Minety RFC

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MTV of Avonvale match

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Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Avonvale is now available on this site.  It can be accessed via this link, clicking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option from the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

February 15th, 2019 at 8:46 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Consistency is key

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On Saturday the 43rd player to respresent the 1st XV this season, Ned Lockwood, pulled on a Minety shirt and played against Avonvale.  That represents nearly three teams and means that quite probably, if every player registered to play for Minety was available on Saturday for two teams, quite a few would not even make the bench for the 2nd XV.

That’s not a criticism, that’s a fact of life.  The days when a core of 25 players could be relied upon to populate the 1st and 2nd XV’s week in and week out have long gone.  With the increased demands upon people’s social and “free” time, the necessity to take injuries, especially head injuries and their recovery so much more seriously, the challenge is to find sufficient players for one team let alone two.

The game has also moved on in terms of playing skills – forwards tend to be more mobile and specialist positions more skilled.  So while the captains and coaches try to find sufficient players they also have to fit them around their own individual skill sets.  15 players, even the best 15 in the club, all playing out of position, will perform significantly worse than if they were in their accustomed positions.

And then there’s co-ordination.  That comes from training, developing skills associated with certain plays and formations.  The coaches can do all the work in the world on set plays on the training ground on a Tuesday night but much of that good work will be negated if only a fraction of those present on a Tuesday are there to put what has been worked on into practice on a Saturday afternoon.

That is not a criticism; it’s a fact of life, and not one that is solely Minety’s.  Teams throughout the leagues are finding the challenge of putting out competitive teams more and more difficult.  In the last week we have lost Supermarine’s 2nd XV from Division 3.  Only two of the scheduled 5 matches in Division 3 actually went ahead and those games featured teams who field just one team, Bath Saracens and Amesbury.

So what do the statistics say?  Benjamin, Benny to his mates, doesn’t have data on Tuesday night training session but he does have exhaustive data on 1st XV matches played this season, and this is what he has unearthed.  He looked simply at the number of changes that occured in 1st XV line ups from week to week.

He found that the 1st XV has not put out the same lineup once this season.  He didn’t have time to work out how many times players played in their best positions, but he was able to out together this little table:

Date Opposition H / A Won / Lost Changes % change
8th September Warminster A L    
15th September RWB A W 7 / 17 41%
22nd September Calne A W 5 / 17 29%
29th September Supermarine A W 6 / 16 37%
6th October Sutton Benger H W 5 / 17 29%
13th October          
20th October Trowbridge A L 6 / 16 37%
27th October Avonvale H L 8 / 16 50%
3rd November Calne A W 8 / 17 47%
10th November Warminster H W 7 / 16 43%
17th November Chippenham H W 3 / 16 18%
24th November Dorset Dockers A L 9 / 21 43%
1st December Combe Down A L 5 / 14 36%
8th December Melksham H L 6 / 17 35%
15th December Pewsey Vale A L 4 / 14 28%
22nd December          
29th December          
5th January RWB H W 6 / 17 35%
12th January Supermarine H W 6 / 18 33%
19th January Sutton Benger A L 5 / 15 33%
26th January Trowbridge H L 7 / 18 39%
2nd February          
9th February Avonvale A L 5 / 15 33%

So what does it all mean?  In essence, coach Andy Grayson was faced with making 7 changes in a squad of 17 players for the second game of the season; that’s a 41% change in personnel from the 1st match at Warminster.  The smallest number of changes in consecutive matches came against Chippenham when there were only 3 changes, although they came from an availability that allowed for just one person on the bench.

The greatest percentage of changes came for the Avonvale match in October when 50% of the team were different from those who played the previous week.

Taken as an average over the season thus far, over a third of the team changes each week.

On two occasions Minety have started a match with less than 15 players and on 15 occasions we have had less than the usual 3 players on the bench.  It’s easier to say that on only two league occasions have we had a full bench (and the Supermarine data is a little misleading because players who were less than fit and who came along to support the team were persuaded to play).

So far this season 13 of the 43 different playesr who have represented the 1st XV have made 2 or fewer appearances from 18 matches.  That’s 30% of the players.

15 of the 43 players have made 10 or more appearances from 18 matches 35% of players.

Only 6  of the 43 have lodged 15 or more appearances from 18 matches. 14% of players.

The challenge for all involved with Minety, be they coaches, players, committee, supporters, is to to find a way of unlocking this conundrum – consistency is key and we, like so many others, cannot find it.  Our challenge, irrespective of what others clubs think or do, is to step up and meet the challenge head on and forge a brighter future for the club.




Written by Graham Cooke

February 12th, 2019 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend round up

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Before we go any further, huge congratulations and commisserations to the 15 players who represented Minety so valiantly on Saturday.  If ever a rugby score did not reflect the nature of the game; the 57-3 statistic does Minety no favours at all.  It was a huge effort from all concerned and given the amount of time we spent attacking their line, our domination of both territory and possession, the score line is very cruel indeed.  Thanks also to the small but very positive band of supporters who made the journey to suppprt the team.

Minety’s loss keeps the team in 7th place although we have dropped two more points behind Trowbridge, who gained those points in a high scoring but narrow defeat by 3rd placed Warminster.

Below us, Sutton Benger’s match is recorded as being abandoned, although there are no further details.  It presumably means that they will have to replay their match aganst 5th placed Royal Wootton Bassett.

Elsewhere, Combe Down kept up their relentless march to the divisional title with another comprehensive win, this time away at Chippenham.  This means that in 16 games they have recorded bonus points for 4 tries or more on 13 occasions – impressive stuff.

Avonvale are the only team who can catch them, and they maintained their fine record against other teams in the league with their win against MInety.

3rd placed Warminster saw off 6th placed Trowbridge while in the league’s other games, Melksham were comfortable winners against Calne, who Minety face next weekend at Minety Fields, while in the battle of the basement duo, Pewsey overcame the winless Supermarine.

Attention now turns to next weekend with both Minety teams at home, the 1st XV hosting Calne while the 2nd XV face up to Swindon.

The 2nd XV’s match against Supermarine was called off after the Swindon club withdrew their 2nd XV from Division 3 North earlier in the week.

Benjamin, our resident statistician, has produced some fascinating data regarding the 1st XV – all will be revealed exclusively on this site tomorrow.


Written by Graham Cooke

February 11th, 2019 at 9:57 am

Posted in Home Page,News

A harsh lesson for Minety

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Minety’s run of losses in the Dorset and Wilts league was extended to three on Saturday when they were taught a harsh lesson in finishing by a confident and well drilled Avonvale side.  The Batheaston unit, beaten only three times this season, twice by runaway leaders Combe Down, ran in 9 tries to inflict a heavy 57 – 3 defeat of Andy Grayson’s patched up Minety side, although the casual watcher would have thought the sides much more evenly matched with Minety dominating both possession and territory, especially in a second half where they were camped on the Avonvale line for long periods.

With club captain Tom Claxton still out with a head injury, Andrew Hibbard captained a team which gave Ned Lockwood his first team debut and brought in a number of second teamers to raise a basic 15 players.

On a pitch that dropped at least 10 feet from one touchline to the other, the game kicked off under grey skies and a whirling cold wind.

Much of Avonvale’s success has been built upon their confident handling and speed of attack and Minety were forced to defend their line in the first minute, debutant Lockwood and Jay Thompson being called upon to make try saving tackles as Minety tried to organise their line.

Avonvale opened the scoring with a well worked try by the right hand corner flag.  From a lineout on the other side of the pitch the ball was moved quickly cross field for the winger to touch down.

Captain Andrew Hibbard

Hibbard looked to have broken through for an equalising try soon after but play was brought back when the assistant referee indicated a foot had touched the line.

Minety’s lineout, without regular catcher Ben Scott, also out with a head injury, held up well, Matt Chisholm in only his second match of the season, taking the ball confidently and providing good ball to the new half back pairing of Del Murray and Will Mason.

Strong tackling in midfield from Morgan Aubrey, second row Matt Stone and centre Bram Coleman kept Avonvale at bay as the home side opted for an open attacking style with Minety content to keep the ball in tight.

Minety on the attack

Minety’s attacking cost them dear in the 18th minute.  Avonvale gathered a loose ball in mid field and, after a suspiciously forward looking pass, broke the line, their second row ran in to touch down beneath the posts.  The conversion was successful and Minety were 12-0 down.  Minety struck back and centre Jack Howse, Stone and prop Colin French were all held up by a well disciplined and resolute Avonvale defence.

As Minety pressed Avonvale were penalised on a number of occasions as Hibbard drove his forwards towards the line.  Tempers flared up in the 26th minute as the battle intensified and the referee had to speak to both captains to calm the situation down.

Chris Rule and Ned Lockwood combine to keep out a try

Avonvale’s 3rd try came in the 28th minute.  With Minety desperately pressing for a try, a chip over the Avonvale defence was caught by the full back who launched an impressive attack featuring three quick passes to allow the fly half a run in from half way with the Minety defence caught upfield.

Fly half Will Mason, in his second appearance of the season, posted Minety’s first score in the 32nd minute with a long range penalty after Aubrey had been illegally cleared out of a ruck.

Morgan Aubrey “cleared” out of a ruck

Avonvale ended the half strongly with two tries in stoppage time, the first a push over from a scrum, the second a run in by the centre after play had broken down in midfield.

The villagers were reduced to 14 players in the opening minute of the second half when Howse picked up a leg injury with no players available to replace him on the bench. Avonvale capitalised on the advantage, plundering a try on the short side after a ruck near the Minety line. The 7th try came from another breakaway.  A Minety attack down the right broke down in the home 22 and a swift attacking move down the left involving four players saw the full back cross for a try which he converted to take Avonvale into a 43-3 point lead.

Ben Langridge tackled

A solo effort from scrum half Murray was taken on by Hibbard and Rule before Lockwood was held up over the line as Minety pushed for their first try.  In the next passage of play Stone, French, Murray and Hibbard all went desperately close but were kept out by the impressive Avonvale defence.

A wonderfully mazy run by Mason, beating three players, was halted on the Avonvale 22 and when Hibbard caught the clearance kick and ran it back it seemed certain that Minety would score but Stone, now playing in the centre, and full back Chris Rule both went close without being able to breach the defensive line.

Will Mason breaks free

Minety’s chances of salvaging anything from the match went with 10 minutes to go when winger Langridge suffered a re-occurrence of an ankle injury that had kept him out for a month earlier in the season and then hooker Jay Thompson suffered a shoulder injury which necessitated huge changes to the organisation of the pack.

Ned Lockwood held up over the line

Desperately tired and outnumbered all over the pitch, Minety were unable to hold out and Avonvale’s prop scored close to the posts with 3 minutes left and the Batheaston outfit finished the game with a further breakaway converted try in stoppage time to run out 57-3 victors.

Chris Rule breaks through

Coach Andy Grayson had nothing but praise for his side after the match.  “Thanks to all who played, many out of position.  I couldn’t have asked for more effort.  We were down to 14 men at the start of the 2nd half and then lost two more to significant injuries but the team kept going and I thought they were desperately unlucky not to score at least one try, especially since we had so much possession and territory.  Special mention to Ned Lockwood, making his debut on the wing; I thought he had a great game and was so unlucky not to score mid-way through the second half.  My joint men of the match were Morgan Aubrey, for his tremendous tackling, and Andrew Hibbard for his attacking play.”

Batterde and bruised, joint man of the match, Morgan Aubrey

Next week Minety take on Calne at home, hoping to arrest a slide that has now cast them adrift of the top sides, sitting in 7th place 7 points behind Trowbridge and 12 ahead of 8th placed Sutton Benger.

The “Brains Trust”



Written by Graham Cooke

February 10th, 2019 at 11:06 am

Stat Attack

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Yes, it’s a return for Anton’s favourite post.  Benny (Disraeli) has been toiling away with our statistics and has come up with these little gems to keep you going over a weekend when there is no rugby at Minety!

42 players have now donned the 1st XV shirts, the latest two to make their debuts for the season were Matt Chisholm and Gareth Thomas.  

We are just 3 debutants short of being able to put out three complete teams worth of 1st XV players.

The 1st XV have played 17 matches so far this season, including cup games but not including pre-season friendlies.

Top of the appearance charts are Ben Scott and Chris Rule, both who have featured in 16 out of the 17 fixtures (94.12%)

Hot on their heals are Tom Claxton and Jack Howse with 15 appearances (88.24%) while Andrew Hibbard and Matt Stone featured in 14 (82.35%)

7 players have featured just once this season.

Surnames starting with the letter “C” are the most numerous with 8: Chisholm, Church, Claxton, Coleman, Collins, Cooke, Crisp and Cross.

440 points have been scored by Minety 1st XV players this season (we’ll include penalty tries in this calculation).

19 players have scored points for Minety’s 1st XV this season.

Garin Garland sits atop the points scored chart with 127 (or 28.86% of the total).

59 tries have been scored by the 1st XV this season.

Garin Garland again tops this list with 9 tries, with Jack Howse not far behind on 7.

18 players have crossed the line for tries.

2 penalty tries have been awarded this season, one of which we have awarded to James Nicksen, who was high tackled in the process of touching down.

The one unattributed penalty try was the one awarded in the final seconds of the Sutton Benger match for an infringement in a scrum.

Of the 59 tries scored, 44 have been successfully converted.  That equates to 74.58% success.

Top conversion scorer is Garin Garland with 12.  Other successful conversion have come from Jack Ward (4), Ash Windle (2) and Sam Hughes (1).

The naughty step is filling up a little with 8 yellow and 1 red card handed to Minety players in the 17 games.  Recently, joining Matt Stone, Ash Windle, Jack Ward, Ben Collins, Gareth Peirce and Garin Garland, are Jay Thompson (Supermarine) and Ben Scott (Trowbridge).

Minety 1st XV sit in 7th place in the table, 5 points behind 6th placed Trowbridge and 12 above 8th placed Sutton Benger.

Minety are 35 points behind league leaders Combe Down and 34 points above the bottom team Supermarine.

Minety have scored 55 more league points than they have conceded, gaining 6 Try Bonus points (for scoring 4 or more tries in a game) and 3 Losing Bonus points (for being narrowly beaten).


Benjamin (call me Benny) is now headed for a darkened room with a large glass of a single malt!



Written by Graham Cooke

February 1st, 2019 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

6 Nations at Minety RFC

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Why not watch the “big match” on a big screen at Minety RFC on Saturday?  Tom Claxton assures us there bar will be open throughout! 

“You know it makes sense!”

Written by Graham Cooke

January 31st, 2019 at 11:21 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Trowbridge match

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Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Trowbridge is now available on this site.  It can be accessed via this link, clicking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option from the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 30th, 2019 at 8:33 am

Posted in Home Page,News

North by Northwest

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If you are interested in this year’s tour (see post below for details) but have yet to answer the survey about it, please do so before training on Tuesday night.  Your views count!

To enter your interests in the survey please click on this link.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T9VTF62



Written by Graham Cooke

January 28th, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend roundup

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Saturday’s result was certainly not what Minety wanted, losing ground to the nearest club in the league to them.  The loss, despite the valiant efforts of all 18 players who donned the shirt, keeps Minety in 7th place but the early season hopes of a top 4 place now seem distant.

Elsewhere, Combe Down enjoyed another thrashing, this time of Calne, who Minety entertain in three weeks time, while Avonvale kept up the pressure by beating Melksham, who started the day in 3rd place.  Avonvale are Minety’s next opposition at the Batheaston ground in a fortnight.

Warminster’s comfortable win over Sutton Benger has taken them up above Melksham into 3rd place while the loss means that Sutton Benger remain 12 points behind Minety in the league table.  5th placed Royal Wootton Bassett enjoyed a comfortable home win over the winless Supermarine team while 10th placed Chippenham took maximum points against 11th placed Pewsey Vale.

It is difficult to see anyone other than Avonvale denying Combe Down the championship and promotion out of the league.  Melksham and Warminster are still locked in a battle to be Wiltshire’s top team while Minety will have to perform well over the rest of the season if they are to pull themselves up the table.

In Division 3 once again 40% of matches played were conceded.  Minety’s inability to field a team at Warminster leaves them in 7th place.  At the top Amesbury kept up their fine record, maintaining their unbeaten run and sitting 7 points clear of Combe Down, who overcame 8th placed Swindon, with a 75-0 thrashing of 4th placed Chippenham. Bath Saracens did themselves some good with a comprehensive victory over 6th placed Bradford, while the match between the two teams at the bottom, Melksham and Supermarine, was an away walkover, resulting in Supermarine sitting at the bottom of the table with -24 points.

The Division is now a straight shoot out between Amesbury and Combe Down.  Minety will have to work hard if they are to improve on their 7th place in the league.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 28th, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety Tour 2019

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The 2019 Minety Tour, dubbed “North by Northwest” heads for Liverpool in April.

Day 1:    Depart Minety at 10am, after bacon and rolls and coffee from 9am.

Arrive Liverpool at 4pm.

Staying at the Premier Inn Hotel at either Aintree or Liverpool North (depending upon room availability) for 2 nights in shared (2 to a room) accommodation with breakfast.

Friday evening:  Football golf competition at local club.

Day 2:    Saturday morning: Choice of trip to Liverpool City centre or Go Karting (may incur an additional charge)

Saturday afternoon: To Waterloo RFC (Blundellsands) or Ormskirk RFC for tour match.  Exact arrangements to be determined with clubs involved)

Saturday evening:  To Liverpool and the Bierkeller for the Oompah Show etc.

Day 3:    Sunday morning:  Breakfast and then depart at 10am.

Arrive back in Minety 4pm

Originally we scheduled it for Easter weekend (Friday 19th – Sunday 21st April) but some have asked if we can change it to Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April.  We need to know, before Tuesday, when the decision will be announced at training, which dates we go for.

Even if you’ve filled in a form after the match on Saturday, can we ask anyone who might even consider coming on tour with us, to fill in and submit a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T9VTF62 

Many thanks

Written by Graham Cooke

January 27th, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety misery mired in the mud

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Minety’s bright start to 2019 has hit the buffers hard.  After two fine wins at the start of the month, Andy Grayson’s team have now suffered back to back losses against Sutton Benger and Trowbridge, teams that they would have expected to beat earlier in the campaign.

Saturday’s 15 – 0 defeat by fellow mid table team Trowbridge was the first time that Minety have suffered a “shut out” since March 2018, when they were on the end of a hammering by eventual champions Bradford on Avon.

On a pitch dampened by a pre match shower and in rather blustery conditions, the home side kicked off up the slope, the team showing a number of changes to the line-up, with, once again, numerous players playing out of their usual positions.

Early signs were good with the new half back combination of Garin Garland and Dave Cooke using their powerful forwards to push Trowbridge back.  Flanker Mark Glew was only stopped inches from the line in the 2nd minute while number 8 Andrew Hibbard was on the end of another move that ended with a thumping tackle close to the visitors line as Minety sought an early lead.

Garin Garland before his injury

Having seen off Minety’s early pressure, Trowbridge kicked their way into home territory and began to move the slippery ball confidently but were thwarted by fine tackles from winger Chris Rule, flanker Morgan Aubrey and full back Duncan Simpson.

Trowbridge opened the scoring in the 7th minute.  A missed tackle in midfield allowed their fly half to slice through the Minety defence and, although he was stopped, the ball broke to the outside centre who cleverly cut back against the direction of play to touch down beneath the posts. The conversion was straight forward and Trowbridge led 7-0.

For the second week running an injury proved pivotal to the outcome of the game.  Last week Minety lost specialist fly half Sam Hughes to a concussion; this week it was Minety’s top point scorer and play maker scrum half Garland, suffering a dislocated shoulder in the 12th minute.  The injury forced coach Grayson to make a number of changes, moving flanker Glew to scrum half and shuffling his pack, introducing Matt Chisholm to the action.

The Minety pack, which despite being smaller than most opposition 8’s, has been dominant this season, once again proved its worth, pushing Trowbridge back.  When Hibbard picked up at the back of a scrum and dived for the line most thought Minety had scored; sadly, the referee didn’t see it that way and brought play back for a reset scrum.  Despite all of their pressure, Minety were unable to score and the game became a forwards battle in midfield although Trowbridge always looked dangerous when the play became open and their quick backs could attack down the flanks.

Hibbard reaches for the line

Another break down the middle almost saw Trowbridge through for their second try but the ball was dislodged in a tackle allowing Matt Stone to counter attack down the wing, with Hibbard in support as Minety tried to clear their lines.  With props Colin French and Andy Darrall tackling hard and closing down space, Minety were able to hold Trowbridge in midfield. 

Minety’s scrum and lineout continued to dominate but with so many positional changes, they lacked the ability to be able to clear their lines and set up the type of flowing rugby that categorised their early season successes.

In the final minute of the half Trowbridge increased their lead with a penalty to end the half 10-0 to the good.

The visitors started the second half strongly but once again, fearless tackling from the Minety players, notably Aubrey and fellow flanker Gareth Peirce, held them back as both teams sought to move the ball on a pitch that was cutting up quickly.  Free running centre Jack Howse was always a threat to the visitors while the pack held firm and Ben Scott and Hibbard continued their domination at lineout.

Ben Scott takes another lineout

Coach Grayson brought on Gareth Thomas for Darrall on the hour and introduced Del Murray at fly half, moving Cooke back to his accustomed position on the wing.

Trowbridge effectively settled the match shortly after with their second try, scored by their centre as the Minety defence tried to re-organise.  The conversion was successfully charged down by Simpson but with the rain falling and the scrummages now deemed “uncontested” after Trowbridge withdrew a prop and were unable to replace him, Minety’s final chances slipped away in the mud.

Morgan Aubrey & Chris Rule tackle

Coach Grayson was philosophical at the end.  “I thought we put in and immense effort and I can’t fault any of the 18 players who wore the Minety shirt.  We had so many players in unaccustomed positions and no real system to fall back on but they gave everything.  For his tackling and rucking, my Man of the Match must go to Morgan Aubrey.”

Man of the Match: Morgan Aubrey

Next week Minety have a very welcome week off.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 27th, 2019 at 10:51 am

Match conceded

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Today’s 2nd XV match at Warminster has been conceded by Minety due to lack of players.

Today’s 1st XV match at home to Trowbridge kicks off at 2.15pm.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 26th, 2019 at 11:42 am

Posted in Home Page,News

North by Northwest

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Written by Graham Cooke

January 25th, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend Fixtures

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Written by Graham Cooke

January 25th, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

The missing point

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In the review of last weekend’s fixtures I alluded to the fact that although Minety and Trowbridge have identical results, Trowbridge have one more league point than Minety.  Like many, I was perplexed (perplexed of Malmesbury!).  It seems, however, that the shroud of confusion has been lifted by the industry of our 1st team captain, Tom Claxton.  Tom has delved back into the results throughout the season and has found that Trowbridge benefited from a Home Walkover in their match against Pewsey and it is the extra point that they gleaned from that result, which does not show up in the raw data of the league table, that accounts for the difference.

And to think, we may have been on the cusp of a sequel!





Written by Graham Cooke

January 23rd, 2019 at 9:35 am

Posted in Home Page,News