Minety RFC

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Minety’s guest speaker, Ashley Rowden

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Ashley Rowden

Ashley Rowden

Refereeing the big boys

In 2014 BBC Berkshire ran the following article on our guest speaker.

Berkshire based Ashley Rowden is one of England’s most respected Rugby Union referees. In his distinguished career he has sent over 90 players to the sin-bin and refereed over a 130 Premiership matches.

Ashley first caught the refereeing bug from his father at the tender age of seven. He’s seen many changes in the sport. However, the level of respect the players have for the referee hasn’t changed much.

“I think when you introduce money into any sport, people view it differently. Fortunately we still have a huge amount of respect for the players on the field.

“Players want to win more. Now it’s about playing for contracts, many players are on short term two-year-contracts.

“If they get relegated, they may be out of a job. If they get promoted or win a trophy they’ll get bonuses. But we still seem to have that level of respect that football is sadly lacking.”

Rugby playersDiscipline in any sport is incredibly important, particularly if it’s a full contact one, like rugby. It also seems to be a two-way street, when it comes to maintaining discipline, with the team captains playing a big part.

“When we do pre-match meetings, we speak to the captains for a couple of minutes.

“I usually say, ‘the discipline is down to you gentlemen, if your players step out of line, I or my assistant referee will get involved’.

“But I don’t really want that. If we have to get involved, there’s going to be a sanction of some sort.”

Being in the limelight and rubbing shoulders with the world’s top rugby players isn’t always as enjoyable as you may first think.

“On match day, it’s hard to enjoy it, because it’s so tense and there is so much pressure. You get to enjoy it on the Monday or the Tuesday after. You can relax and only then you realise you’ve done a good job.

Rugby players“It’s a different type of enjoyment on the pitch. It’s enjoyable in a sadistic way. I’m a bit wary of not smiling too much as it can be misinterpreted. You do smile, but you have to pick your moment.”

Whether you’re a player or a referee, you need to have a good level of fitness. The training schedule is pretty gruelling for both parties.

“I’m getting slower as I get older. I train three or four times a week, for about an hour at a time. As the game has become more professional, we as referees have tried to keep up with the players.

“We now get tested three or four times a year on our speed, endurance, body fat and knowledge on the rules of the game.

This professionalism is synchronised with the way they act on the field.

“We aim to get a consensus, so we all try and referee the games in the same way. Obviously with humans you’re not going to get total uniformity.”

Though Ashley juggles his part time refereeing with a full time job, his professionalism and interest has always been a hundred per cent.

Not got your ticket yet?  There’s still time, but not much!

Please reserve your place with Andy Somers or Ken Wright.
Tickets £35.
It’s going to be a great night, so don’t miss out.
Limited to 85 places, so 1st come 1st served.
Thank you
For more information contact Andy on 07810 546341 or email him at andy@greenandpurple.co.uk

Written by Graham Cooke

May 23rd, 2018 at 9:40 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2018

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We are delighted to announce that Club Coach Andy Grayson has been nominated in the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2018. Launched in January 2017, these awards provide greater numbers of grassroots rugby volunteers with opportunities to be recognised and rewarded for their dedication to the game.

Andy will be attending a local celebration event, one of 42 taking place around the country, at Swindon Mitsubishi on Wednesday 20th June 2018.

One volunteer attending this event will be selected as a Volunteer of the Year finalist, receiving an invitation to a black tie awards evening at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 7th September 2018. At the Volunteer of the Year evening in September, three volunteers will be announced as overall winners and will each receive a Mitsubishi vehicle for the year in recognition of their outstanding voluntary support for rugby.

We wish Andy all the very best for this competition.

Written by Graham Cooke

May 19th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Annual Club Dinner

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Please come and join us for the annual club dinner on Friday June 1st, 7:30pm for 8pm
3 course meal provided by our VP lunch caterers, trophy presentations and prominent guest speaker confirmed as Ashley Rowden, one of England’s most respected rugby referees, with over 500 Premiership match appearances as ref, assistant ref, citing commissioner and 4th official. In an illustrious career, Ashley has sin binned 90+ players, including Martin Johnson and Neil Back in the same match, so he has some great stories.
Please reserve your place with Andy Somers or Ken Wright.
Tickets £35.
It’s going to be a great night, so don’t miss out.
Limited to 85 places, so 1st come 1st served.
Thank you
For more information contact Andy on 07810 546341 or email him at andy@greenandpurple.co.uk
We’ll be providing more background information about our guest speaker in the following week.

Written by Graham Cooke

May 18th, 2018 at 10:16 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Summer Touch Rugby at Minety

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Calling all juniors, seniors, regulars, newbies and those who have fallen away from rugby…

Summer Touch Rugby returned to Minety on Tuesday 15th May at 7pm with a terrific turnout … buit it’s not too late to join the fun.  Minety Summer Touch Rugby will continue throughout the summer on Tuesday evenings at 7pm and all are welcome

It’s Mixed gender and caters for all ages and abilities. It’s great fun and an ideal way to get back into rugby. You even have the chance to win the much coveted ‘Player of the Summer’ trophy!

So come along for a run around and a good laugh!


Written by Graham Cooke

May 18th, 2018 at 10:09 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety 7’s

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Next weekend, the rugby festival to top them all – yes, it ain’t summer if it ain’t the Minety 7’s.

Top class rugby action.

The RAF Falcons Parachute Team jumping in.

The Horus, “World Record” holding, 7 a side rugby team.

Loads of attractions for all the family.

Written by Graham Cooke

May 7th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Avonvale match now available

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The 21st, and final Division 1 match of the season, at Avonvale, is now available on MTV through this link, by clicking on the icon or by choosing Minety Player from the right hand menu.

And that’s MTV done and dusted for this rugby season: 21 1st XV matches, 2 Pre season matches and 1 2nd XV match.

We now turn our attention to 2018 – 2019.

Written by Graham Cooke

May 6th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Stat Attack!

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This week’s Stat Attack! takes account of both Swindon and Avonvale fixtures.

  • Minety’s match at Swindon was, in fact, a home fixture.
  • It was the first time the Minety players had played an evening match since a pre season warm up game.
  • It was the first time that a Minety game had been played under floodlights this season, although at least one home fixture in the depths of winter could have been helped by floodlighting, it got that dark.
  • It was not the first time this season that only 15 players had been available, so no replacements in the event of injury.
  • Steve White’s massive bang on the head late on meant the team finished the game with only 14 players on the pitch.
  • The four first half tries assured Minety of the bonus point and meant they had to hold on for a win that would guarantee 4th place in the league.
  • Andrew Hibbard captained the team in the absence of the injured Tom Claxton.
  • Dave Cooke became the 5th player to play at fly half this season (after Adam Watt, Tom McAllister, Jack Ward and John Blair)
  • Ben Kingston scored his first try (the all important 4th try) in only his second match for the 1st XV this season.
  • No player of Scottish ancestry (or, at least, no one who’s owned up to it yet) played at Swindon.  Colin French was in attendance as a supporter.
  • At Avonvale, it was the furthest that any 1st team player has had to walk from changing room to pitch.  (Out of the changing room, along a narrow road to the main road, turn right and down the hill and then right again and further down the hill onto the pitch).
  • Jay Thompson and Scott Glew became the 45th and 46th players to play for the 1st XV this season over 21 league matches (should have been 22 but Pewsey Vale conceded).
  • Over the course of the season Minety won 13, drew 1 and lost 8 matches, scoring 468 points and conceding 357.
  • Minety scored 111 points more than they conceded.
  • Minety finished 16 points below 3rd placed Avonvale and 1 point above 5th placed Warminster.
  • Given that Combe Down and Avonvale aren’t actually in Wiltshire, we were the second placed Wiltshire team, behind the champions Bradford on Avon.
  • Minety finished 63 points above the bottom club and 27 behind the top club.
  • 5 of Minety’s 8 losses came against the three clubs above them.
  • Minety scored an average of 22 points per game and conceded 17.
  • Minety failed to score in just 2 fixtures, against champions Bradford and second placed Combe Down.
  • During Saturday’s match at Avonvale there were 7 attempts at either a penalty or conversion; all were successful!
  • The top appearances for Minety 1st XV this season were as follows:
    • Garin Garland 19/21 90%
    • Tom Claxton 18/21 86%
    • Ben Scott 18/21 86%
    • Dave Cooke 17/21 81%
    • Andrew Hibbard 17/21 81%
    • Jack Howse 17/21 81%
    • Chris Rule 16/21 76%
  • Top Points scorers (out of 468 scored in the league)
    • Garin Garland 230  (49% of the total)
    • Dave Cooke 40 (8.6%)
    • Matt Roberts 25 (5.3%)
    • Jack Ward 25 (5.3%)
    • Jack Howse 20 (4.3%)
  • 20 players scored for Minety is 2017 / 2018
  • The team received 17 yellow cards and 1 red card in 21 matches
  • There have never been more than 12 players playing together in consecutive matches all season.
  • Tom Claxton, Mark Glew and Jay Thompson were the only players to be listed at No. 2 throughout the season.
  • 11 players made just one appearance each for the 1st XV
  • Jack Howse had the longest run of consecutive appearances with 16.
  • Colin French, with 11 appearances, was the Scotsman with the most appearances.
  • I videoed 24 matches (21 Division 1, 1 Division 3 and 2 Pre season friendlies).
  • Anton failed to make it onto the pitch as a player despite missing just one 1st XV match all season.
  • Benjamin Disreali failed to make a single appearance.
  • 70,000 views on the website since February 2016 suggests that there is still a market for rubbish!
  • This is the last Stat Attack! of the season (huge breath of relief).

As Disraeli once said, “Thank God that’s over!”



Written by Graham Cooke

May 2nd, 2018 at 11:29 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Swindon match available

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MTV’s coverage of the Minety Swindon match, played at Swindon under floodlights, on Wednesday 25th April is now available and can be accessed through this link, clicking on the MTV icon or via the Minety Player option on the right hand menu.

Minety had to win and secure the 4 try bonus point to confirm a 4th place finish in the league with just one match to play.



Written by Graham Cooke

May 2nd, 2018 at 9:38 am

Posted in Home Page,News

The Final League table

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Minety’s valiant 31-13 defeat at Avonvale was the very last match in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North for 2017 – 2018 season.  The bonus point win on Wednesday at Swindon meant that all Minety had to do was put 15 players on the pitch at Avonvale, and thus avoid a 5 point penalty for conceding a fixture, and 4th place in the league was guaranteed.  Certainly the performance put in by a very experimental lineup on Saturday was far more than “just turning up” material – they pushed Avonvale very hard but two converted tries in each half and a penalty saw the Bath based team home with something of a flattering scoreline.

MTV will be back tomorrow with the Swindon match and then later in the week with the Avonvale game.

In the meantime, take more than a pinch of satisfaction looking at the league table.  4th place was the target set by the coahes at the start of the season but even they could not have imagined the massive injury toll that put such a strain upon playing resources.  Given that the teams in 2nd  and 3rd place aren’t located in either Dorest or Wiltshire, it makes Minety’s performance even better.

And let’s not forget the 2nd XV, whose final position in the table was largely influenced by match concession penalties when they were forced to cancel matches in order to help the 1st XV out.

A full review of the season for both teams will appear in the coming weeks.

But here’s the Division 1 table in full.

Written by Graham Cooke

May 1st, 2018 at 9:58 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Beaten but unbowed

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A patched up Minety team ended their fine season with a loss at 3rd placed Avonvale in a much closer match than the 31-13 score line suggested.

Scott & Mark Glew

With a number of players facing their 3rd game in 8 days and giving season debuts to Jay Thompson and 47 year old Scott Glew, the village team entered the match knowing that 4th place, in a very competitive league, was assured after the midweek win at Swindon.

Avonvale showed their intent early on with a fine crossfield move through their backs which stretched the Minety defence but the villagers clawed themselves back into the contest, keeping the ball in the forwards and using the pace and power of captain Andrew Hibbard and flanker Ben Sellick to relieve the pressure.

As the game opened up, Minety increasingly relied upon scrum half Garin Garland’s quick breaks and defensive line speed to break up Avonvale’s well organised attacks.

It was no surprise when Avonvale opened the scoring. A six phase move saw the ball out wide on the left and the 1st try was scored.  A fine conversion followed putting the home team 7-0 in the lead.

Minety came back strongly, centres Chris Rule and Jack Howse using their power and pace to push Avonvale back but the village team were unable to transform possession into points against a well organised and disciplined Avonvale defence.

A change in tactics saw a long penalty kick chased down by winger Del Murray near the Avonvale line. Minety chose to run the ensuing penalty and first Sellick and then Garland and Ben Langridge were held up inches from the line.

When Avonvale were penalised again, Garland stroked home the penalty to bring the scores back to 7-3.

Avonvale struck back with their second try in the 28th minute.  After a series of forward based attacks down the left, the play was switched across field for their right winger to touch down near the corner flag.  Another long range conversion was successful and Avonvale led 14-3.

A Garland penalty on the stroke of half time saw the teams change ends with Avonvale 14-6 up.

The opening phases of the 2nd half were evenly contested although Avonvale always looked dangerous when the ball went out wide.

The decisive moment came in the 55th minute.  The physically larger Avonvale team began to dominate a visibly tiring Minety side, many of whom were playing their second match in four days.  With the Avonvale pack pushing Minety back onto their own line, the referee spotted an errant hand on the ball and awarded a penalty try to Avonvale.

When centre Chris Rule picked up a leg injury, 47 year old Scott Glew, making his season debut, joined his son Mark in the Minety front row.

Avonvale’s 4th try came from another forward drive before the ball was moved back for the centre to break the line and touch down beneath the posts.  Yet another successful conversion saw Avonvale stretch their lead to 22 points.

Ben Sellick

A long range penalty in the 75th minute took Avonvale’s advantage to 31-6 but Minety’s grit and resolve was summed up in the last play of the match, and the season, when Sellick intercepted a pass and ran 60 metres to score Minety’s try wide out on the left.

Garland capped a fine individual performance with a conversion to leave the final score Avonvale 31 Minety 13.

Coach Andy Grayson had nothing but praise for his side.  “I thought it was a really great effort from the lads.  They never gave up and fully deserved that try at the end.  At the start of the season I thought we were capable of a 4th place finish and we’ve managed it.”

Written by Graham Cooke

April 29th, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Last match of the season

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It’s the last match of the season for Minety RFC.  The 2nd XV have completed their league programme but the 1st XV must travel to Avonvale today for their final fixture.

Avonvale RFC play at Bathford Playing Fields, Bathford, Bath. BA2 7AU

After their fine away win at Swindon on Wednesday evening, Tom Claxton’s team need to take to the field today to confirm their magnificent 4th place in the final league table.

Full match report will appear here on this site tomorrow morning.



Written by Graham Cooke

April 28th, 2018 at 10:35 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Mission accomplished

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Minety secure 4th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North!

Minety were forced to travel to Swindon for their final “home” match of the season, the game being played midweek under lights, in the knowledge that a bonus point win would clinch 4th place in the league at the end of a bruising and injury ravaged season.

Fielding just 15 players and with several playing out of their usual positions, the Minety team rose to the challenge magnificently, winning 39-14 and gaining that necessary bonus point.

Swindon kicked off into a stiff breeze on a firm and well grassed pitch but it was the visitors who dominated the early exchanges, going ahead in the 3rd minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty after Swindon were penalised for a high tackle on the dangerous Minety full back, Matt Roberts.

Just minutes later, flanker Kieran Tillotson had a try ruled out after a pass to him was adjudged to have drifted forward but Minety maintained the pressure and only a fine interception prevented Roberts from scoring after fly half Dave Cooke had broken through the Swindon defence.

Garland extended the lead in the 9th minute with his second penalty.

The young scrum half tormented the Swindon defence with his darting runs and his quickly taken penalty almost saw centre Jack Howse through for the opening try but the ball went to ground.  Garland was on hand when the resulting Swindon scrum was turned by the powerful Minety pack and the ball broke free.  With his conversion successful, Minety led by 13-0.

Swindon fought back and were denied a try by some fine defensive tackling but Minety scored again when powerful centre Jack Howse seized on the ball in midfield, kicked ahead and then won the chase to touch down.  Garland’s conversion sailed between the posts and Minety were 20-0 up.

Fly half, Dave Cooke

From the kick-off Garland sliced through the Swindon line and ran 60 metres before being hauled down but the ball broke to Tillotson who off loaded for Cooke to score for Minety’s 3rd try and extend the lead to 25.

With the natural light fading, Swindon hit back, their outside  centre crashing through the Minety line to score close to the posts.

As the half reached its end, Number 8 Andrew Hibbard, captaining the team in Tom Claxton’s enforced absence, was held up on the line as Minety chased the 4th, and bonus point winning, try.

The all-important score came in the last play of the half.  Garland intercepted a pass on his own 22 and sprinted away before passing to outside centre Ben Kingston, making only his second 1st XV appearance of the season, who ran in from just inside his own half to touch down under the posts.  Garland’s 3rd successful conversion took the half time score to 32-7.

With the wind behind them and the floodlights taking effect, Swindon dominated the early stages of the second half and both Roberts and Tillotson put in bone jarring tackles to hold back the tide.

Hibbard and centre Chris Rule held up a Swindon forwards’ move as Minety’s defence held firm and it was only a last ditch tackle from prop Rob Hinwood beneath the posts that prevented a try.

Against the run of play, it was Minety who scored next.  Winger Ben Langridge intercepted a pass on his 10 metre line, drove forward before Howse fed Cooke, who ran in to touch down from 40 metres out.  Garland’s conversion stretched the lead to 39-7.

Swindon struck back with a try from one of their forwards, the successful conversion ending the scoring at 39-14 leaving Minety to manage the final 20 minutes of play.

The village team might have had a 6th try late on when a fine backs’ move deep in their own 22 released winger Steve White, who ran 50 metres before being hauled down by Swindon’s last line of defence.  The winger was subsequently forced off with a head injury and Minety had to play out the final 10 minutes with just 14 players.

Coach Andy Grayson was full of praise for his team after the win.  “It was a fine all round team performance.  We achieved what we set out to do, gain that win and the bonus point, and did it against a spirited and doughty Swindon side.  A number of performances caught the eye but Man of the Match must go to Dave Cooke, playing his first ever match at fly half, who took his two tries well and impressed throughout.”

Minety now travel to Avonvale on Saturday for their final match of the season, secure in the knowledge that 4th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 is theirs.

Earlier Minety 2nd XV ended their league campaign, beaten by league champions Corsham in a tight game by 26-10 at Minety Fields.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 27th, 2018 at 11:45 am

1st XV secure 4th place in league

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On a dramatic night of rugby for Minety RFC the 1st XV travelled to Swindon for their re-arranged fixture under floodlights and came away with the vital win and bonus point to secure 4th place in the league, behind Bradford, Combe Down and Avonvale, but crucially above Warminster.

The final result at Swindon was Minety 39 Swindon 14 (the match was played at Swindon but was actually a Minety home match).  The village side scored 5 tries in all.

In the evening’s other fixture, the 2nd XV put up a valiant fight against the runaway division champions Corsham but eventually went down by 26-10 at Minety Fields.

A full match report on the 1st XV game will be available on this site tonight or tomorrow morning.

The 1st XV have one final match, away at Avonvale, on Saturday afternoon.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 26th, 2018 at 6:47 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Next Fixtures

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Written by Graham Cooke

April 25th, 2018 at 10:04 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of 2nd XV match now available

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The cameras (ok, camera) from MTV engineered a swift change of plan after the 1st Division match with Pewsey Vale was conceded by the visitors, instead journeying over to the delights of Oldfield Park RFC to capture the best of the Division 3 clash between Minety 2nd XV and Bath Saracens.

The action can be accessed by clicking on this link, clicking on the MTV icon or via the Minety Player option on the right hand menu.

So much choice; so little time!

Written by Graham Cooke

April 25th, 2018 at 9:56 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Wednesday 25th April

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Minety RFC is just 3 matches away from the end of the league campaigns in Dorset and Wilts Division1 and 3.  The 1st XV have two matches in four days, on Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon, while the 2nd XV wrap up their season with a match on Wednesday evening.

The 1st XV match is scheduled as a “home” match against Swindon but because of the 7pm kick off time it has been moved to Swindon where the game can be completed under a full set of floodlights.  This is a vital fixture for Tom Claxton’s team, a bonus point win would ensure them 4th place in the league with a tough away fixture at 3rd placed Avonvale to come on Saturday afternoon.   Swindon have had a torrid time in the league this season but Minety cannot be complacent; it will take a good all round performance to get the necessary win and nobody is taking anything for granted.

The 2nd XV, already assured of a 7th place finish in the league, face table topping Corsham, who have only slipped to one defeat all season.  Matt Stone and his team will have been buoyed by their fine away win at Bath Saracens on Saturday but know that Corsham will be a different kettle of fish.  This match kicks off at 6.30pm at Minety Fields on Wednesday in the hope that it can be concluded without the necessity for floodlighting.



Written by Graham Cooke

April 24th, 2018 at 11:13 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from the weekend

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After the disappointment of last week, where the 1st XV narrowly lost at Melksham and Warminster gained 5 league points with a walkover, this week’s results have gone some way to reversing the situation with the two Minety teams picking up 5 league points each.

In Division 1 Bradford confirmed their promotion and championship with a comprehensive win over a spirited Trowbridge team.  Combe Down, already assured of a play off place for promotion, gave Chippenham a bit of a beating.  Avonvale’s victory at Warminster denied the home team a losing bonus point and confirmed thrid place for league’s newest team.  The loss of any points for Warminster and Minety’s 5 points for the walkover over Pewsey Vale mean that the village team sit just four points behind Warminster with two games in hand, on Wednesday night against Swindon (at Swindon because of the need for floodlights) and away at Avonvale next Saturday.  A 4th place finish would be remarkable for a club the size of Minety, competing with much bigger clubs with amazing facilities. Captain Tom Claxton will hope that they will be able to get those 5 points on Wednesday against the league’s bottom club and so avoid the pressure of having to go to Avonvale next Saturday knowing that a win or, at very least, a losing bonus point was necessary.

In Division 3 North Minety’s bonus point, 6 try win at Bath Saracens moved them up to 7th place.  It was good to see so many  of the regular 1st XV players going across to Bath to cheer on their team mates.  The performance of some of nthe youngsters, and no so youngsters, certainly caught the eye of club coach Andy Grayson.  Minety now have one last fixture against the champions Corsham (full details on this site tomorrow).

We must thank everyone at Bath Saracens for a very friendly welcome and a good game, and wish them all the best in the future.

Elsewhere, Corsham maintained their excellent run of form withy a big bwin at local rivals Chippenham, Swindon enjoyed a similar success against their local rivals Supermarine whilst Bradford overcame bottom club Melksham with some ease.




Written by Graham Cooke

April 23rd, 2018 at 8:59 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety turn on the style

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Minety turn on the style.

With the 1st XV match conceded by visitors Pewsey Vale, all eyes turned on the 2nd XV’s match away at Bath Saracens in Dorset and Wilts Division 3.

The match, played at Oldfields RFC very attractive venue, pitched 6th placed Bath Saracens against 8th placed Minety and gave visiting coach Andy Grayson a chance to look at some of the emerging talent in the 2nd XV.

Man of the Match, James Nickson

The visitors started the match pushing the Saracens back into their own 22 and dominating the open play, teenage scrum half James Nickson martialling his troops with an assurity which belied his youth and relative inexperience.

With hooker Mark Glew’s powerful running in midfield and the dangerous full back Ben Kingston always looking for counter attacking opportunities, Minety applied pressure across the pitch but were unable to find a way through Saracens’ well organised defence.

Veteran 2nd row Phil Ward was dominant at the back of the line out and Minety enjoyed quality ball so it was something of a surprise that they failed to open the scoring before the 27th minute.

A series of rucks near the Saracens line ended with the dangerous Glew taking the ball at pace and slicing through the defence for the first try.  NIckson’s long range conversion was a success and Minety led 7-0.

Minety doubled their lead 4 minutes later with one of the tries of the season.  From a scrum just outside of his own 22, Nicksen picked up the ball and dummied the Saracens’ defence before streaking clear, side stepping the full back and toughing down beneath the posts.  His conversion sailed between the uprights and Minety led 14-0.

Glew scored his 2nd, and Minety’s 3rd try from a forwards’ pushover just before half time as coach Grayson made a number of changes, experimenting with players playing in unaccustomed positions.

With both teams making full use of bench players in the very hot sunshine, Minety started the 2nd half 19-0 up.

They wrapped up the 4 try bonus point in the 48th minute.  Nickson fed replacement fly half Dave Cooke.  His long pass was caught by centre Bram Coleman, whose flicked pass set Garin Garland in for a try near the posts.  Coleman kicked the conversion to put the visitors 26 points clear.

In the energy sapping conditions, it was great credit to both teams for the high pace that the game was played at.

Despite the score line, Saracens continued to play open, attacking rugby and richly deserved their opening try in the 63rd minute.  After a fluent backs’ move along the line, play switched in field and a clever “grubber” kick through the Minety line allowed the home side’s inside centre to touch down under the posts.

Minety hit back with some forceful running from the powerful Gareth Thomas but it was the home side who scored next with a fine “length of the pitch” try involving 6 players before the scrum half touched down beneath the posts.  The successful conversion brought the scores back to 26-14.

All chances of an unlikely comeback were halted 2 minutes later when centre Del Murray cleverly picked his way through the home defence to score under the posts.

The 6th Minety try came in the 77th minute when the impressive Kingston broke through to touch down, Coleman converting to end the match 40-14 in Minety’s favour.

Coach Grayson was delighted with the performance of the whole squad but singled out James Nickson for particular praise after a Man of the Match performance.

Minety’s win lifts them into 7th place in the league with one fixture remaining of the season against champions Corsham.

In Division 1, Minety’s home walkover and Warminster’s defeat at home to Avonvale mean that the village side lie 4 points behind Warminster with two matches in hand in the fight for 4th place in the league.

Written by Graham Cooke

April 22nd, 2018 at 12:15 pm

2nd XV match

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We’ve just been informed that Bath Saracens v Minety 2nd XV match will be played at Oldfield RFC, whose address is Shaft Rd, Bath BA2 7HP.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 21st, 2018 at 10:51 am

Posted in Home Page,News

1st XV match off

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News has just come in that Pewsey Vale have conceded the match against Minety 1st XV, due to be played at Minety this afternoon (21st April) due to a lack of fit players.

The 2nd XV match at Bath Saracens is still going ahead; all support for the 2nds would be greatly appreciated. If you are planning to travel the full address for Bath Saracens is Bath Saracens RFC, Sulis Sports Club, Claverton Down Road, Bath, BA2 7AU

Both Minety teams are due to be back in action on Wednesday evening – more details on Monday.




Written by Graham Cooke

April 21st, 2018 at 10:40 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV (or murcky TV) is back

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MTV returns (a little out of focus this week because the bright sunlight made viewing in the camera’s viewfinder almost impossible), so we’ll call it “Murky TV” rather than “Minety TV”.  This week we feature highlights (or the bits that weren’t so out of focus as to be rendered impossible to view) of the match between Minety and Melksham played at Melksham’s beautiful ground on Saturday 14th April in bright, bright sunlight.

Click here or on the MTV logo to bring up the MTV page and the match footage.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 18th, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Stat Attack!

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Yes, it’s back (collective groans), after frequent requests for its return (cheers Tom), for another meander through statistics, odd facts and oddments.

  1. On Saturday 7 new players donned the 1st XV shirt in the 2017-2018 season.
  2. That means that 45 players have played for the 1st XV over the 19 matches in D&W1N this season (that’s 3 complete teams!)
  3. John Blair, Joe Kidner, Gareth Peirce, Andy Ward, Ben Kingston, Phil Ward and Ken Wright join the list of 1st XV players in 2017-2018.
  4. 11 players have appeared just once for the 1st XV this season.
  5. Top appearances: Tom Claxton, with 18 out of 19 (95%). 2nd top, Garin Garland with 17 from 19 (90%).
  6. With 5 penalties on Saturday Garin has passed the 200 point mark for the season.
  7. Garin’s 203 points represent 48.8% of the 416 points scored by the team this season.
  8. Dave Cooke still sits in 2nd place in the scoring charts with Matt Roberts and Jack Ward tied for 3rd.
  9. 18 different players have scored points for the 1st XV this season.
  10. Ben Sellick’s rather unfortunate yellow card against Melksham was the team’s 17th in 19 games.
  11. Ben joins 9 others on the “naughty step”.
  12. The Scottish tradition was maintained, despite Colin French still being injured and Duncan Simpson being somewhere in the Far East. Del Murray, he of the kilt at a recent social, played in the centre on Saturday.
  13. The losing bonus point on Saturday assures Minety of at least 5th place in the league, with a slim chance at 4th still open.
  14. 4th placed Warminster’s HWO over Pewsey put them 9 points ahead; Minety have two games in hand.
  15. Minety’s bench totalled 164 years on Saturday, almost certainly a club record for a 1st XV league match.

Now, 164 years ago, we find ourselves in 1854.

  1. Disraeli, who is still nursing a niggling injury, was 50.
  2. Victoria was on the throne.
  3. George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, was Prime Minister.
  4. Cheltenham Ladies’ College opened.
  5. The Crimean War started.
  6. An epidemic of cholera killed 10,000 people in London.
  7. Charles Dickens published “Hard Times”.
  8. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “The Charge of the Light Brigade”
  9. Oscar Wilde was born.

Whilst on the other side of the “pond”, Franklin Pierce (not Peirce (weird but true)) was Prseident and the 1st Souix War began after the Gratton Massacre.

As Diraeli famously said after the defeat at Melksham,  Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.

Written by Graham Cooke

April 17th, 2018 at 9:59 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from the weekend

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On the face of it, Minety’s loss at 8th placed Melksham would have been a disappointment, especially since they led at half time, but given the make up of the team (see the match report), the 18 players put in an immense effort and came away with a richly deserved losing bonus point to add to our league tally and keep us just about in touch with 4th placed Warminster with three matches left in the season.

Minety were really relying upon Pewsey Vale, who we meet at Minety Fields next Saturday, to beat Warminster to close the gap up completely, but Pewsey conceded the match and Warminster picked up 5 league points as a consequence.

Elsewhere, Bradford defeated 3rd placed Avonvale and now require just a single point from their last league match of the season, at home to 11th placed Trowbridge, to secure the title and promotion.  2nd placed Combe Down kept up the pressure with a convincing 43-10 away win at Trowbridge while Chippenham inflicted another defeat on Supermarine and Bassett comprehensively overcame Swindon, who Minety face a week on Wednesday at Minety Fields, to condemn the home side to relegation.

In effect, half of the 2nd XV were playing for the 1sts at Melksham and so the match against 3rd placed Warminster was conceded pushing Minety down into 7th place with 2 matches to go to the end of a difficult season for Matt Stone and his team.  Bad weather, poor pitch conditions and a general lack of playing staff across the club meant that the 2nds were often unable to field a team simply because so many players were required to keep the 1st team in action.

Elsewhere, in the battle of the two top teams, Trowbridge came out on top against Corsham in a match they had to win in order to stand a chance of the title.  Corsham’s loss, their only one thus far, means they will have to wait until this weekend to secure the title at Chippenham.  In their last match of the season, a week on Wednesday, they face Minety at Minety Fields for an evening match to round off a hugely successful campaign.

Bath Saracens’ big win against bottom club Melksham has put them clear of Minety in 6th place, while Supermarine lost and Bradford conceded, results which kept Minety in 7th place.



Written by Graham Cooke

April 16th, 2018 at 11:49 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety grab bonus point

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Ordinarily a 20-15 point defeat would not be viewed as a positive, but Minety coach Andy Grayson was both relieved, to have captured one league point, and surprised by the efforts of a very much patched up Minety team.

Seven of the 18 man squad had not played 1st team rugby this season and for three of them, it was their first taste of competitive rugby since last season.  To emerge from a close fought encounter with such a narrow defeat spoke volumes for both the commitment and spirit of the Minety team.

In a match played, unusually, under sunny skies and on a near perfect pitch at Melksham, Minety kicked off and more than matched their more organised opponents in the opening encounters, especially in the scrum and lineout play.

Minety took the lead in the 10th minute from a Garin Garland penalty after Melksham were caught off-side 20 metres from their line.

Garland extended the lead 3 minutes later with another well taken penalty.

Minety pressurised the Melksham defence with some fine forward work and in the 18th minute a rolling maul made 20 metres only to be halted right on the Melksham line while Garland was held up on the line just moments later.

Garland kicked his third penalty after centre Jack Howse had broken through and been brought to ground inches from the line.

The village side held out until the 34th minute when a fluent move along the line saw Melksham’s winger cross for the game’s first try wide out on the right.

Garland’s injury time penalty in front of the posts saw Minety enter the half time break 12-5 up.

Melksham started the 2nd half strongly and their efforts were rewarded with a try in the 42nd minute.  A cross field move and a deft cut back by their hooker opened up the visitors’ defence for the second try.

When flanker, Gareth Peirce, himself making his first appearance of the season, was injured, Club President Andy Ward, one of three veterans making up the Minety bench with a combined age of 164, was forced into action.

The Minety bench: Ken Wright, Phil Ward and Andy Ward

With Garland, prop Mark Glew and hard charging Andrew Hibbard making inroads down the middle, Minety re-grouped and more than matched the home side.

Fly half John Blair’s fine solo run was halted metres from the line and follow ups from full back Ben Kingston and winger Dave Cooke were thwarted by a hastily re-arranged Melksham defence.

In the 60th minute the Minety forwards pushed Melksham back and Garland’s solo effort was held up short as the village side strove for their first try.

Perhaps the turning point in the match came when Minety’s influential captain Tom Claxton was forced off with a nasty looking ankle injury and then Melksham were awarded a try after it appeared that the ball was knocked on over the line.

Melksham’s 4th try came in the 73rd minute and one might have expected the visibly tiring Minety side to cave in but instead they pushed Melksham back and when Garland slotted his 5th penalty of the match the result was still in the balance.

Minety threw caution to the wind in the last minutes of the game, Garland and the impressive flanker Ben Sellick taking play from beneath their posts into midfield to set up another wave of Minety attacks.

But it was not to be and the match ended with Melksham taking the points by 20-15 although Minety’s losing bonus point keeps them in with a slim chance of a top four position come the end of the season.

Coach Andy Grayson said after the match: “They ought to be proud of what they did over the course of 80 minutes; I know I am.  We had so many players new to the squad with others playing out of position but they gave their all and you can’t ask more than that.

The game plan worked well in the first half but we tired in the 2nd and allowed them to come back into the match.  Even so, with a couple of breaks going our way, we could have won it.

“We now have three matches to go and need wins in all of them.  Hopefully, some of our injury hit squad will be back for those matches as we chase 4th place in the league.”

nb  The combined age of the Minety bench was 164.  164 years ago, in 1854, Victoria was still on the throne, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen was Prime Minister, Britain declared war on Russia and so the Crimean War started, Florence Nightlingale prepared to leave for the Crimea, Franklin Pierce was the US president and the California Gold Rush was into its final year.  The American civil war was still 7 years away!

Written by Graham Cooke

April 15th, 2018 at 12:23 pm

1st XV on; 2nd XV off

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The 1st XV match at Melksham goes ahead this afternoon, kicking off at Melksham’s beautiful new ground at 3pm but we regret to say that the 2nd XV match at Warminster has been conceded after Minety were unable to field a side.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 14th, 2018 at 10:53 am

Posted in Home Page,News

This weekend’s fixtures

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Both Minety teams are on the road this weekend, with Tom  Claxton’s 1st XV at Melksham while Matt Stone’s 2nd XV travel to Warminster.  With playing resources stretched almost to, if not beyond, breaking point, both teams will hope to come away with league points and no injuries as they approach a very crowded run in to the end of the season.

With 1st placed Bradford playing third placed Avonvale and Warminster tackling Pewsey Vale, Minety will hope that a win will help close the gap on the leaders as they push for a top 4 place come the season’s end.  When Melksham visited Minety Fields earlier in the season they came away with a last gasp draw, and could have won the match had the last play conversion been successful.  It was a hugely frustrating result for a Minety team who were in form and looking to end the first half of the season on a high.

Warminster sit in third place in Dorset and Wilts Division 3 and will be a real challenge for the 2nd XV, whose 7th place in the league is under threat from both Bardford and Supermarine.

Full match reports will be available on the matches on this site on Sunday.



Written by Graham Cooke

April 13th, 2018 at 11:03 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Latest Club newsletter

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As our chairman Dave Peirce approaches the end of his term of office, he has written a thought provoking newsletter dealing with issues that face our club.

The article, reproduced here in full, can be found through this link, or via the “Minety RFC Newsletter” option on the right hand menu.

Dave comments on: the season thus far for our two teams; plans for the future; fund raising; player recruitmnt and retention; improvements to match day arrangements; the 2018 7’s Tournament in May; the Club Dinner; and the Club AGM.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 11th, 2018 at 9:03 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from the weekend

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Minety’s pitches once again proved a stumblingly block as the season enters April.  With both matches called off due to waterlogged surfaces, the Minety players were forced to sit and watch how other teams in Dorset and Wilts 1 and 3 got on.  Here’s a round up of the action.

With the battle for 4th place hotting up Minety must have hoped that top of the league Bradford would be too much for 4th placed Warminster, who started the day on equal league points with Minety.  Sadly for the village side, Warminster really stepped up to the plate to inflict Bradford’s first home defeat of the season and only their second all campaign.  The bonus point victory now puts Warminster 5 points clear of Minety and with a better points aggregate.

Elsewhere, 2nd placed Combe Down overcame third placed Avonvale to close the gap on Bradford at the top of the table.  Pewsey, who have been improving after a poor start to the season unexpectedly lost to Melksham, so Minety maintain their 14 point cushion over the 6th placed team.

Elsewhere, a resurgent Wootton Bassett followed up their narrow defeat to Bradford last week with a comprehensive win over Chippenham while Supermarine overcame an unpredictable Trowbridge side.

Minety 2nd XV’s match against top of the table Corsham was called off early on Saturday morning.

Elsewhere, Bradford recorded an away walk over over Chippenham to bring themselves to within a point of 7th placed Minety while Trowbridge crushed Supermarine to keep up the pressure on top of the table Corsham.

The revised fixtures up to the end of the season for the two Minety teams are as follows:

1st XV:  Saturday 14th April away at Melksham; Saturday 21st April home to Pewsey Vale; Wednesday 25th April home to Swindon II; and Saturday 28th April away at Avonvale.

2nd XV: Saturday 14th April away at Warminster; Saturday 21st April away at Bath Saracens; and Wednesday 25th April home to Corsham.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 9th, 2018 at 9:55 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Fixture re-arrangements

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The recent spate of weather related postponements has meant that a number of fixtures have had to be re-scheduled.  The Fixture List (right hand sided menu) is correct as of Sunday 8th April.

The revised fixtures are as follows:

1st XV:  Saturday 14th April away at Melksham; Saturday 21st April home to Pewsey Vale; Wednesday 25th April home to Swindon II; and Saturday 28th April away at Avonvale.

2nd XV: Saturday 14th April away at Warminster; Saturday 21st April away at Bath Saracens; and Wednesday 25th April home to Corsham.

Written by Graham Cooke

April 8th, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Matches Postponed

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Will it never end?  Once again, all three picthes at Minety have failed early morning inspections.  Two are complelety unplayable while the other will not take any more rain.  With both matches lost to the weather it looks as if the season will be extending into May unless mid week fixtures are requested.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 7th, 2018 at 10:52 am

Posted in Home Page,News

The Falcons are coming

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We are delighted to be able to announce that the world famous RAF Falcons Parachute Display team will be making a live jump at the Minety 7’s Rugby Tournament on Saturday 12th May.

The Falcons, the UK’s top military parachute display team, based at Brize Norton, will drop in over Minety sometime between12 noon and 2pm as part of the Minety 7’s Rugby Tournament celebrations.

In what promises to be the best ever Minety 7’s, the Falcons presence will certainly add to the drama and spectacle of the event.

The 7’s tournament, featuring Men’s and Women’s Competitions, starts at noon at Minety Fields.  In addition to the rugby there are food and drink outlets and lots of pitchside entertainment for all the family.  Overnight camping has been organised for those wishing to make a weekend of it and the Breakfast Club will be in action in the club house on Sunday morning for those staying over.

Entry lists are filling fast for both so if you want to take part, please contact Jack Ward ( wardyjnr8@hotmail.com ) or Rob Bugden ( running-rob@hotmail.co.uk ) as soon as possible.

All of the information about the 7’s Tournament can be found on the “2018 Minety 7’s” page on the right hand menu.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 6th, 2018 at 10:46 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Next Fixtures

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Written by Graham Cooke

April 4th, 2018 at 10:25 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Back on line

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The unfortunate failure of the website ove the Easter period was both good and bad news.

Good, in that very little happened over the weekend; the rain washed out both matches for the Minety teams and only one fixture in D&W1 was held, Marlborough beating Wootton Bassett by 7-0 and extending their lead at the top of the table.

Bad, in that trying to get anything done on Easter Sunday and the following Bank holiday, is impossible, hence the delay in the site re-surfacing.

Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by the break in service.


Written by Graham Cooke

April 4th, 2018 at 10:18 am

Posted in Home Page,News

1st XV match postponed

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As we suspected, the 1st XV match against Avonvale in Bath has been postponed after the torrential rain of the past few days.  No new date has been agreed as yet; as soon as we hear, it will be posted on this wite.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend, whatever you are doing!


Written by Graham Cooke

March 31st, 2018 at 9:41 am

Posted in Home Page,News

It might as well rain until September

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… thus sang Carole King in 1962.  And it feels as if it’s been raining since September!  The weather has claimed the 2nd XV match at Bath Saracens tomorrow with the home side informing us that their pitches are unplayable.

No news on the fate of the 1st XVs match at Avonvale yet.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 30th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

This weekend’s fixtures

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Both sides will heading out west on Saturday, the 1st XV to Avonvale, who play at Bathford, the 2nd XV to Bath Saracens whose ground is on Claverton Down in Bath.

Avonvale were the promoted team last season and have had a remarkably good initial season in D&W1.  After a narrow first week loss against Warminster, Anonvale embarked on a hugely impressive 5 match unbeaten run that took them to the top group in the table.  In their 7th match they visited Minety and only lost by a single point, 13-12, in a very entertaining match.  Since then they have maintained their fine run of form and now find themselves, with just four matches remaining, in 3rd place in the league with a highly creditable record of Played 18, won 14, drawn 1 and lost 3, having scored 499 points and conceded just 165.

Avonvale’s 72 points puts them 17 points clear of Minety (or 16 clear, when the missing bonus point from last weekend is added).  Tom Claxton’s team will need to bring their “A” game to this fixture if Minety are to make up ground on Avonvale and overtake Warminster, who presently hold 4th place in the league.

The 2nd XV travel to Claverton Down to take on Bath Saracens, like Avonvale, newly added to the league this year.  Bath sit in 5th place, two above Minety with a record of Played 15, Won 5 and Lost 10.  Minety, in 7th place with 26 points, three fewer than Bath, appear to have a much better record having won 7 of their 15 matches, but the Minety record is somewhat skewed by points deducted for conceded matches when the village team has been unable to field a team.

Match reports will be posted on this site on Sunday.

Avonvale’s address: Bathford Playing Fields, Bathford, Bath. BA1 7SN

Bath Saracens: Sullis Sports Club, Claverton Down Road, Bath. BA2 7AU

Written by Graham Cooke

March 30th, 2018 at 11:19 am

Posted in Home Page,News

2018 Minety 7s

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Saturday 12th May from 10am onwards: The Minety 7s Rugby Tournament.

Planning is well underway for what promises to be the biggest and best ever Minety Tournament featuring competitions for both male and female teams.

For a full description of the event, and details as to how to enter, click on the 2018 Minety 7’s option at the top of the right hand menu.

Written by Graham Cooke

March 28th, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV Chippenham match

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MTV coverage of the recent Dorset and Wilts Division 1 clash between Chippenham and Minety is now available on this site.  To access the film either click on the MTV icon on the right, click here or use the Minety Player option on the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 28th, 2018 at 10:13 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from the weekend

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An interesting, and potentially controversial, weekend in Dorset and Wilts Division 1.  Minety’s fine win on the road at Chippenham was a much needed return to form for Tom Claxton’s team.  With mid week predictions suggesting that the club would do well just to be able to field one team, it was somehting of a miracle that sufficient players were found to put out two!

The potentially controversial matter relates to the table, as published by the league on Saturday night.  Minety scored 5 tries on Saturday (Garland, Thomas, McAllister, Murray and Howse) yet we appear not to have been credited with the “4 try” bonus point.  We are on to the league even as this is being written!






With the fight for a top 4 slot come the end of the season so tight between Minety and Warminster, every point is vital and since the two teams went into the match equal on 51 points it’s difficult to appreciate how we might have slipped a further point behind.  Elsewhere, Bradford tightened their grip on top slot with a fine win at home over second placed Combe Down, the latter now 4 points behind and having played one more match than Bradford.

Third placed Avonvale kept up their fine run of form with a convincing win over Supermarine.  Minety travel to Bath to play Avonvale next week, looking for a chance to get revenge on a narrow home defeat when the newly promoted Bath outfit visited Minety earlier on in the season.

Pewsey kept their slender chances of capturing a top 5 place alive with a big win at bottom of the table Swindon while Warminster picked up a bonus point win in their match against Melksham.









In Division 3 North much credit must go to all of the players who played for the Minety 2nds on Saturday.  With playing resources stretched to breaking point it looked at one stage last week as if the 2nds wouldn’t be able to field a full team, but they did.  The loss at Supermarine was a blow because the fight for a top 5 slot is so tight and Matt Stone and his team will have to re-group before taking on 5th placed Bath Saracens in Bath next week.






Elsewhere, top of the table Corsham defeated second placed Warminster and are now firm favourites for the automatic promotion place. Third placed Trowbridge squeezed past Bradford while 4th placed Chippenham defeated 5th placed Bath Saracens.  Swindon beat bottom of the table Melksham in the other match.











With the season coming to an end these are the all important fixtures for the Minety 1st and 2nd XV’s:

1st XV; Avonvale (a), Swindon (h), Melksham (a) and Pewsey Vale (h)

2nd XV: Bath Saracens (a), Corsham (h) and Warminster (a)


Written by Graham Cooke

March 26th, 2018 at 10:03 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety dig deep for win

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Gareth Thomas

Minety overcame local rivals Chippenham 31-26 in a hard fought Dorset and Wilts Division 1 match on Saturday.

The visitors needs a win after two heavy defeats at the hands of table topping Bradford on Avon and Combe Down and responded magnificently to captain Tom Claxton’s call for a return to the free flowing rugby that served them so well earlier in the season.

Fighting for a top four finish to the campaign, Minety knew that nothing short of a win would suffice against a resurgent Chippenham team just two places below them in the league table.

The village team, desperately struggling for match fit players, was forced to field just one substitute for the game as a very competitive and physical league campaign has stretched playing resources almost to breaking point.

Try 1: Garin Garland

Against a big Chippenham side, Minety dominated the early exchanges and took the lead with a fine try near to the posts in the 5th minute.  Full back Duncan Simpson’s tap penalty led to a move through the backs to fly half Tom MacAllister.  His surge to the line was halted but a miss move involving scrum half Garin Garland and Claxton saw the former crash over for the try.

Minety continued to enjoy the majority of possession but were often guilty of over playing situations and giving up the ball.

Chippenham equalised in the 20th minute.  A Minety defensive kick was blocked and from a throw in Chippenham gained possession, broke the line and touched down.  The conversion was successful and the teams locked at 7 all.

Chippenham exposed Minety’s defences in the 23rd minute when the Number 8 brushed aside 4 defenders to score wide on the right.

Try 2: Gareth

Aggressive running from the Minety forwards pushed the home team back into their own 22 but despite efforts from Andrew Hibbard, Del Murray and Ben Scott, the home side preserved their

lead until the 39th minute.  After a fine scrum, Number 8 Jack Ward, Garland and Ben Collins were all held up inches from the line but Garland’s swift pass out to prop Gareth Thomas saw the latter register his first try of the season and tie the scores at half time.

Chippenham started the second half strongly, pushing Minety back and the village team struggled to cope with the power of the home pack.  2nd row Ash Windle was shown a yellow card in the 45th minute for a ruck infringement close to the Minety line.

Try 3: Tom McAllister

The 14 men eventually succumbed to the pressure when a fluent Chippenham cross field move and a cut back from their No. 8 saw the latter cross for his second try of the match.  The conversion was successful and the home side led 19-12.

Minety hit back almost immediately with a fine solo effort from McAllister, slicing through the home defence to score from 30 metres out.

With both teams throwing caution to the wind, play moved from end to end at breakneck speed and it was Chippenham who edged further in front in the 57th minute with a close range try after Minety had held up a previous attack on the line.  The successful conversion took the score to 26-17 and Minety’s resistance seemed to be at an end.

However, Claxton’s team turned the match on its head in two dramatic minutes starting in the 63rd.

Try 4: Del Murray

Chippenham lost control of a lineout on the Minety 22 and flanker Murray picked up the loose ball and outpaced the defence to run in a brilliant solo try from 60 metres out.  Garland kicked the long range conversion and Minety were within two points.

From the kick off Minety gathered the ball, Garland fed McAllister who broke the defensive line, drew the full back before passing to centre Jack Howse, who ran in under the posts from 40 metres out.  Garland stroked home the conversion and Minety led 31-26.

In a desperate and breath-taking last 15 minutes, two players from each side were yellow carded and only brilliant tackling from the visitors prevented Chippenham from scoring.

Try 5: Jack Howse

Coach Andy Grayson was pleased and relieved at the end.  “Our defence, especially out wide, was brilliant and we showed the kind of commitment that was lacking in our recent defeats.  They were a tough side and we’re delighted to have completed a league double over them this season.”

The bonus point win takes Minety to 55 league points, one behind 4th placed Warminster, with a game in hand and a slightly easier run in.

In the weekend’s other match, a very patched up Minety 2nd XV lost by 30-10 away at Supermarine.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 25th, 2018 at 1:10 pm