Minety RFC

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MTV of Sutton Benger match

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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

January 23rd, 2019 at 9:30 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend review

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Saturday’s 1 point loss at Sutton Benger did gain the team a losing bonus point but it was not what Minety wanted from the game.  40 players have now donned the 1st XV shirt this season in league matches, enough for nearly three whole teams, and yet the team faces teams who have used significantly less over the course of two seasons.  With so many players being forced to play out of position simply to cover the rosta, perhaps a one point result was more than could have been expected.

Setting aside the disappointments of Saturday, elsewhere in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1, the two top teams, neither of which are from either Dorset or Wilts, clashed at Avonvale with Combe Down emerging narrow victors and extending their winning run.  14 wins from 14 games, 11 of them with bonus points for scoring four or more tries.  It’s impressive and should see them promoted at the end of the season.

Third placed Melksham kept up their run of wins with a victory over 6th placed Trowbridge while 4th placed Warminster saw off bottom placed Supermarine to keep them in touch with the top.  Bassett’s hammering of Pewsey has put their “for and against” points record into the positive and above Minety in the table.

Of mathematical interest is that Trowbridge, who Minety face on Saturday, have an identical record to Minety, except their “points for / against” is 114 points worse than Minety’s, and yet they are one league point ahead.  Not sure how that works.  Perhaps someone can enlighten me!

In Division 3 Steve Wilson took his team to Melksham where, according to reports, they put a much better show than perhaps the result suggests.  The loss keeps them in 7th place in the league while Melksham move into the “+” for the first time since the start of the season.

Two more walkover matches, 40% of the fixtures in the league on Saturday, suggest that all is not right in Division 3 and surely the league must be considering how it can be made more attractive.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 22nd, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Gandhi’s Revenge

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Make sure you reserve you place for what is sure to be an afternoon and evening to remember – 2 international matches and then a superb curry.  Just £12 per head (how do we do it?)

Contact Ben Collins or Dave Peirce to reserve your place(s) as soon as possible.  

The club house will be open from 2pm onwards – pop in as and whenever, but make sure you’re there for 6.30pm.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 21st, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

After the mud

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The review of the weekend’s result will appear on the website tomorrow.  In the meantime, here’s a little gallery of some of our mud caked team after the match at Sutton Benger.  

Man of the Match, Colin French

Colin in full “Braveheart” pose.







Try scorer, Andrew Hibbard

Andy and Ben – united by mud!








Jay, Andy and Mark – three muddy musketeers!


Couldn’t resist it!

Written by Graham Cooke

January 21st, 2019 at 11:48 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Grayson’s selection nightmare mired in the mud

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Minety’s topsy turvy season took another unexpected twist when the team lost narrowly away to local rivals Sutton Benger 18-17 on a rain sodden and muddy pitch.

Minety coach Andy Grayson must be wondering what else this season has in store after a selection nightmare for the game. Already without his two starting wingers, further injuries picked up last week deprived him of the influential pair of Jack Ward and Matt Roberts and then he lost leading points scorer, scrum half Garin Garland on the morning of the match.

The patched up Minety team started with a prop, Mark Glew, at scrum half, two flankers playing on the wings and a winger, Steve White, at full back.

With the rain falling steadily, Minety kicked off against a strong Benger team who have progressed well in Division 1 after their promotion last season.  The early play was untidy, the wet ball making possession through phases difficult and the slippery ground halting backs moves almost before they had started.

Minety’s hat trick hero from last week, fly half Sam Hughes began to exert his presence on the game making short bursts in midfield and kicking over the top very effectively to release pressure.

It was Hughes who opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a 25 metre penalty kick after a Benger infringement at a ruck. The home side hit back just two minutes later when Callum Harford stroked home a penalty from a similar distance after Minety were caught offside.

With pitch conditions deteriorating fast, the game became mired in midfield.  Minety’s quick backs were unable to move the ball effectively and it was down to the experienced Hughes to manage the plays and kick the ball downfield to break up play and allow Minety to reset.

Minety regained the lead in the 26th minute.  After a series of assaults on the home line had been halted, Minety were awarded a scrum 5 metres out and No. 8 Andrew Hibbard was on hand at the back of the scrum to pick up and drive over for a try.  Hughes kicked the conversion and Minety led by 10-3.

Andrew Hibbard reaches for the line to score Minety’s try in the first half.

Benger struck back, pinning Minety into their own half, moving the ball amongst the forwards and rucking effectively to maintain possession.  The pressure told in the 31st minute when the ball was moved through a number of phases out to the right where a try was scored close to the corner flag.

Perhaps the pivotal moment of the match came just before half time when fly half Hughes was concussed after a heavy tackle and had to be withdrawn.  Coach Grayson was forced to replace his fly half with a prop, Andy Darrall, and re-shuffle his team, now with no experience at half back and little experience elsewhere.

Minety re-organised at half time, centre Jack Howse now playing at fly half for the first time in his career at Minety.  The incessant drizzle had made any sort of open play impossible as players sought grip in the mire.

A long range Harford penalty early in the 2nd half fell short as play became bogged down in midfield, with the physically larger and more settled home team shading both possession and territory.

Benger took the lead for the first time in the game in the 60th minute when one of the game’s only backs moves saw the ball moved swiftly across the pitch for the left wing to touch down near the corner flag.

In the physically taxing conditions, exhausted players began to make mistakes and the game became fragmented.

Fowards battle in the mud

Benger extended their lead in the 77th minute.  Minety were unable to clear their lines and a when a clearance kick fell short the ball was run back.  From a ruck near to the line, Benger moved the ball right and crossed for a try to extend their lead by 18-10.

Needing two scores to win the game, Minety launched a concerted attack on the home line.  A clever chip from stand in full back White almost saw winger Matt Stone in on the right but the Benger defence held out.

As the game entered stoppage time, Benger were penalised in the scrum as Minety pushed them back onto their own line.  After a series of furious attacks close in Benger were again penalised and when the Minety forwards pushed over a home player disrupted the play as Hibbard was about to touch down leaving the referee with no alternative but to award a penalty try.

Over the line – Minety’s penalty try

There was no time for a re-start so Benger took the league points with an 18-17 victory.

Try telling him defeat doesn’t hurt – photo by Caroline Stone

Afterwards coach Andy Grayson said, “I cannot fault our effort or commitment. Everyone gave 100%.  The conditions made it a forward battle and when we lost Sam Hughes we simply couldn’t compensate for the loss.  My Minety Man of the Match had to come from the front row and I chose prop Colin French for his tremendous all round performance in terrible conditions.”

Coach Andy Grayson with his players at the end.

Next week Minety will hope to get their revenge on Trowbridge after a narrow defeat earlier in the season.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 20th, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Sad news: Glynis Cooper

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We’re sorry to report that Glynis Cooper, wife of John, passed away on Monday 14th January.  I know that many people involved with Minety RFC over the years will have met with John and Glynis through their direct involvement with the club and through their later association with the Oaksey Golf Club.

John has informed the club that the Funeral Directors are Johnson and Daltrey in Wootton Bassett and that there will be a private family cremation on February 1st followed by a memorial service at Malmesbury Abbey at 2pm.

As of yet there is no decision regarding donations.

If there are any further updates we will let you know.

Everyone at Minety RFC sends their sincere condolences to John and his family.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

This weekend’s action

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Both teams are in action this coming Saturday, with the 1st XV hoping to extend their unbeaten run in 2019 at Sutton Benger and the 2nd XV looking to get some action against Melksham in Division 3.

Tom Claxton’s 1st XV come into the match at Benger with two excellent wins behind them since the winter break against Royal Wootton Bassett and Supermarine.  The wins have taken the village team up to 6th in Division 1, close on the tails of 5th placed Trowbridge, while Benger have lost their last two matches against league leaders Combe Down and 3rd placed Melksham.  Sitting in 8th place in the league with 21 points, they are 15 points behind Minety but Claxton and his team are not taking them for granted.  “They’ve done really well after their promotion year last year and they gave us a really tough game earlier in the season at Minety Fields.  Everyone will have to be on their top form tomorrow and we mustn’t squander chances like we did against Supermarine last week.”

In Division 3 Steve Wilson’s 2nd XV will be travelling to Melksham, who sit two places beneath 7th placed Minety.  Both teams have had difficulty in putting out complete squads regularly, and that has been reflected in their relatively lowly league positions.  Steve and his men will be looking for a win to close the gap to Bath Saracens who sit 1 place, and four points above them in the league.

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

The club was delighted to welcome our friend Terry Parker from the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard on Saturday.  Terry took some great photographs, which can be accessed through this link.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 11:38 am

Posted in News

Over 120kph on ice

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Note the Minety top!

Minety winger, Dave Cooke has just returned from a self funded trip to a 3 day Skeleton Bobsleigh course at the Whistler Olympic Park just north of Vancouver in Canada.

The Minety rugby club winger had his only previous taste of the skeleton at the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Racing Centre at Bath University in 2017 but was determined to try out the sport for real on the ice.

Having sought advice from, among others, ex Olympic Gold winner Amy Williams, Dave booked his place on the course run by ex Olympian John Farrow at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

“I joined a group of 11 made up of Canadians, Americans, an Australian and an Israeli, some of whom were looking towards qualification to their Olympic squads for the next Winter Olympics.”

Day 1 started with a track walk.  “It’s the fastest track in the world so it’s essential you get to know the way that it flows down the mountain.  Farrow showed us the lines we should take, how we should be positioned on the board and how to assess ice conditions, whether the ice is fast or slow. Once we got our helmets fitted and the skeleton sled sorted we moved out to Corner 11 near the bottom of the course.  From there to the finish line was quite straightforward but I was amazed by the speed.  I actually got close to 110kph on my final run through the speed trap.”

For day 2 the group, most of whom had already been on courses at Calgary and other sliding centres, moved up to turn 7.  They focussed on steering the sled and dealing with the 3 or 4g pressures that either force the head down into the ice or pull it up and make the whole sled unstable.  “We learnt about the types of steering from the subtle movement of the head to using the toes to slow the sled on one side.  After two fairly frightening slides I started to feel as if I was working with the sled and I could appreciate the need to get entries and exits absolutely perfect to carry speed.”

The third day started with more instruction, this time dealing with the timing of steers and the management of the “g” forces on the big, fast corners.  “If you lose control on one corner then everything else becomes an accident waiting to happen.  The ice is hard and any mistake really hurts.”

The course for David should have ended there but John Farrow, his coach, was so impressed with the speed that he’d learnt the basic techniques that he invited Dave back for an extra day.  “John offered some of us the chance to try a run from right up at turn 3, not far from the start line.  I decided to try a couple of runs from turn 6 to get myself ready and then went for it.

“The difference on the big run was immediate.  While the steering was similar to lower in the course, the speed was immense and there were times when I felt just like a passenger on the sled rather than being in any sort of control.  The corners come up very quickly and you have to manage the fast ones carefully to mitigate against the “g” forces.  Failure to manage those forces can render sliders unconscious and you just don’t want to think about that.”

By the time he hit the speed trap lower in the course he was travelling at over 121kph with his chin just an inch above the ice.  “It was amazing, just amazing.  I’ve gained huge respect for the athletes who compete at the highest levels of the sport who have to learn courses so quickly and then race at such huge speeds.”

And what of the future?  Dave is the proud owner of his Skeleton Pilot School certificate and has renewed determination to get himself some more track time, probably in Europe, and see where the future takes him in the sport.

For the time being it’s back to work in Chippenham and back in training with Minety rugby club.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 11:21 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV Supermarine

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Apologies with the delay in posting film of Saturday’s match.  To watch the film of the game against Supermarine, click here, click on the MTV icon or use the Minety Player option on the side menu.

Decisions, decisions – thank goodness we don’t have the need for a referendum to make up our minds!

Written by Graham Cooke

January 16th, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Team who defeated Supermarine on Saturday

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1. Mark Glew

2. Tom Claxton (c)

3. Andy Darrell

4. Ben Scott

5. Ben Collins

6. Jay Thompson

7. Kieran Tillotson

8. Andrew Hibbard

9. Garin Garland

10. Sam Hughes

11. Chris Rule

12. Jack Ward

13. Jack Howse

14. Duncan Simpson

15. Matt Roberts

16. Rob Hinwood

17. Morgan Aubrey

18. Jonathan Leong

Written by Graham Cooke

January 16th, 2019 at 8:43 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from around the league

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Saturday’s fine win over a much improved Supermarine team maintains Minety’s unbeaten run in 2019 (ok, so it’s only two, but it’s better than nothing!).  Not only did the “+/-” column get a significant improvement, so did our points tally, thanks to a try bonus point, and all of that has lifted Minety above our local rivals RWB up into 6th place in the table.

Elsewhere, Combe Down maintained their 100% record with a win over 5th placed Trowbridge and Avonvale kept up the pressure at the top with a win at 10th placed Chippenham.  3rd placed Melksham played on Friday night, beating Sutton Benger by a narrow 22-12.  Minety travel to Benger next Saturday.  4th placed Warminster beat RWB comprehensively to maintain their position.  So with the top 4 winning and the next two losing, it was Minety who made the greatest strides forward.

In the other match, 9th placed Calne overcame a Pewsey team who, according to their club president, had “forgotten how to tackle”.

Minety travel to Sutton Benger next Saturday looking for a win that will place pressure on Trowbridge who face the determined Melksham outfit who defeated Minety just before Christmas in the last play of a game the home side should have won.  Something must give at the top of the table where Combe Down travel to Avonvale while RWB take on Pewsey and Warminster travel to Supermarine.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 14th, 2019 at 8:01 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Hughes hat trick as Minety hit 50

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Hat trick hero, Sam Hughes

2019 has started really well for Minety, as they followed up their impressive victory over Royal Wootton Bassett last week with a crushing 50 -0 win over struggling Supermarine at Minety Fields on Saturday.

Coach Andy Grayson was forced into making 5 changes from last week’s team through injury but used the opportunity to welcome back flanker Kieran Tillotson and full back Matt Roberts, the latter after a long term back injury.

Minety started the match in 7th place in Dorset and Wiltshire Division 1 whilst Supermarine found themselves at the bottom, without a league win to their name this season.

The home team kicked off, playing up the slope, and immediately began playing some of their hallmark rugby, moving the ball swiftly through their mobile forwards to their pacey backs.  In the first minute only a fine defensive tackle prevented winger Duncan Simpson from scoring on the left wing.

It took the home side just 2 minutes to register their first try.  Scrum half Garin Garland fired the ball to fly half Sam Hughes.  The ball went swiftly on, via centre Jack Ward, to Roberts whose pace and guile split the defence wide open allowing winger Chris Rule to score wide on the right.

Chris Rule scores 1st try

Another marvellous run from Roberts, surely the most talented and exciting back in the league when fit, almost set up Hughes and then a break from Number 8 Andrew Hibbard and second row Ben Collins faltered close to the line.

Supermarine, faced with a confident and adventurous Minety, bellied their league position with some excellent tackling and rucking but were always on the back foot.  Minety should have increased their lead on several occasions but over-elaborated plays when a simpler option would have been more productive.

Minety’s 2nd try came in the 11th minute.  A clever chip by Simpson panicked the defence and from the ensuing scrum Garland found the illusive Hughes who sided stepped his way under the posts for the first of his three tries.  Garland converted and Minety were 12 – 0 up.

Sam Hughes crosses for try 2

The third try came straight from the re-start.  Prop Mark Glew caught the ball and then a play involving half of the Minety side saw them up to the Supermarine line.  When 2nd row Ben Scott was tackled metres from the line, Garland found captain Tom Claxton who set up a ruck and it was Collins who reacted first to pick up and score his 2nd try of the season.  Garland’s conversion took Minety to 19 points.

Ben Collins scores try No. 3

Three tries down after 14 minutes would have seen some other clubs buckle under the pressure, but to their credit Supermarine fought back, keeping the ball in tight and denying Minety the space to set up their attacks.

Both Rule and centre Jack Howse probably should have scored before half time but the speed and complexity of the moves led to the ball being lost at the crucial moment with the line beckoning.

When Supermarine did break out of their own half they looked dangerous but superb tackling from Garland, Simpson and Roberts kept them out. The visitors mounted a concerted assault on the Minety line in the closing minutes of the first half but were met with a steely resolve from the home team not to concede any points.

Minety lost combative flanker Jay Thompson to a yellow card early in the second half and then Glew was forced off with a thigh injury, Morgan Aubrey coming on for his 3rd appearance of the season.

Supermarine were reduced to 14 men when their full back saw red after an off the ball incident halted a superb Minety move involving Roberts, Aubrey, Ward and Garland.

Minety’s 4th, and bonus point winning try, came in the 54th minute.  After a move broke down in midfield it was Ward who reacted quickest to a loose ball to run in and score under the posts, Garland converting and the home team now in complete control 26-0 up.

Jack Ward beneath the posts for try No. 4

It was Howse who scored the 5th just three minutes later, ending a move across the pitch and beating three defenders to score out wide on the left.

Jack Howse scores No. 5

In the last ten minutes Minety scored three tries.  In the 72nd Ward and Aubrey combined to tackle and win the ball on the half way line and when Garland fed Howse his flick pass to Simpson saw the winger streak clear to run half the length of the pitch and score beneath the posts.

Duncan Simpson races in for try No. 6

Hughes added Minety’s 7th, and his second, try in the 76th minute, on hand to collect a pass and scythe through to score near the posts, Garland converting.

Sam Hughes grabs No. 7

In stoppage time the impressive Hughes collected his hat trick.  Garland’s tap penalty on the half way line was taken on by Hibbard who passed to Hughes 35 metres out. Somehow the young fly half beat 4 defenders to score a fine try and cap an excellent individual performance.

Sam Hughes caps a fine performance with a hat trick try

Minety almost grabbed a 9th with the final move of the game but Hughes again was denied by a last ditch tackle metres from the line.

Coach Andy Grayson was very pleased with the result.  “We set out to deny them any points, and we did, and we wanted to play our expansive game, which we did.  We scored some nice tries but we did over play some situations.  I know Sam Hughes had a terrific game but my Man of the Match goes to the returning Matt Roberts whose running and tackling was superb throughout.”

Man of the Match: Matt Roberts

Next week Minety make the short journey to Sutton Benger.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 13th, 2019 at 12:18 pm

MTV of Bassett match

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The footage of the match between Minety and Bassett is now available on this site.  Please use the Minety Player link from the side menu to access the film.

Many thanks.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 9th, 2019 at 9:59 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend Review

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Of course, our attention was focussed entirely upon our clash with our nearest and dearest and the win, completing a notable double over Bassett this season, was one to savour.  It’s certainly worth waiting for the MTV coverage of the match to be published on this site tomorrow to see a real belter of a game.  Minety’s win was all the more remarkable because, after kicking down the slope in the first half, Minety were able to shut out Bassett in the second half.  Four fine tries brought the added bonus of a “bonus” point but more importantly, the run of losses up to Christmas has now been halted and Andy Grayson and captain Tom Claxton can begin to plot a second half of the season challenge on that top three slot.

Elsewhere, top of the table Combe Down kept up their relentless march on the title with another crushing win, this time by 50 – 0 at Sutton Benger while Avonvale in second place easily overcame Calne.  Third place Melksham, whose impressive pre Christmas run included a last gasp victory over Minety, were again winners against bottom of the table Supermarine, who Minety entertain at Minety Fields next weekend.

4th placed Warminster enjoyed a high scoring win over a resurgent Pewsey while 5th place Trwobridge defeated Chippenham in a close run match.  In effect, all of the top half of the table teams, with the exception of Bassett, won while all of the bottom half of the table teams, with the notable exception  of Minety, lost.

A win next week against basement side Supermarine will do Minety no harm, especially since 5th placed Trowbridge travel to Combe Down and 6th placed Bassett travel to 4th placed Warminster.

The match between Minety and Combe Down in Division 3 goes down in the records as an Away Walk Over, but that doesn’t quite tell the story of a dramatic 30 minutes of rugby at Minety Fields on Saturday.  Steve Wilson’s team started the match under strength in numbers and when a disagreement on the field involving several players from both sides resulted in both teams being reduced further by two yellow cards aside, Minety were down to the bare minimum required to compete in a match.  When a further Minety player was injured and had to leave the pitch the referee declared the match over, with Combe Down pocketing maximum points.  It is worth clarifying that Minety will not be docked any points because of tthe AWO result.

Elsewhere, runaway leaders Amesbury were not involved and Combe Down were able to close the gap at the top.  Warminster surprisingly dropped points in a home draw with lowly Melksham while Swindon overcame Bardford in an epic 44-43 match.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 8th, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Skeleton Dave

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On the Bath training track

This week Minety RFC winger Dave Cooke will swap his boots and the Minety rugby pitch for spikes and the Olympic Bobsleigh and Skelton run at Whistler Mountain on the west coast of Canada.

He first tried the Skeleton at the University of Bath, the centre for the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Team, in 2017 and was hooked.

Dave travels to Whistler, about a two hour drive north of Vancouver on the western sea board, this week to join 15 other intrepid Skeleton racers for a three day course on what is claimed to be the fastest ice run in the world.

“It’s going to be a challenge but I’m really looking forward to it,” he said as he set off for Heathrow Airport.  “The course I’ve joined breaks down into instruction sessions in a classroom and then time on the Olympic run.  We’ll start off quite close to the end of the course, at around turn 13, and gradually make our way up towards the top, possibly as high as curve 6.”

The Whistler course

The Whistler track, which was recently used by Britain’s Bronze medallist, Chippenham based Laura Deas, features 16 bends as it winds down 1450 metres of the side of the mountain, with top racers reaching speeds in excess of 90mph as the run drops over 150 metres, their chins millimetres from the ice.”

Success on this course will allow the Minety winger the chance to try out European tracks next year.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 7th, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Home Page,News