Minety RFC

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Minety 7s – entries coming in already

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Just one day from the invitations to clubs being sent out and we already have entries coming in.

In addition to the Minety teams, one in the main competition and one in the “Social Sevens League”, we are delighted to be able to welcome back Guiness Book of Records record breaking Team Horus from the RAF. An amazing bunch, they claimed the trophy last year with a dramatic victory in the final over Osiris from Nationwide.  Those who follow Minety will know that we’ve developed close links with Horus through our great friend Rob Bugden and helped Horus set the World Record for the longest continuous game of 7’s Rugby a couple of years back.

We are also delighted to welcome a team from BPF Fitness Hub in Tetbury, who will be taking part in the “Social Sevens” alongside Minety, a team from our good friends at Marlborough RFC and also a team led by Minety stalwart Gareth Thomas MBE.

If you know of any clubs, organisations or friendship groups who might be interested in entering the Minety 7’s please let us know as soon as possible, beacuse it looks likely that places will fill up very quickly.

For more detailed information, please visit the special page that we’ve set up on this site – click here.

Graham Cooke (ghcooke@hotmail.com or 0798 128 1736) or Kieran Tillotson (tillotsonkieran@gmail.com Mobile 07384 671869)

Written by Graham Cooke

March 11th, 2020 at 10:48 am

Posted in Home Page,News

It’s not summer until …

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… it’s the 2020 Minety 7’s!

Kieran Tillotson is organising this year’s event and preparations are already underway for Saturday 2nd May, starting at 10.30am, with a kick off time of 11am.

We have a special page (click here) or use the side menu, devoted to the event.

If you belong to a club or know of a number of players who’d like to join us, please contact Kieran as soon as possible.  This year there will only be spaces for 12 “competitive” teams although there will be a special league, limited to 6 teams, who will compete in a “social” league, in response to the evaluation carried out after last year’s event.

Contact details:

Kieran Tillotson: tillotsonkieran@gmail.com Mobile 07384 671869
Graham Cooke: ghcooke@hotmail.com Mobile 0798 128 1736


Written by Graham Cooke

March 10th, 2020 at 11:14 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety go down at league leaders

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Minety travelled to top of the table Avonvale on Saturday but eventually lost by 45-12 against a team 11 points clear at the top of the table with just 5 matches of the season left.

Elsewhere bottom of the table Bradford on Avon lost by 66-5 at Warminster and remain on 8 points and are now certain to be relegated to D&W2N next season.  The win keeps Warminster secure in 6th place.

Marlborough, in 11th place, did their chances no end of good with a heavy home win over fellow strugglers Calne, winning by 53-17 and picking up a four try bonus point to bring themselves level on league points with Minety on 31 points, Minety staying in 10th place by dint of their superior “Points For/ Against” total.

9th placed Chippenham lost 53-12 at home to Trowbridge and remain just one point ahead of Minety and two behind 8th placed Calne, with a match in hand.

In other matches 5th placed Frome defeated 2nd placed Melksham by 10-8 while third placed Royal Wootton Bassett defeated Sutton Benger 16-10.

The bottom of the table looks like this:

7th placed Trowbridge, played 18, 39 points

8th placed Calne, played 18, 34 points

9th placed Chippenham, played 17, 32 points

10th placed Minety, played 17, 31 points

11th placed Marlborough, played 17, 31 points

12th placed Bradford, played 17, 8 points


Written by Graham Cooke

March 8th, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Posted in News

Bradford concede 2nd XV match

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Bradford on Avon have conceded their match at home against the Minety 2nd XV so all eyes will be on the 1st XV and their match at Avonvale, kick off 2pm.


Written by Graham Cooke

March 7th, 2020 at 9:05 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Club house open for England v Wales clash

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Andrew O’Dell reports that the Clubhouse will be open from 4.15 pm Saturday to show England vs Wales at 4.45 pm.

So, if you can’t get to Avonvale to support the 1st XV or Bradford on Avon to follow the 2nd XV, the catch up with the action at Minety RFC from 4.15pm on.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 7th, 2020 at 7:49 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend round up

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This Saturday, the 7th, both Minety teams are in action, with Andrew Hibbard’s team making the trek to top of the table Avonvale while Steve Wilson’s team will be at Bradford on Avon in D&W3N.

It has been a tough February for the 1st XV as they try to pull clear of the relegation zone at the wrong end of D&W1N.  It started with a visit to the then 2nd placed Royal Wootton Bassett, from which they emerged with a win, then followed up with a home fixture against the new 2nd placed team, Melksham, from which they emerged with a win and ended with a narrow loss at 4th placed Sutton Benger.

March starts off with an even bigger challenge for coach James Irving’s men, when they travel to an Avonvale team sitting atop the table with 67 points, 7 clear of Melksham and 14 above Bassett.  Avonvale have lost just two of their 16 matches this season, and have recorded 4 try bonus points in no less than 10 of those fixtures.

With the season fast coming to a close, the calculators are out to see who will be joining Bradford on Avon, who are almost certain to be relegated, in D&W2N next year.

After Saturday Minety entertain Frome (5th in the table) at home, travel to bottom of the table Bradford on Avon, host 7th placed Calne, travel to 9th placed Chippenham and end the season at home to 8th placed Trowbridge.

In D&W3N Minety have a very busy March, largely due to re-arrnagements due to the abysmal weather.  Saturday’s match sees them travel to bottom of the table Bardford and then they have fixtures against Bath Saracens (home on 14th March), Chippenham (home on the 21st March) and away at Cricklade on the 28th March.


Written by Graham Cooke

March 6th, 2020 at 10:12 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV at Sutton Benger

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Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Sutton Benger 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

March 4th, 2020 at 9:05 am

Posted in Home Page,News

League restructuring 2020 / 2021 and beyond

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Andy Grayson and I recently attended a Dorset and Wilts re-structuring meeting at Melksham RFC to assess possible outcomes from the ongoing RFU Restructuring exercise currently underway and due to report in April.

The task Group of the RFU Community Game Board (CGB) was set up to review the adult male competition structure of the RFU leagues (English Club Championship) from Level 3 (National One) downwards, and recommend an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the Game for adult men by meeting the needs of current and future players.

What work has been carried out?

Included in the work to date has been evidence gathered from desk research, Electronic Matchcards, National Rugby Survey, teams and matches data from the RFU Game Management System, the use of case studies within rugby and from other sports (cricket and hockey), game feedback, surveys, listening panels and using historical and current knowledge from within and outside the task Group.

The Group Work Programme

  • The Group has met six times since September 2019
  • 12 Listening Panels were held across the country to get direct feedback on specific areas of the Groups work to date including players, coaches

Why is change needed?

  1. Data over the past 3 seasons has shown that players are choosing to play approximately 15 games on average a season (across all levels/regions). However, the majority of leagues require teams to play well in excess of this number. Among other issues this over supply of fixtures leads to:
  • Less players are opting to play the majority of games within a season through lifestyle choice, thus;
  • More players are needed to complete a 1st XV season
  • As more players are needed to complete a 1st XV season pressure is placed on club lower XV’s leading to increased walkovers
  • Player burn-out – the season becomes a ‘slog’ of hard league matches and the implications are this could lead to players leaving the game earlier, or less players playing in Vets teams, less volunteers, coaches and administrators.
  1. The Group has looked at a number of options for future league structures that meet the current and future needs of players.
  2. The key criteria in evaluating any proposed changes to the league structure were categorised, as follows:
  • Player welfare
  • Time and distance involved in playing fixtures
  • Quality of player experience and the integrity of the competition
  • Finances and sustainability of participating clubs
  1. Initial work has focused on restructuring the leagues by reducing the amount of fixtures required to complete the season, and travel time to/from matches, whilst still providing a full fixture list for clubs.
  2. The fixture schedule would create specific gaps in the season for ‘rest’ and not be categorised as ‘reserve’ weekends although it is acknowledged that in exceptional adverse weather conditions the ‘rest’ weekends may be required to play games on.  It is important that the dates allocated assist with player availability and maximise local derby opportunities.

At the D&W meeting at Wiltshire several proposals were examined including the construction of a Dorset and Wilts Premiership league whereby the top 6 teams from D&W1N and D&W1S would amalgamate into one division.  Although this would increase travelling and travel time, something the RFU is eager to reduce, it would provide a more satisfactory bridge between D&W1N / S and the Southern Counties, into which promoted clubs from D&W are moved.  It would also provide a much better career stepping stone for those players who want to push their games to next level and are happy and willing to travel to achieve such ends.

The knock on would be that D&W1N and S would be reduced in size from 12 teams to 10, with fewer fixtures in the league, greater breaks during the season and opportunities for cup entries and friendlies.

A further suggestion was that the existing D&W3N be re-designated as a “Matrix” or “Merit” table rather than a league.  The effect of this is that the teams involved would not have to comply with all of the RFU regulations relating to league entry (GMS match cards, penalties for games being conceded, registered players etc.) and could be much more flexible in the way in which matches are organised (i.e. 10 teams in the “matrix” play each other once before Christmas and then after Christmas divide either into 2 sub divisions of the top 5 and then bottom 5 and compete against each other twice or even divided geographically with the top two sides from each half competing in a “final” at the end of the season.)

It became clear to Andy and I that virtually every club represented wanted something different from the league review (some are single team clubs, some need regular fixtures to bolster finances, some are on the extremes of the region (Minety) and have much further to travel, some have three teams and want more flexibility for their lower teams etc. etc.).

What next?

After an analysis of the returns from clubs across the region, D&W have issued this statement for the season 2020 / 2021.

Further to the 2 meetings held to take club views on leagues and after getting further news on Monday about the proposals coming out from the RFU review, since it would appear that in season 2021/22 when the planned changes will be introduced, anywhere between 4-6 teams could end up moving from L8 to L7, we have decided not to make any changes to our local structure.

It would also appear that at the lower levels (8,9 and below) we might be asked to explore more localised leagues using teams from Hampshire, Somerset, Gloucs etc. to keep travel to a minimum. Hopefully more details will come out in the coming weeks and then we will start the discussions with neighbouring CB’s to see what can be worked.

In the meantime next season we will continue with D&W1 North and South and below that we have decided to introduce 3 leagues- probably around 8-9 teams strong to again try to cut travel but also to provide league rugby for those teams that want it. Sitting below this will be the friendly matrix operating in Dorset (like this season) and in Wiltshire (new for next season).

We will endeavour to keep the clubs updated on further news as and when it comes out from Twickenham.

This would effectively mean that if Minety avoid finishing in the bottom 2 of the league, positions currently held by Marlborough and Bradford on Avon, we will run in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North this season with our 2nd XV possibly either competing in D&W3N or D&W4N (both with smaller numbers of teams in each league) or in a “Matrix” table, effectively called D&W4N.

As soon as we hear more details of both the club’s response and any news from the RFU we will bring it to you here.




Written by Graham Cooke

March 2nd, 2020 at 9:55 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety beaten in close fought derby

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Minety travelled to high flying local rivals Sutton Benger, currently placed 4th in the division, hoping to build upon wins over 2nd placed Melksham and 3rd placed Royal Wootton Bassett recently, but came away with just a single losing bonus, having gone down by 15-10.

On a surprisingly good pitch, considering all the recent rainfall and the flooding of fields and roads nearby, Benger kicked off with a very strong breeze at their backs as sunshine broke through the clouds and warmed the crowd.

Minety welcomed back Tom McAllister back at fly half, with Sam Hughes moving to scrum half in Garin Garland’s absence.  Coach James Irving had also brought Gareth Thomas in as hooker, Bram Coleman in the 2nd row and Alex Binnie, Jesse Daybell and Joe Smedley into the backs in a much changed lineup from the one that stunned Royal Wootton Bassett at Ballards Ash at the start of the month and then followed that up with a 19-17 win over promotion chasing Melksham on the 15th February.

Minety’s pack exerted all the pressure in the opening exchanges, pushing Benger back and giving Hughes time to launch the ball out to the backs.

Benger missed two penalty attempts as they began to dominate in the loose, the Minety defence finding the home teams’s strong running backs difficult to handle. 

The visitors nearly opened the scoring when winger Dave Cooke intercepted a pass deep in his own 22 but he was hauled down30 metres from the line and the chance went begging.  Minety’s lack of league action recently showed but they grew into the half and as the half hour was reached, were the better team, suing their backs effectively and working well to hold up Benger’s attacking moves.

A typical break from Hughes and an off load to Chris Rule saw the latter into the Benger 22 and from there McAllister and his backs put real pressure on the Benger line.

On the cusp of half time, Benger took the lead.  After a period of sustained pressure, with Minety unable to clear their lines, a forwards’ move ended with a try being score on the left.  The conversion was successful and Benger went into the break 7 – 0 up but only after they held back a hard charging Minety revival, led by Hugo Beanland and Bram Coleman.

At half time coach Irving brought on Cameron Smith, back after a lengthy injury layoff, for Thomas in the front row as Minety chased the win in the 2nd half.

It took the visitors just three minutes of the second half to even up the scores.  Hughes fired a penalty deep into the Benger 22 and captain Andrew Hibbard took the ensuing lineout ball to set up a ruck on the Benger line.  Prop Andy Darrell and McAllister went close before Hughes fired the ball out to Rule, the centre crashing over beneath posts. Hughes stroked over the conversion and the match was tied at 7 apiece.

Minety went ahead 5 minutes later, Hughes kicking a penalty from 30 metres after the Minety scrum has pushed the Benger pack back 15 metres and forced them to concede.

Conditions deteriorated quickly as the wind brought a number of heavy, and wintery showers across the pitch, making the ball increasingly difficult to control.

Irving had to make changes in the pack when Coleman picked up and injury and replacement Jack Gillette was introduced. Another injury, this time to centre Jesse Daybell, saw the introduction of young Charles Grayson, son of Director of Coaching Andy Grayson, at scrum half with Hughes moving to fly half and McAllister out into the centres as Minety pushed for a second try.  Indeed, as the rain hammered down, it looked as if Minety were the more likely to push on for the win.

Somewhat against the run of play, Benger took the lead.  After a serious attack down the middle of the pitch had pushed the visitors back into their own 22, a series of moves saw Benger camped on the Minety line with the ball eventually being fired out to the left where the winger ran in for a try.  The conversion stalled in the howling gale but Benger were back in front by 12-10 with about 15 minutes left on the clock.

With both teams suffering in the energy sapping conditions, the last 10 minutes were mired in mid field with a solitary penalty to Benger late on ending the scoring 15-10.

The loss did gain Minety a bonus point for losing by less than 7 points and takes them to 31 points, one point behind 9th placed Chippenham and three behind 7th and 8th placed Calne and Trowbridge.

Team:  Hugo Beanland, Gareth Thomas, Andy Darrall, Matt Chisholm, Bram Coleman, Mark Glew, Ron Hinwood, Andrew Hibbard ©, Sam Hughes, Tom McAllister, Alex Binnie, Jesse Daybell, Chris Rule, Dave Cooke and Joe Smedley.  Replacements: Cameron Smith, Charles Grayson and Jack Gillette.

A battered and bruised Mark Glew after the match.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 1st, 2020 at 5:58 pm

2nd XV match postponed.

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We regret to say that Saturday’s 2nd XV fixture against Bath Saracens has been postponed after a mid morning pitch inspection today (Friday).  Standing water on all three Minety pitches and now let up in the rain means that the fixture will have to be played at a later date. 

No news yet on Saturday’s 1st XV fixture at Sutton Benger.


Written by Graham Cooke

February 28th, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Fixture Re-arrangement and Coaching Courses

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The RFU website has our twice postponed fixture against Frome as now being on Saturday 14th March, kick off time yet to be decided.

Andy Grayson has details of some coaching courses.  If anyone is interested they should contact Andy ASAP.

The following coaching courses are available for booking. If interested get in touch

At Devizes RFC
Principles of Scrummaging
Wednesday 4th March 19:00 – 22:00

Wednesday 25th March 19:00 – 22:00

At Bradford-on-Avon RFC
Principles of Attack
Monday 9th March – 19:00 – 22:00

Principles of Defence
Monday 16th March – 19:00 – 22:00


Written by Graham Cooke

February 24th, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Match postponed, again!

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Once again, the fixture against Frome, orginally scheduled for last week, cancelled and re-arranged for this weekend, has fallen foul to the weather.  An early inspection this morning, Friday, confirmed that all three Minety pitches were unplayable.

As soon as we have news of a rearrangement we will post it on this site.

Andrew O’Dell informs me that the Clubhouse will be open Sunday from 2.30 pm for the Six Nations game England vs Ireland.





Written by Graham Cooke

February 21st, 2020 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Bacon rolls pre match

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Some of the more observant will have noticed that bacon rolls were being served from the kitchen in the club house prior to our last home match against Melksham.  The girls behind the scheme, fully endorsed by Minety RFC, are fund raising for an expedition to Malayian Borneo is 2021.

This is the poster that Poppy McDerment has displayed on the noticeboard.  We hope that everyone, bacon roll eaters or not, will help support the girls in this excellent project.  

More information from Andrew O’Dell or the girls themselves, on Saturday.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 17th, 2020 at 11:46 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Frome match re-arranged and results from the league

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The England Rugby website is showing that yesterday’s postponed fixture at home to Frome has been re-scheduled for next Saturday, 22nd February.

Minety’s match was, surprisingly, the only one to succumb to the weather.  As a consequence, other teams at the bottom end of the league table too advantage to improve their league standings as we get to the sharp end of the season.

Trowbridge’s bonus poiunt win against basement club Bradford saw them leap above Minety and up into 7th place while Calne closed the gap to Minety with what could be a very important win over fellow strugglers Chippenham, who are just two points ahead of Minety having played a game more.

Elsewhere, Avonvale tightened their grip on the title with a narrow win over 11th placed Marlborough while Melksham increased the gap over Royal Wootton Bassett with a tight win at Ballards Ash.

Perhaps the surprise result of the day came at Warminster where fast improving Sutton Benger cruised to a 33 – 10 over the 6th placed home team.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 16th, 2020 at 9:35 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Match postponed

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All three Minety pitches were inspected on Thursday by the Club Secretary and the Groundsman.  They were generally soft with standing water in specific places. The 1st Team reserve pitch was marked up and set out as the best of the three but after consultation with other club officials it was decided that it wasn’t fit to play on.
Storm Dennis will make the situation worse both in travelling to and from the venue and during the match.
It has been raining for a while late afternoon and into the evening at Minety.  The pitches were checked the pitch again earlier on Friday evening and the situation hasn’t improved. With further rain expected throughout the evening and heavy rain all day tomorrow it was decided that we should cancel the match and make sure that Frome and the match Official are given ample notice.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 14th, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Posted in Home Page,News