for a week during a break in their busy schedule.

Tom Claxton’s team return to action after the heroics of last week, when they took on the league leaders with 14 players, eventually ending the match with just 11.  Certainly Tom and coach Andy Grayson will hope that many of the missing and injured players are back to fitness as they take on 3rd placed Melksha, the highest placed Wiltshire team in the league, at Minety Fields, the match kicking off at 2.15pm.

Melksham have had a fine season thus far, winning 7 of their nine outings and picking up 5 bonus points on the way.

Mleksham started the season with a loss at Wootton Bassett but then won at Supermarine and Sutton Benger.  Their early season form saw them to an unexpected 18 – 16 win at Avonvale  and wins against Calne and Chippenham followed.

Their second loss of the season came at home to Combe Down, where they went down 45 – 3 to the league leaders.  In their last league match Melksham recovered form and dfeated Pewsey Vale 57 – 0 away from home.

Claxton knows that his team will have to be on their best form if they are to win this match and begin to close down the gap to the teams at the top end of the table.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 7th, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV Combe Down

The film of the recent D&W1 match played between Minety and Combe Down is now available on MTV (Minety Player).  We apologise that, because of technical difficultes, we were not able to capture the 1st Combe Down try.

The match coverage can be accessed through clicking on this link, cliking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option on the side bar.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 5th, 2018 at 9:45 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Last weekend’s fixtures, scores and tables

Minety travelled to top of the table Combe Down with an understrength and under numbered team but put in a terrific performance against a team that has only really been tested once, against Avonvale, this season.  Scoring an average of 60 points plus per game, Minety looked in for a savaging with just 14 men and most of those playing out of position.  The result was harsh on the village team but those who were present will reflect upon a whole hearted performance from a whole hearted team! 

Elsewhere, Avonvale kept up the pressure at the top with a large win over the hapless Supermarine team that finds itself adrift at the bottom of the table.  3rd placed Melksham inflicted the biggest away win of the day over the misfiring Pewsey Vale team while 4th placed Warminster enjoyed a comfortable win over Chippenham.  Wootton Bassett, who were 5th defeated Calne in a tight game whilst 8th placed Sutton Benger defeated Trowbridge in a real nailbiter.

Minety’s opponents in the Vase Final last week, the Dorset Dockers, maintained their impressive league form with a 41 – 20 win over the Oakmedians, a win that keeps them comfortably in 2nd place in D&W1S, five points behind league leaders Swanage and Wareham but with a match in hand.

Next week Minety host Melksham before travelling to Pewsey Vale for the last league match before the festive break.

MInety 2nd XV’s large win at home against the Bath Saracens has pushed them up to 4th place in the league and the margin of the victory has put the team in the positive in the “points scored / points conceded” category.

Elsewhere, table topping Amesbury “enjoyed” another walkover, this time against bottom club Supermarine, while Combe Down 2nds defeated Chippenham to keep up the pressure on the table toppers. Bradford won the only other competed match with a convincing win over Melksham.

Next week Steve Wilson’s team have a week off before returning to the road at Bradford on Avon on the 15th in what bwill be their last competitive match of 2018.


Written by Graham Cooke

December 4th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Team who played Combe Down

Here are the 14 players who represented the club at Combe Down on Saturday 1st December 2018.

1. Tom Claxton (c)

2. Jay Thompson

3. Colin French

4. Phil Ward

5. Ben Scott

6. Gareth Peirce

7. Rob Hinwood

8. Andrew Hibbard

9. Mark Glew

10. Dave Cooke

11. Matt Stone

12. Ash Windle

13. Will Crisp

15. Chris Rule

Written by Graham Cooke

December 3rd, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Under strength Minety beaten at Combe Down

One week on from their Senior Vase Final, and with an injury list of epic proportions, Minety travelled to unbeaten Combe Down on Saturday with 14 players and ended the match with just 11.

Whilst the score line of 55 – 10 may give the impression of a hammering, the match was anything but, with the Minety team matching their more illustrious opponents for long periods of the game.

Debutant Will Crisp

Minety gave a debut to centre Will Crisp and used a number of players in new positions to try and manage a Combe Down team averaging over 60 points per match this season against full strength teams.

The villagers more than held their own in the opening exchanges, keeping the ball in centre field and coping well with their numerical disadvantage.  Scrum half Mark Glew organised a makeshift pack, brilliantly led by Andrew Hibbard, and Minety soon had Combe Down defending deep in their own 22.

The village side went behind in the 12th minute.  Combe Down won a lineout in the Minety half and stretched the play back and forth across the pitch before crossing for a try wide out on the left.

Down’s second try came soon after.  Despite ferocious tackling from Glew, Crisp and full back Chris Rule, Minety couldn’t keep out an attack on the right which led to a try beneath the posts.  The conversion was successful and the runaway  league leaders were 12 – 0 up.

Minety missed the chance to get on the score board in the 25th minute when Ash Windle’s penalty slipped narrowly wide.  The contrast in approaches was marked: Minety kept the ball in the centre of the field and used close passing to maintain possession while Combe Down sought to exploit their 1 man advantage by kicking the ball and chasing.

The home side increased their lead in the 30th minute with a try out wide on the right and added a 4th two minutes later, using pace and the width of the pitch to out flank Minety’s defence.

Minety captain Tom Claxton, flanker Gareth Peirce and Hibbard drove the village team back on the attack and their enterprise and endeavour was rewarded when Windle kicked a penalty in the 35th minute.

Two minutes later fly half Dave Cooke took a flying interception and ran 60 metres to score beneath the posts, Windle converting, to bring the score back to a much more respectable and representative 24 – 10.

Fly half Dave Cooke races clear for Minety’s try

Now down to 13 players, with veteran 2nd row Phil Ward withdrawn with a neck injury, Minety battled to see the half out.  Crisp’s clever chip through almost set up a second try but the ball bounced unkindly and the chance was lost.

Against the run of play, it was the home side who scored with the last play of the half.  A break from deep in their own half saw Combe Down spread the ball wide, stretching the defence, and ended with the right winger scoring beneath the posts.

Minety opened the second half brightly, moving the ball confidently and forcing the home side back.  Strong running from Rule, Matt Stone and Crisp pushed the home side deep into their own half and Minety should have had a second try when the overlapping Cooke was free out on the left but the pass went behind and out of play.

With 2nd row Ben Scott dominant at the lineout, Minety more than matched the top of the table outfit but a kick and chase downfield ended with a Combe Down try and a 38 – 10 lead after 53 minutes.

The home side’s 7th try came two minutes later.  Once again, Minety were unable to cover a quick break down the left wing.

The 13 men soon became 12 when scrum half Mark Glew’s terrific performance was halted by a nasty leg injury forcing him off the field in the 63rd minute.

Undeterred and outnumbered, Minety were soon back on the attack again, flanker Rob Hinwood stopped metres from the line and then Stone, Scott and prop Colin French all going close.

Windle missed a penalty chance in the closing minutes before Come Down scored two more tries against an exhausted Minety team before the referee called a halt to proceedings when Minety lost fly half Cooke to an ankle injury, leaving the final score 55 – 10.

Dave Peirce, managing the team in coach Andy Grayson’s absence said afterwards, “I was really proud of all the lads.  Combe Down are a very good side and have put over 100 points on a couple of teams this season but we gave everything and all the lads can hold their heads up high.  It was a fantastic effort from a patched up team.  I can’t single out a player for man of the match – they all deserved that accolade.”

In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nd XV beat Bath Saracens 65 – 22 at Minety Fields to move up to 4th place in Dorset and Wiltshire Division 3.



Written by Graham Cooke

December 2nd, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Today’s fixtures

Written by Graham Cooke

December 1st, 2018 at 9:04 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of The Senior Vase Final

We’re delighted to bring the MTV film of the Senior Vase Final, played on Saturday, to the website. 

The match was a fine example of all that is good in local rugby and both teams put in 100% efforts.  The match can be accessed by clicking on the MTV logo, by clicking here or by using the Minety Player option on the right hand menu.

So many options – it’s worse than Brexit!

Written by Graham Cooke

November 28th, 2018 at 9:40 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Vase Final Squad

Here is the squad of players who took on the Dorset Dockers in the final of the 2018 Dorset and Wiltshire Senior Vase at Salisbury on Saturday 24th November 2018.

1. Mark Glew

2. Tom Claxton (c)

3. Cameron Smith

4. Ben Scott

5. Ben Collins

6. Kieran Tillotsen

7. Ben Sellick

8. Andrew Hibbard

9. Garin Garland

10. Tom McAllister

11. Ben Langridge

12. Chris Rule

13. Jack Howse

14. Dave Cooke

15. Duncan Simpson

16. Andy Darrell

17. Del Murray

18. Jay Thompson

19. Ash Windle

20. Matt Stone

21. Colin French

22. Jack Ward

Written by Graham Cooke

November 27th, 2018 at 10:50 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety lose in epic final

Wiltshire’s Minety RFC lost in the final of the Dorset and Wiltshire Senior Vase to the Dorset Dockers from Christchurch by 36 points to 17 in a terrific match played at Salisbury on Saturday.

For once this season, Coach Andy Grayson, was able to put out a near full strength Minety side as they endeavoured to win the Vase for the second time in four years.

Under grey skies and with a fine mist in the air, the Dockers, beaten only once this season and having amassed 235 points in their last three games, kicked off in front of a good crowd.

Minety immediately showed their intent to attack from defence, flanker Ben Sellick catching the kick off and running straight back at the heart of the Docker’s defence before fly half Tom McAllister, scrum half Garin Garland and full back Duncan Simpson combined to run the ball up to the half way line.

Minety’s enterprising start almost brought them the first score after just 5 minutes when Garland collected from a line out and almost made it to the try line.

The powerful and well organised Dorset team certainly knew that they were in for a tough afternoon as the visibly smaller Minety pack competed well at the early scrummages and lineouts.

Dorset opened the scoring with a penalty in the 16th minute and increased their lead 3 minutes later.  Strong and powerful  running in midfield set up a chance for their right winger to burst through a tackle and touch down for the opening try and an 8 – 0 lead.

Minety came back strongly, Sellick running at the defence before off-loading to centre Jack Howse.  When McAllister spotted gaps in the defence his clever chip kick pushed the Dockers back onto their own line.  Minety missed a chance to get on the board in the 30th minute when a long range penalty kick dropped short but they hit back two minutes later.  The Minety pack, superbly led by captain Tom Claxton and No. 8 Andrew Hibbard, won a scrum against the head and then won a penalty in the Dockers 22.  Garland’s quick tap kick took him under the posts but the play was ruled out by the referee, however  the subsequent kick was successful.

Both teams knew that a score in the minutes leading up to half time could be crucial in terms of momentum and the game opened up, players running the ball whenever they could.

Deep in 1st half added time Minety tried to run the ball out of defence but a pass was intercepted and run back in for the Dockers’ 2nd try , converted this time, and a half time lead of 15 – 3.

The Dorset team started the second half strongly, running hard at the Minety defence.  Whilst the villagers were able to withstand the barrage, it came at a cost when the influential Sellick was injured and had to be replaced in the 46th minute.  Soon after the pressure told as the Dockers’ No 8 forced his way over for their 3rd try, converted, and a 22-3 lead.

The Dorset team, somewhat flattered by the score line, grew in confidence and stretched the Minety defence on numerous occasions but Grayson’s men tackled like demons and refused to give up an inch without a fight.

As the game entered its last quarter it was Minety who dominated the territory but the villagers were unable to transform territorial advantage into points as move after move was thwarted by the fine Dockers’ defence.

Another scrummage win against the head took Minety within reach of the Dockers’ line but replacements Del Murray and Andy Darrall and then Garland were all halted just short.

Against the run of play it was the Dorset team who scored next.  In arguably the move of the game they passed their way out of their own 22 right up to the Minety 22 and then fashioned a fine overlap move to allow their fly half to run in from 10 metres.  The successful conversion saw the Dockers in complete control 29 – 3 up and with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

Refusing to let their heads drop, Minety pushed on and a move involving McAllister, Simpson and winger Dave Cooke opened up the Dorset defence at last.  Cooke’s long pass in field allowed Hibbard to run through to score the villagers opening try.  Garland’s conversion was successful.

Andrew Hibbard touches down for Minety’s 1st try

With both teams tiring, the game opened up and a series of missed tackles allowed the Dockers their 5th try, the No. 8 touching down beneath the posts.

Fittingly, it was Minety who finished the scoring.  Attacking once again, they won a penalty and from  Garland’s tap the ball went out to winger Ben Langridge, who burst through 3 tackles to score Minety’s 2nd try.  Garland kicked the conversion and the game finished with the Dorset Dockers victorious by 36 – 17.

Ben Langridge, with ball, celebrates Minety’s 2nd try

Coach Andy Grayson was upbeat after the game.  “They were a really good side who hit the ball at pace and from depth.  We never gave up and showed the true Minety spirit that makes this club so very special.  We scored two really good tries and I know there’s not a player out there who could have done more. I’m very proud of them.”

The Minety Senior Vase Final Squad 24th November 2018

Man of the Match for Minety: Andrew Hibbard.

Written by Graham Cooke

November 25th, 2018 at 12:41 pm