Minety RFC

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Slow start costs Minety dear

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Elis Garland, scorer of two second half tries

Buoyed by their excellent season opening win at Pewsey, Minety took to the field at Warminster under no illusions that this was to be an altogether stiffer test.  In fact, it took less than a minute for the in-form home team to score.  Direct from the kick off, Warminster secured the ball and a fine move across the pitch involving the entire back line saw their full back touch down under the posts.

Shell shocked, Minety hit back and enjoyed territorial advantage but were held at bay by some ferocious Warminster tackling in midfield.

When a Minety backs move broke down metres from the Warminster line it looked as if the home team would increase their lead but brilliant smothering tackles from centre Jack Howse and winger Ben Langridge saved the day.

Warminster doubled their lead in the 11th minute with another break away try.  A cross field run from their pacey full back and a well-timed pass to his right winger saw the latter out pace a threadbare defence and score under the posts.

Whilst a stable scrum and some good lineout ball gave the village team plenty of possession, the speed of the home defence meant little quality ball reached the Minety wingers.

Warminster’s third try came, once again, after a period of Minety pressure.  A neat interchange between centre and fly half saw the latter break through, evading two tacklers and scoring out wide on the right.

Minety held Warminster at bay for the rest of the half and started the second period strongly with scrum half Garin Garland a constant thorn in the home side’s defence.

Minety got on the score sheet nine minutes into the half.  Moving the ball much more confidently, they launched attack after attack on the home line and after Warminster were penalised for a high tackle, Garland took a tap penalty and fed hooker Tom Claxton, who charged through to score.

Minety’s second try, and the best of the match, came direct from the kick off and featured scrum half Garin Garland and his elder brother, full back Elis Garland, making a comeback after over a year out. Breaking the home line, the younger Garland fed his brother who outpaced 6 defenders to score wide on the left.

Minety’s desire to attack from all areas of the pitch cost them dear in the 54th minute.  After winning a scrum deep in their own 22, a clearance kick to touch would have been the safe option, but they chose to run the ball out and when the move broke down, Warminster pounced on the loose ball to score near the posts to stretch the lead to 26-10.

Langridge’s stunning one handed ankle tackle prevented another home side breakaway score as both teams went on all-out attack mode as the game entered its final quarter.

Del Murray scored Minety’s third try after they won a line out and scrum half Garland spotted a gap by the touchline which saw the young winger touch down by the corner flag.  Garland’s long range conversion was successful and Minety were back in the game.

Warminster struck back and a slick move across the backs saw their right winger touch down in the 77th minute.

Minety ended the match strongly and several try scoring attempts were thwarted by last ditch tackles, but the villagers gained a well-deserved consolation bonus point winning 4th try when the mercurial Elis Garland broke through to score in stoppage time.

Coach Hywel Rees took many positives from the game.  “We scored four second half tries against a very good team.  Everyone stepped up their game after our slow start.  We need to switch on at the start and begin with the same intensity that we end our games but overall I’m really proud of all the lads who played today.”

Written by Graham Cooke

September 17th, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Claxton inspires Minety to opening day win

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New Minety captain Tom Claxton saw his team open their Wadworth 6X Dorset and Wilts Division 1 campaign with a fine 29-14 victory at Pewsey Vale on Saturday.

On a beautifully prepared pitch, Minety dominated the early exchanges as the forwards held a powerful Pewsey pack and the pacey Minety backs ran at the home team’s line.

Against the run of play, Pewsey took the lead in the 9th minute.  A speculative kick into the Minety 22 took a wicked bounce and full back Duncan Simpson was clattered to the ground as he tried to pick up.  The loose ball was seized upon and the try awarded close to the posts.

Centre Tom Windle was denied a try in the 13th minute by a last second clearance after a clever kick from fly half Adam Watts wrong footed the Pewsey defence.

Minety opened their account with a fine opening try in the 20th minute.  A solid scrum on the half way line allowed scrum half Garin Garland to feed Watts who passed to right winger Ben Langridge.  From the ruck, Simpson broke the line and fed left winger Dave Cooke, who side stepped the full back and ran in to score under the posts.

Garland’s conversion was successful and the match was tied at 7 all.

Minety’s 2nd try came in the 32nd minute.  A lineout steal in their own half led to a break from No. 8 Andrew Hibbard.  Garland kicked ahead and when the ball was won at the ruck centre Dave Church and Windle combined to allow the latter to score wide on the right.

The score galvanised the home team, who proceeded to play some of their best rugby, pushing the visitors back onto their own line.  A Pewsey score seemed inevitable when Garland was yellow carded but somehow the 14 men of Minety held out to half time.

With flanker Josh Bull imperious at the lineout and the pack, with Mark Glew and Colin French, in fine form, Minety controlled the start of the second half.

Garland extended Minety’s lead in the 50th minute with a penalty after the home team were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.

Pewsey mounted attack after attack on the visitors’ line, only for each wave to be repelled by some immense tackling from Ben Collins, Matt Chisholm, Church and Bull in particular.

Pewsey’s 2nd try came at the end of another concerted series of attacks.  The successful conversion brought the scores to 15-14 in the visitors’ favour and set up a breathless last quarter.

Both sides pushed for the victory and play moved around the pitch at breakneck speed.

The match was settled in the 79th minute when Simpson picked up in midfield and ran in to score from 30 metres, Garland converting the try.

The “4 try bonus point” was secured deep into injury time.  Minety won a Pewsey scrum in their own half, Garland drove forward before slipping the ball to Bull who capped a fine performance by running in the try from 35 metres.

Garland’s conversion ended the match with Minety 29-14 victors.

New Minety coach Andy Grayson was delighted with the performance.  “We all fronted up and I was delighted with the commitment the lads showed.  It was a great squad performance with a number of 2nd team players stepping up and showing their qualities.  It’s onwards and upwards as we prepare for Warminster next week.”

 

Written by Graham Cooke

September 10th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Nailsea prove too much for inexperienced Minety

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Minety 7  Nailsea 45  2nd September 2017.  Pre-season friendly

Minety’s final pre season friendly match proved to be a bruising encounter against Somerset Premier League side Nailsea and Backwell.

After the comfortable 36-0 victory over Cricklade in midweek, coaches Andy Grayson and Hywel Rees put out a relatively inexperienced team against the formidable Nailsea outfit.

Lacking a number of 1st team regulars, the Minety team surprisingly held the aggressive and well organised Nailsea team in the opening half hour.  Much of the play was in the Minety half but some ferocious defensive tackling kept the pacey Nailsea backs at bay.

The opening score took to the 30th minute to arrive.  A move across field saw the Minety defence stretched and Nailsea crossed the line from close in.  Minety barely had time to re-organise before the visitors doubled their lead with a second try and then followed it up with a third in quick succession.

The home side clawed their way back into the game and young Kieran James brilliantly scooped up a loose ball to run in under the posts from 20 metres out after a fine flowing move involving Minety forwards and backs.  Garin Garland slotted the conversion from in front of the posts.

With the game opening up Nailsea exploited a gap in the home defence to score their fourth try in the final minute of 1st half injury time.

Grayson and Rees made a number of changes to the lineup at half time, some, unfortunately forced upon them through injury, as the game was played at breakneck pace on a well grassed but nevertheless firm pitch.

Tenacious tackling from the Minety players kept the score down in the opening exchanges of the second half but then three quick tries in 10 breathless second half minutes killed the game for the home team as Nailsea ran out 46-7 victors.

Andy Grayson was upbeat after the match.  “We played this game with a majority of lads who played in the 2nds last year.  That meant they were up against players 4 leagues above them.  We tackled our hearts out and in the end simply ran out of steam.  I couldn’t have asked for more effort and I’m delighted with the commitment of our team.”

Captain Tom Claxton, himself forced off in the second half with an ankle injury, added, “Everyone turned up this afternoon.  We left nothing out on the pitch.  Of more importance, we know what we have to do to improve and we can work at those aspects of the game in training.”

Both Minety teams will be league action next week when the 1st team travel to Pewsey Vale while the seconds play away at Warminster.

Club training is on Tuesday night at 7pm.

 

Written by Graham Cooke

September 3rd, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Minety win pre season encounter

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Minety’s new coaching team, Andy Grayson and Hywel Rees, declared themselves pleased with the home team’s performance in their 36-0 pre season victory over near neighbours Cricklade in a match played at Minety Fields on Tuesday evening.

The game, spread across three 20 minute periods, allowed both sets of coaches the chance to see as many of their 2017-2018 squads in action as possible.

Minety kicked off and spent nearly all of the first period encamped in Cricklade’s half.  Early breaks from fly half Tom McAllister kept the visitors pinned back and the first try came after a fine tactical kick into the corner.  Newly appointed club captain, Tom Claxton’s lineout found second  rower Ben Scott, who, supported by the Minety pack, pushed forward to the Cricklade line.  Second team captain Matt Stone took the ball on and from the resulting ruck scrum half Garin Garland found number 8 Andrew Hibbard and last year’s captain scored with ease.  Garland’s conversion missed to the left of the posts.

Continued Minety pressure resulted in a second try, this time for fly half McAllister after a probing run from centre John Blair had opened up the Cricklade defence.  Garland’s conversion was successful although Minety ended the first period 12-0 up having to defend their lines as Cricklade pressed forward.

The start of the second period saw the home team camped on the visitors’ line.  Garland’s quick passing spread the ball across the park and it was young Kieran James who broke through the first line of defence.  Ben Scott was stopped on the line but second row Ben Collins picked up at the back of a ruck and dived over for Minety’s third try.  Garland’s long range conversion missed narrowly but the lead was now 17 points.

With both coaching teams making multiple changes to the line ups, Ben Wilson collected a Cricklade clearance on half way, evaded a defender and off loaded to Ellis Garland, making his first Minety appearance for some time.  The elder Garland cut through the Cricklade defence before chipping the ball over the full back and touching down for a fine solo effort.  His brother, Garin, kicked the resulting conversion to take the score to 24-0.

The third period was played in the gathering gloom.  With less than 2 minutes gone into the period full back Duncan Simpson chose to run the ball out from under his own posts, passing to the influential Matt Roberts, back in the team after an injury ravaged 2016/7.  Roberts’ pace outstripped no less than 6 defenders before he off loaded to Simpson who ran in to touch down under the posts from 5 metres out.  Garland converted the try to push Minety’s lead to 31 points.

As the Minety floodlights illuminated at least one side of the pitch, Cricklade gamely pressed forward, eschewing the chance to kick at least two penalties in favour of running the ball but it was another brilliant Roberts try, this time from 40 metres out that finished the scoring with the home team running out 36-0 victors.

Minety will finish their pre season preparations with another home match, this time against Nailsea, on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

 

Written by Graham Cooke

August 30th, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Pewsey power too much for Minety

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Minety’s 1st XV ended their Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North campaign with a disappointing 43-25 defeat at the hands of Pewsey Vale on Saturday.

Minety finished in a creditable 6th place in the 12 team division with 11 wins from their 22 outings, one place above local rivals Wootton Bassett, whose 50-0 defeat at the hands of Bradford on Avon left them in 7th place.

The season ender was played in unseasonably warm weather at the picturesque Pewsey ground.

The visitors kicked off and pushed Pewsey back into their own 22 metre area with some quick passing but the “writing was on the wall” when Pewsey’s centres broke through the Minety defence and only some sloppy passing prevented an opening try.  The powerful Pewsey pack disrupted Minety’s scrum and the village side were forced to defend their lines desperately, fly half Tom McAllister’s kicking easing the pressure.

Against the run of play, Minety opened the scoring.  After Pewsey had been penalised for delaying a lineout, captain Andrew Hibbard picked up the ball 50 metres out and ran straight through the defence, off-loading the ball to Duncan Simpson, who touched down between the posts.  Garin Garland kicked the conversion and Minety were an improbable 7-0 up.

Pewsey hit back 5 minutes later when Minety were penalised in their own 22.  From the resulting scrum, fly half James Haynes burst through before slipping a pass to No. 8 Phil Vallis who scored from close range.  Haynes’ conversion tied up the scores at 7 each.

Minety kept the match even by moving the ball quickly in the backs but the scrummages were very one sided and any ball that the visitors claimed put them on the back foot.

Big second row Ben Collins, just back after a serious knee injury, proved a handful for the Pewsey defence and gave some respite for Minety’s overworked defence.

Minety regained the lead in the 30th minute when Pewsey offended at a ruck, Garland kicking the penalty, and it was the young full back who extended the lead to 13-7 from another penalty in the 35th minute.

Pewsey struck back before half time.  Once again, the combination of No. 8 Vallis and Haynes proved too much for the beleaguered visiting defence and the fly half touched down for Pewsey’s second try and then kicked the conversion to take the lead 14-13 at the end of the first half.

If there is to be one criticism that can be levied against the Minety team it is their inability to “switch back on” after a break and the four unanswered Pewsey tries in the first 12 minutes of the second half demonstrated this and ended Minety’s chance of getting anything from this match.

In the 41st minute replacement forward Sam Flippance ran straight through the Minety defence to score a fine solo try, converted by Haynes.

Three minutes later McAllister’s try line clearance was charged down and Pewsey’s loose head prop Guy Ellis was first to react to the loose ball to touch down.

Pewsey’s third try of the half came in the 49th minute.  Fly half Haynes picked up a Minety clearance, ran it back and from the resulting ruck flanker Olly Spence picked up and ran through for a try under the posts.

Pewsey’s 6th try came shortly after when flanker Chris Spence seized on the ball and scored wide out on the right wing.  Haynes’ long range conversion fell short but Pewsey were now in complete control of the match, leading 38-13.

The home team were reduced to 14 men when Chris Spence was yellow carded for “pulling an opponent down” at a lineout.

Minety pressed forward and played some of their most enterprising rugby of the match but all too often the final pass went astray and possession lost.

Both teams lost a player, each yellow carded, after a flare up in the 61st minute.

Minety’s second try came after a period of pressure on the Pewsey line.  A midfield run from Jack Ward was rebuffed but Simpson was on hand to pick up and score.

Pewsey extended their lead to 43-18 in the 77th minute when Vallis sprinted through for his second try.

Minety’s final try was a penalty try awarded after winger Dave Cooke’s fine run through the Pewsey defence was halted by a desperate neck high tackle close to the try line.

The final moments of the match saw Minety desperately trying to gain the all-important bonus point winning 4th try, but all their efforts were repelled by a resolute Pewsey defence.

Final score: Pewsey Vale 43 Minety 25

Gallery

 

Team photographs to follow; film of the match will be on MTV on Wednesday.

 

 

Written by Graham Cooke

April 23rd, 2017 at 12:02 pm

First half blitz sees Minety 2nds home

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With the 1st XV enjoying a rare weekend off, all eyes were focused upon Matt Stone’s Minety 2nd XV as they headed to Devizes for a Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North match on Saturday.

With the teams separated by just 6 points in the league, Devizes being 7th and Minety 8th, and the season rapidly nearing its end, this match was a “must win”  for both sides.

The opening exchanges were even, with defences on top.  Devizes were clearly the heavier and stronger in the scrum and their domination tested Minety’s defensive line again and again.  Somewhat against the run of play, Minety opened the scoring.  Exploiting a lack of numbers down the right, Minety’s backs pulled the Devizes defence one way and then the other before a quick interchange of passes saw veteran front row forward Steve Murray run through to score under the posts.  Will Mason kicked the conversion and Minety were 7-0 up.

Minety doubled their lead soon after.  Once again, the Devizes scrum put pressure on the Minety pack but from the disrupted play, scrum half Garin Garland spotted an opening and broke through.  Winger Kieran Gash cut back against the run of play and Garland’s long pass saw the winger through and under the posts.  Once again Mason slotted the conversion and Minety were 14 points to the good.

Minety continued to exploit spaces out wide and pushed their opponents back into their own 22 metre area.  When the home team were penalised for a rucking offence Garland took a quick penalty and his pass saw captain Matt Stone through for Minety’s third try.  Mason’s conversion was successful and Minety were 21 -0 up.

Devizes hit back and scored an unconverted try shortly before half time to reduce the arrears to 21-5.

Minety’s efforts in the first half took their toll early in the second.  With some fatigue and a little complacency, they let Devizes come back at them and the pressure told when Devizes scored their second try to reduce the deficit to 11.

The villagers were immediately on the back foot from the restart.  A lost ball and a couple of missed tackles saw Devizes score their third try, this one converted.

With the score now Devizes 17  Minety 21, the visitors rallied and regained some of the fire and form that had seen them so dominant in the first half.  Pressure eventually saw centre Tom Windle break through two tackles to score what was Minety’s final try with Mason converting again to end the match Devizes 17 Minety 28.

The “4 try bonus point” means that Minety 2nds are just 2 league points behind Devizes with the village team sporting a much superior points difference as the two teams prepare for the final league matches of the season on the 22nd April when Minety entertain 4th placed Warminster and Devizes host 2nd placed Alfred’s Nomads.

Captain Matt Stone praised the efforts of his team after the match.  “It was a patched up team but everyone came together and I thought our first half performance was tremendous.  We did switch off a bit at the start of the second half and had to show real determination not to allow Devizes to overwhelm us.  The bonus point was just what we hoped for and 7th place in the league is definitely there for the taking.”

Man of the Match: Mike Scott

 

 

Written by Graham Cooke

April 9th, 2017 at 10:08 am

Super 7 for Minety

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Minety’s final home match of the season saw them host Swindon, one place below them in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.

Played in unseasonably warm weather, Minety kicked off up the slope at Minety Fields.  On a good, firm surface, both teams spread the ball across the line and opted for an open running game in the early exchanges.

The home team took an early lead when captain Andrew Hibbard burst over for the opening try from close range after Swindon had been penalised twice near their own line.

Minety nearly extended their lead minutes later when winger Ben Langridge was held up over the line after a superb attacking move involving all of the Minety backs.

Against the run of play, Swindon snatched the lead in the 21st minute.  A long clearance kick pushed Minety back onto their own line and when an adventurous move to run the ball back broke down, Swindon flanker Jermain Edwards ran in to score under the posts.  Fly half Mark Chatwin converted the try and Swindon were 7-5 up.

Swindon’s lead was short lived; Minety surged back and from a scrum deep in the visitor’s half, centre Tom Windle beat four defenders to score under the posts.  Garin Garland’s conversion extended the lead to 12-7.

Minety’s third try, in the 31st minute, ironically came at the end of Swindon’s best attacking period of the half.  Winger Langridge pounced on a loose ball and ran 80 metres unchallenged to score under the posts.

The villagers controlled most of the rest of the half but were unable to turn possession and territory into points.

The opening exchanges of the 2nd half were even, Swindon using the ball well across the line without ever really threatening the home team’s try line.

The crucial 4th and bonus point winning try came in the 54th minute.  Garland’s quick penalty caught the Swindon defence flat footed and allowed centre John Blair to cross under the posts.

Minety increased the lead 3 minutes later.  Fly half Tom McAllister spotted an overlap on the left and his precise through kick was collected by Langridge for his second try of the match.

Garland’s long range conversion took the score out to 33-7.

Tom Windle’s second try of the match came in the 73rd minute.  McAllister’s fine penalty kick took play to Swindon’s 5 metre line.  Hibbard won the lineout ball and , after a series of rucks, the centre burst through to score Minety’s 6th try. Garland’s conversion was successful and Minety were 40-7 up.

Minety scored their 7th, and final try of the match, in the far left corner after another sweeping “training ground” move by the backs to end the match 45-7 victors.

The win, and crucial bonus point, takes Minety back above Royal Wootton Bassett, and into 6th place in the league with just one match, away at Pewsey Vale on the 22nd April to come.

Coach Craig Smith was very happy with the performance.  “That was a pretty awesome display.  We stuck to the game plan, played quick ball and supported each other.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard, playing his last game as club captain said, “It was a great performance from everyone.  We had plenty of possession and used the ball well.  It was nice to be able to play on our 1st team pitch for a change.”

 

Man of the Match:  Rob Bugden, the inspiring the team from the sidelines.  More on Rob’s appearance later on this week.

Written by Graham Cooke

April 2nd, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Minety edged out in dramatic derby

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Minety travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday knowing that a win was vital against their nearest rivals, both in the table and geographically.

With club captain Andrew Hibbard unavailable, the village side were further hampered when vice captain Will North pulled out ill on the morning of the match and then hugely influential centre Jack Ward turned an ankle in warm up and was withdrawn.

The hastily re-arranged Minety formation, with many playing out of position, faced a strong Bassett team including a number of 1st teamers returning to action after injury.

Playing downhill, and with a fierce wind behind them, Minety used fly half Tom McAllister’s kicking ability to drive Bassett back deep into their own half to allow the hastily reshuffled village side to settle into the match.

Scrum half Garin Garland kept the ball close to the pack at breakdowns as Minety pressed forward, using the hard charging Tom Windle to make ground down the centre.

Somewhat against the run of play, Bassett took an early lead in the 9th minute.  Minety chose to run a ball out of defence, when perhaps a clearance kick would have been the better option.  Possession was lost and Bassett’s backs moved the ball swiftly to their right winger, who crossed in the corner.

Minety hit back straight away and flanker Josh Bull was stopped close to the line by a last ditch tackle and from the ensuing ruck, prop Owen Richardson was held up on the line.

Tom Windle scores Minety’s 1st try

A Garland effort was ruled out when Minety were penalised close to the Bassett line before the visitors opened their account after a period of sustained pressure.  With Garland orchestrating attack after attack, the scrum half threw a huge pass to centre John Blair who off loaded to Windle who scored out on the left.

Garland’s long range conversion was successful and Minety rebuffed a series of Bassett attacks to go into the break 7-5 up.

Both teams struggled with the blustery conditions.  A Bassett penalty kick near their own line caught in the wind and sailed the length of the pitch resulting in a Minety scrum deep in the Bassett 22 metre area.

Minety dominated possession and territory after the break, captain Tom Claxton driving forward on the crash ball while Garland used his backs well to spread play.

Bassett regained the lead with one of their first incursions into Minety territory in the 56th minute.  A huge clearance kick pushed the visitors back into their own 22 and when they tried to run the ball out of defence a pass went astray and Bassett pounced to score out wide on the left.  An excellent conversion from the touch line extended the home side’s lead to 5 points.

With both sides visibly tiring and the injury count rising alarmingly, the game entered the final quarter with Bassett 12-7 up.

Chris Rule runs in try No. 2

The match was settled in a dramatic 90 second period starting in the 74th minute.  Garland spotted a gap and burst through the Bassett defence. From the ruck Claxton fed winger Dave Cooke, who drew the covering defender before passing to full back Chris Rule, who ran in to score Minety’s second try to bring the scores level.  Garland’s conversion attempt stalled in the wind.

Straight from the kick off the ball was spilled and Bassett picked up and ran in for their third, and decisive, try beneath the posts.  The conversion was successful and despite Minety pressure in the last 5 minutes, the game was lost 19-12.

Coach Craig Smith praised his players for the “massive effort” that they had put in.

Tom Claxton, speaking after the game, said, “It was frustrating; we made two mistakes and were punished for both.  The lads put in a terrific shift and I was proud to be captain of a side that put so much into the match.”

Club Chairman Dave Peirce had nothing but praise for the Minety team.  “It was a fantastic effort from all the players.  They did themselves and the club proud.”

In the weekend’s other game the Minety 2nd XV, captained by Matt Stone, travelled to Swindon and came away with a fine 27-7 victory to boost their position in Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North.

Written by Graham Cooke

March 26th, 2017 at 11:46 am

Minety lose out in dour affair

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Minety missed the chance to grab 5th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North when they lost to a strong and well organised Melksham 26-7 at Melksham’s impressive new ground.

After their convincing win over Supermarine last week, Andrew Hibbard’s team went into the fixture with the chance of leap frogging Pewsey Vale in the league but came away well beaten in a dour affair.

Minety enjoyed most of the early play, fly half Tom McAllister using the blustery cross wind to good effect.  Opting to play almost exclusively in the forwards, Minety controlled proceedings.

Melksham took the lead following a superb 6 man move along the line that took play from their own 22 right up to the Minety line.  Although the visitors managed a partial clearance, Melskham’s outside centre ran a fine diagonal line to score wide on the right wing.  The conversion was successful and Melksham led 7-0.

With centre Dave Church and captain Hibbard making ground down the centre, Minety fought back but too often players were isolated in the tackle and quality ball was squandered.

Melksham’s second try, in the 15th minute, came about when McAllister was forced into a hasty clearance after messy ball from a scrum close to Minety’s line.  The Melksham backs ran the ball and their full back cut through Minety’s defences to score under the posts.

Minety’s best chance of the half came from a Hibbard break but despite spending 5 minutes camped on the Melksham line, the village team were unable to score.

Del Murray replaced the injured David O’Took after 30 minutes as the game became mired in midfield.  When Murray was yellow carded for a high tackle in first half stoppage time Minety were forced to play with 14 men for 10 minutes.

Melksham dominated the opening plays of the second half, Minety’s chances being further hampered by the loss of the hard charging Church to an ankle injury.

Flanker Josh Bull was held up over the Melksham line in the 60th minute but despite more goal line pressure the home defence held firm.

Melksham’s 3rd try came after a Minety counter attack floundered in midfield and the ball inextricably found its way into the hands of Melksham’s left wing, who ran in to score under the posts from 22 metres.

The 4th, and bonus point winning try came just 2 minutes later, in the 69th minute.  A superb cut back by Melksham’s No. 13 split the Minety defence and a well-timed off load allowed the full back to run in for a try from 40 metres out.

Will North crosses for Minety’s try.

Minety’s try in the final move of the game was deserved reward for all of their efforts.  Hibbard broke through on the left and a short pass to prop Will North saw the latter score close to the posts.  McAllister converted the try to leave the final score 26-7 to Melksham.

Written by Graham Cooke

March 19th, 2017 at 11:23 am

Minety return to winning ways

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Minety produced arguably their best half of rugby this season during the first half of their 38-5 Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North league victory over Supermarine on Saturday.

The village side’s victory allowed them to leap frog over their closest rival Royal Wootton Basset and climb to 6th place in the league, just a point behind 5th placed Pewsey Vale.

Having lost the toss, Andrew Hibbard’s team faced the prospect of playing up the slope at Minety Fields in the first half against strong and physical opponents.

Welcoming back influential centres Dave Church and Jack Ward, and with a settled pack, the village side imposed themselves from the opening whistle.

1st try in 6th minute

After a series of attacking moves had been rebuffed, Minety opened the scoring.  The forwards set up the move, pushing their way deep into the Supermarine half before Ward and flanker Tom Windle battered the Supermarine defence right back to their try line.  Twice Minety forwards were denied by last ditched tackles but flanker David O’Took found the smallest of gaps to squeeze through for a try which Garin Garland converted.

Minety enjoyed the vast majority of the possession and territory in the first quarter of the match, winning quality ball at both lineout and scrum.

Using hooker Tom Claxton and the impressive Tom Windle on the crash ball, the backs were able to spread attacks across the pitch and it was something of a surprise that the home side took until the 22nd minute to extend their lead.

Excellent defensive tackling from Supermarine kept out the dangerous Church and Hibbard but the pressure told when the visitors were penalised for offside.  Garland stroked home the ensuing penalty and extended the lead to 10 points.

Captain scores try number 2

With Supermarine still to make any significant ground in the Minety half, the home team launched another wave of attacks which resulted in another penalty, this time for “going over the top and off the feet” at a ruck.  Garland stepped up and Minety were now 13-0 up.

On the half hour Supermarine finally pushed Minety deep back into their own half but Josh Bull took Claxton’s throw in and fly half Tom McAllister cleared the lines with an impressive kick to touch on the half way line.

Garland kicked his 3rd penalty of the half in the 34th minute and right on half time Windle was held up over the line.  From the resulting 5 metre scrum, Hibbard picked up and drove over for Minety 2nd try and a half time lead of 21-0.

Coach Craig Smith replaced prop Will North with Nick Britten at half time.

Tom Windle scores try number 3

Playing downhill in the 2nd half, Minety extended their lead in the 45th minute.  After a period of sustained attacking play, Windle burst through a gap in the Supermarine defensive line and fended off three players to score under the posts.  Garland converted and Minety were comfortably 28-0 up.

The game became fragmented as the penalty count rose against both teams and Supermarine saw their chance as Minety failed to settle.  Pushing the home team back deep into their own 22 metre area, the visitors forced a number of penalties, opting to scrum each time, and finally in the 52nd minute they crossed for an unconverted try wide out on the left wing.

Minety shook off their lethargy and when Garland was adjudged to have been unfairly dump tackled close to the Supermarine posts, he slotted home the penalty to take the home team to 31 points.

Garin kicks his 4th penalty

The game then drifted again, neither team able to make much progress, although the Supermarine defence did put in some fine smothering tackles to end Minety attacks.

As the final whistle approached Minety switched back on again and pushed forward for the 4th try, which would guarantee them an all-important league bonus point.

In the final play of the game, Ward and Church combined to punch a hole in the Supermarine defensive line and an off load allowed Bull to run in for the 4th try under the posts.  Garland kicked the conversion, his third of the day, and Minety ran out 38-5 winners and, in so doing, gained maximum league points.

Josh Bull scores try number 4

After the match captain Andrew Hibbard said, “That was a really good win for us after our defeat last week at Corsham and it’s great to see that it lifts us into 6th place in the league. I thought our first half game was perfect.  We had a game plan and we stuck to it.  In the second half we allowed things to drift a bit, lost our shape and

struggled, but the main thing was we got the win and the bonus point with that try right at the end.”

Man of the Match: Josh Bull, for his all round game and the fine last minute try.

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Gallery: Click cedntre to Pause / Start slideshow.  Click on left or right side of photo to move back and forth.

 

 

Written by Graham Cooke

March 12th, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Corsham turn on the style

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Top of the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table Corsham maintained their unbeaten record this season with a comprehensive victory over Minety by 46 points to 4 at Corsham on Saturday.

In weather conditions that veered wildly from spring sunshine to wintery squalls, the home team showed just why they have been unbeaten for so long in this league.

Minety were forced into changes even before the match kicked off when prop forward Will North picked up an injury in warm up, Owen Richardson coming in to replace him.

It was Minety who forced the first play of the game right from the kick off, but when the ball was lost in a ruck close to the Corsham lines the home backs moved the ball quickly and pacey winger Kalif Barnes broke through the stretched Minety defence to run the length of the pitch for the first try, converted by Hamish Miller.

Minety hit back, keeping the ball tight and close to their forwards before releasing Tom Windle to batter the heart of the Corsham defence.  Twice Minety attacks were thwarted by excellent tackling and rucking from Corsham but the pressure eventually gave rise to two penalties to Minety, both kicked by fly half Tom McAllister, to bring the score back to 7 – 6 after 13 minutes.

With dominance at the scrum and an ability to disrupt the normally efficient Minety line out, Corsham controlled the quality ball and left the village side to feed from loose ball.  Strong defensive tackling from winger Chris Rule and full back Duncan Simpson kept Minety in the game while flanker Josh Bull fought for any ball on the ground.

With the home team playing on the front foot, the second try in the 26th minute was inevitable.  Clever work in midfield allowed flanker Josh Macey to exploit numerical imbalance on the right wing and score out wide.  Macey got his second try just 5 minutes later, again down the right and Corsham gained their four try bonus point in the 38th minute when full back Robert Robinson crashed over to leave the score 22-6 to the home team.

The second half started as a mirror image of the first; a Minety attack was broken up and, with the village side over committed Adam Draper was able to run through to score Corsham’s 5th try.

The match settled down with Minety resorting to keeping the ball close, hooker Tom Claxton and second row Ash Windle running close ball and captain Andrew Hibbard proving to be hard to handle.

Corsham’s 6th try came from a move that used the full width of the pitch in the 63rd minute and they followed that up with another try, in the 68th minute, this time under the posts, during a period when they had two players in the sin bin.

Minety pressed hard for a try in the final quarter of the game with Richardson and Simpson held up just short of the line.  It was perhaps inevitable that Corsham’s 8th and final try should come after a period of Minety pressure.  Once again, their line speed and sheer power overwhelmed a tiring Minety defence and Alex Peterson was able to score leaving the final score of 46-6 for Corsham.

Minety captain was philosophical about the defeat afterwards.  “We knew this would be our toughest match of the season; they are not top of the league and unbeaten for nothing.  They have a good, strong mobile pack and fast backs.  They prevented us from getting quality ball from scrums and lineouts and forced us back at every opportunity.  Perhaps we could have kept the play tighter but we are a young, developing team and tried our best to push them back and spread the play.”

The win takes Corsham 13 points of chasing Warminster at the top of the table while Minety slip back to 7th behind Royal Wootton Bassett, who overcame Chippenham.

In the weekend’s other fixture, Matt Stone Minety 2nd XV travelled to Supermarine for a mid table clash and came away with a creditable 22-14 victory to cement their 7th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North table.

 

Gallery of photographs taken during Corsham Minety match.

Once the slideshow has loaded the first image, click in the middle of the image to start the slideshow or click on left (back) or right hand side (forward) to move through the slides.

Written by Graham Cooke

March 5th, 2017 at 10:39 am

Minety cruise to 13 try victory

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Minety continued their fine run of form on Saturday with a crushing 79-0 victory over lowly Devizes at Minety Fields. After excellent away wins over Frome and Chippenham, the village side knew that nothing less than a win and a “4 try” bonus point would satisfy against a Devizes team yet to win in the league this season.

In unseasonably warm conditions and choosing to play up the infamous Minety slope in the first half, the home side dominated play.  After some clever interchanges involving forwards and backs, it was centre Jack Ward who opened the scoring in the 9th minute, crashing over the line for the first try, which was converted by scrum half Garin Garland.

Minety should have extended their lead shortly after but a penalty kick drifted wide of the posts.

Devizes initiated their first meaningful attack in the 20th minute but the greatly improved Minety tackling repelled all danger and quickly turned defence into attack.

Captain Andrew Hibbard collected the ball in midfield and left a wake of Devizes defenders before off-loading to flanker Josh Bull who drew the covering defence before executing a perfectly timed pass to allow full back Duncan Simpson to score Minety’s 2nd try in the 26th minute.

The third try came when Garland broke a tackle and was halted on the Devizes line.  Bull, in close support, touched down and the successful conversion saw Minety 19-0 up.

The bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries in a games was secured in the 37th minute.  With the Minety lineout and scrum affording quality controlled possession, Garland sent the ball along the back line and Del Murray, playing his first game at centre this season, drove through the Devizes defence before passing to flanker Tom Windle, who scored beneath the posts.  Garland’s conversion took the half time score to 26-0.

With the benefit of the slope in the 2nd half, Minety pushed forward right from the kick off.  Garland scored the first of a second half hat trick of tries in the 46th minute after hooker Tom  Claxton and Hibbard had battered their way through the Devizes defence.

With Minety comprehensively on top, Garland and fly half Tom McAllister used every opportunity to fling the ball out wide.  When winger Dave Cooke was halted inches from the line the ball was successfully rucked back and Ward scored his 2nd try and Minety’s 6th.

The impressive Murray sliced through the tiring Devizes defence in the 53rd minute for the 7th try, converted by Garland.

The Minety pack combined for a push over try from 15 metres out in the 62nd minute, Hibbard touching down and Garland again converting to send the score to 52-0.

Garland’s 2nd try came in the 66th minute after a forward’s move which saw Hibbard break through and six minutes later winger John Blair touched down.

Two tries in the last minute, the first from Garland and the second from Hibbard, who ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts, ended the match with Minety 79-0 winners.

Minety’s win keeps the village side in 6th place but now only 4 points behind 5th placed Pewsey Vale and only 6 behind 3rd placed Bradford on Avon.

In the weekend’s other fixture, Matt Stone’s 2nd XV recorded their first win since November with a morale boosting 19-10 victory over Melksham.

Photographs now available in the Minety Gallery.  Click here.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 19th, 2017 at 11:22 am

Grit and determination see Minety to victory

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If last week’s win at Frome was all about “pride and passion”, Saturday’s 15-12 away win at Chippenham could best be summed up as “Grit and Determination”.

In freezing conditions and with a biting wind wafting flurries of snow across the pitch, Minety emerged victorious in their Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North clash with Chippenham by 15-12 with first half tries from flanker Josh Bull and scrum half Jack Ward.

Minety kicked off in the first half with a team welcoming back hooker Tom Claxton, scrum half Ward and full back Ben Langridge from injuries.

Assistant Coach Craig Smith must have been delighted with the outcome of the early exchanges; the Minety defensive line looked to be well organised and dealt with all that Chippenham could throw at them while the forwards made good use of the ball to set up back plays.

Josh Bull celebrates 1st try

The visitors took the lead in the 5th minute. A strong attack down the right wing set up two rucks and Ward, spotting Bull unmarked, fed the flanker who crossed for a try unopposed.

Fly half Tom McAllister’s conversion drifted agonisingly wide in the swirling conditions leaving Minety 5-0 to the good.

Chippenham hit back but excellent defensive work from the village side kept them at bay until the 14th minute when a fine move across the pitch caught the defence outnumbered and Chippenham’s centre broke through to score.  The ensuing long range conversion was successful and Chippenham moved into a 2 point lead.

With the biting cold and gusting wind making handling almost impossible, both teams resorted to kicking, with McAllister and Ward pushing Chippenham back towards their line.

Jack Ward scores 2nd try

Minety struck for the second time in the 23rd minute when captain Andrew Hibbard picked up at the base of a scrum and passed to Ward who burst through the Chippenham defence to score near the posts.

McAllister’s conversion was successful and Minety were 12-7 up.

The villagers were denied a third try minutes later, the touch judge noticing that Langridge’s boot had just grazed the side line as he burst through to score.

Minety enjoyed a period of sustained pressure in the Chippenham half with brothers Tom and Ash Windle proving difficult to handle for the Chippenham defence.  When the home side were penalised in a ruck, McAllister slotted home a penalty to extend the lead to 15-7.

Chippenham ended the half strongly and only some fine tackling from centre Duncan Simpson and second row Ben Scott kept them at bay and stopped them from scoring.

Del Murray replaced Jack Ward at half time, the latter having picked up an injury late in the first half.  Murray slotted in at scrum half with ease, pushing his forwards and spreading the ball out to the backs accurately in spite of the howling gale in his face.

Tom Windle was held up on the Chippenham line as Minety dominated the early exchanges of the half.

Chippenham were reduced to 14 men in the 59th minute, a forward being sin binned for a high tackle on McAllister, but the number imbalance seemed only to spur them on.

Using the wind at their backs to good effect, Chippenham launched the ball up field and, after setting up a series of rucks, the visitors’ defence was breached and Chippenham scored their second try.

The last 20 minutes were largely played out in Minety’s half as Chippenham pressed for a game winning score but the villagers tackled brilliantly and defended their line to the final whistle.

Captain Andrew Hibbard was jubilant at the end.  “Perhaps the hammering that we took at home a few weeks ago at the hands of Bradford on Avon did us good.  Since then we’ve put in two brilliant performances away from home, with a team made up of a mixture of 1st and 2nd XV players.  They all gave everything out there in very difficult conditions and I’m proud of them.”

The win lifts Minety above Royal Wootton Bassett into 6th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North.

The team were pleased to see injured flanker Rob Hinwood after the game.  Rob took a fearful blow in the win over Frome last week and suffered a double fracture of the jaw.  Last week Rob spent 10 hours in A&E, visited two different hospitals, had four x-rays, one operation and now has 4 titanium plates to hold his jaw together. Rugby players are tough!

In the weekend’s other match, a much changed Minety 2nd XV went down 38-0 at Trowbridge.  Injured captain Matt Stone said afterwards, “I’ve got to congratulate all of the squad who played today for playing today in cold conditions and sticking it right at Trowbridge all the way to the final whistle!

“They all played well and there was some good rugby played which we can all be proud of. Unfortunately we couldn’t convert the pressure in to any points, despite getting over the try line 4 times and having a lot of possession. But when you play out of position and we’re down on people and they only scored out wide it shows the team all did well.

“Great effort lads and thanks for the commitment

“Man of the Match:  Goes to Simon McCelland for putting loads of pressure on Trowbridge and getting us 4 turnovers. And to top it up it was his first ever game of seniors rugby. Great talent emerging from within Minety RFC.”

Final score Trowbridge 38 – 0 Minety

 

Written by Graham Cooke

February 12th, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Pride and Passion secure Minety victory

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Minety 1st XV travelled to in form Frome on Saturday in a hastily re-arranged Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North fixture, the original having been lost to a frozen pitch.

Smarting from their first half blitzing by Bradford last week, the team, made up of a combination of 1st and 2nd XV players, knew they would face a stiff challenge against a Frome team which had lost its first 8 matches of the season, including a 67-0 drubbing at Minety, but had since won 4 of their last 5 fixtures including impressive victories over Bradford and Chippenham.

Rob Hinwood injured making another tackle

Most of the early exchanges took place in the Minety half but a combination of tenacious tackling and intelligent clearance kicking from fly half Tom McAllister, saw Minety fend off everything that Frome could throw at them.

With flanker Josh Bull winning most of the lineout ball and scrum half Duncan Simpson orchestrating the defence, Minety pressed forward using centre Tom Windle to batter the heart of the Frome midfield.

Minety took the lead in the 10th minute from the boot of McAllister after Frome were penalised at a ruck.

The village team were desperately unlucky shortly after when winger Dave Cooke chipped ahead and Bull raced on to the ball and was clear of the defence, only for the referee to call play back and award Minety a penalty for a late tackle on the winger.

Another powerful run from Windle set up a ruck on the Frome line and McAllister extended the lead when the home defence was caught offside.

Frome pinned Minety back deep in their own half for much of the rest of the first half but, whereas in the past, tackling had been a weakness, this Minety side put in tackle after tackle to keep Frome at bay.

Minety lost the fearless Rob Hinwood to a head injury in the 34th minute, the flanker making a welcome return to the Minety line up after his university studies.

John Blair picks up and runs at the defence

The defence, expertly led by captain Andrew Hibbard, re-aligned and extended their lead in the 38th minute when centre John Blair picked up a pass on his own 22 metre line and ran the length of the pitch, shrugging off 4 tacklers to score under the posts.

McAllister added the conversion and Minety were 13-0 up.

More was the come in the final moments of the half.  Simpson fed Hibbard and the captain broke through the covering defence and raced down the line to score in the corner to see Minety 18-0 to the good at half time.

John scores under the posts.

Despite dominating possession for large parts of the 2nd half, Frome were unable to break the determined Minety defence.

The home team eventually got themselves on the score sheet with a 62nd minute try as Minety began to tire.  The successful conversion left the visitors 18-7 ahead.

But this Minety side were not about to cave in under the Frome pressure.  Against all the odds they pressed forward and, after pushing Frome back on to their line, McAllister spotted an overlap on the left and threw a 20 metre pass to set up replacement winger Kieran Gash for Minety’s 3rd try in the 72nd minute.

Wallace on the charge

Frome’s 2nd try in the final play of the game was something of a consolation for all of their efforts in an absorbing encounter which saw Minety emerge victors by 26-14.

Wallace scores Minety’s 2nd try

Assistant coach Craig Smith said afterwards, “That was a polar opposite to last week.  The tackling was awesome and everyone should be proud of themselves.  The lads who came up from the 2nd XV, over half of the team, acquitted themselves brilliantly and showed tremendous commitment.  There was real pride and passion across the pitch.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard was unable to pick out one individual for the Man of the Match award.  He commented, “We had 16 men of the match out there today.  A tremendous team effort.”

 

Kieran Gash scores Minety’s 3rd try.

nb. The referee’s score sheet shows the result as 26-14 however, scrutiny of the video of the match reveals the true score to be 23-14.

Minety Team: 1.  Will North, 2. Owen Richardson, 3. Gareth Thomas, 4. Ash Windle, 5. Ben Scott, 6. Rob Hinwood, 7. Josh Bull, 8. Andrew Hibbard (c), 9. Duncan Simpson, 10. Tom McAllister, 11. David Cooke, 12. John Blair, 13. Tom Windle, 14. Del Murray, 15. Chris Rule, 16. Kieran Gash

Written by Graham Cooke

February 5th, 2017 at 11:01 am

Bradford Blitz leaves Minety beaten

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When the two sides met earlier in the season in a cup match, Bradford’s powerful side exploited Minety’s defensive frailties and ran out easy winners.  However, no one present at Minety on Saturday could have predicted the first half blitzing of the home defence that saw Bradford end the half 43-3 up.

Playing downhill in the first half on a well grassed pitch, Bradford opened their scoring in the first minute from a penalty in front of the posts.

The first try came in the 3rd minute when the visitor’s scrum half burst through the patched Minety defence, featuring a number of players pulled from the 2nd XV at very late notice and coach Richard Hall, making an emergency appearance.

Fly half John Blair scored Minety’s only points of the half with a penalty in the 8th minute as the home side fought back and pressurised the visitor’s line.

While Minety kept possession in the forwards they were able to match Bradford but all too often the resulting ball was slow and attacks were easily repelled by the visitors’ well organised defence.

Loss of possession close to the opposition line saw Minety heavily penalised as Bradford raced the length of the pitch to score their second try in the 15th minute.

Minety lost Hall to a leg injury and, for a short time, had to manage with 14 players.

Yet another “length of the pitch” break led to Bradford’s 3rd try after a period of Minety pressure and their 4th, and bonus point winning try, came almost from the kick off, yet another break out from deep in their own half, despite the valiant efforts of young Chris Rule, making his debut at full back.

Too often, Minety’s attacks stalled in midfield and wingers Dave Cooke and James Stuart saw hardly any ball.

Minety’s already dire situation became worse in the 27th minute when influential 2nd row forward Ben Collins suffered what looked to be a nasty knee injury and was carried from the pitch.

2nd XV’s Ben Scott was drafted in from their match on an adjoining pitch to shore up the home pack as Minety pushed hard for an opening try.

Two Bradford tries just before the break saw the teams turn round with the visitors 43-3 up.

Quite what coach Hall said to his players at half time isn’t clear but they came out for the second half in a very positive frame of mind.

Once again injuries took their toll and the villagers resorted to introducing 57 year old Club President Andy Ward to the fray in the 43rd minute.  Just one minute later flanker turned centre Tom Windle burst through to score from 30 metres.  Blair’s conversion reduced the deficit to 43-10.

Fearless defensive work from full back Rule prevented Bradford from scoring before Minety scored their second try in the 57th minute when hooker Owen Richardson forced his way over after both Ash Windle and Andrew Hibbard had been held up near the line.

Ward’s 20 minute cameo came to an end when he was replaced by a heavily patched up Hall for the final 15 minutes as Minety chased an improbable bonus point.

A beautifully caught line out ball by the consistently impressive Josh Bull, another product of the Minety Academy initiative, set up a series of attacks on the Bradford line and it was no surprise when Richardson scrambled in his second and Minety’s third try of the match.  Blair’s conversion narrowly missed but the 20-43 score line now gave Minety added heart and some reward for their efforts.

Bradford extended their lead with the only try to be scored playing uphill in the game but Minety bravely struck back in the dying moments, Windle breaking out of midfield before off-loading to Bull, who ran in the score in the corner to end the match 25-48 but also secure what could, at the end of the season, be an invaluable 4 try scoring bonus point for the home side.

Despite the loss, coach Hall was upbeat as he spoke to the players after the match.  To their credit, they never allowed their heads to drop and always tried to be positive.  Everyone was congratulated on their efforts and special mention was made to the 2nd XV players who filled in some valiantly and to man of the match Josh Bull and debutant Chris Rule.

Much is made of the slope on two of the Minety pitches and how much of an advantage it is to play downhill.  This was borne out on Saturday when, extraordinarily, 68 points were registered by teams playing downhill whilst only 8 were scored uphill!

In the weekend’s other match, an already patched up Minety 2nd XV, desperately short of players and forced to borrow some from visitors Swindon College Old Boys, were further restricted when players had to transfer mid game to patch up the 1st XV.  Despite all of their efforts the 2nd XV went down to the league leaders, and hitherto unbeaten, Swindon College Old Boys by 70-0.

 

Written by Graham Cooke

January 29th, 2017 at 11:04 am

Minety edge home in 7 try thriller

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Minety bravely held on to defeat 2nd placed Warminster in a 7 try thriller at Minety Fields on Saturday in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North, emerging 28-27 victors in a pulsating encounter.

When the two sides met in September it was Warminster who came out on top in a tight match and the two sides, evenly matched and  with complimentary playing styles, continued where they left off.

Much of the pre match speculation revolved around how the referee and players would respond to the new laws introduced by World Rugby on 3rd January regarding high tackles and contact with the head.  In the event two players, one from each team, spent 10 minutes on the side-lines for high tackles but that apart, the game was a fine advertisement for local rugby.

For the first time in many weeks, Minety coach Richard Hall was able to put out something akin to his strongest team with a powerful set of forwards and influential Dave Church and Jack Ward renewing their partnership in the centres.

Playing down the slope in the first half, Warminster used a kicking game early on to push Minety back into their own 22 metre area.

Warminster’s Fijian centres were a real handful in the previous match and their ability to switch play and exploit the merest of defensive gaps caught Minety in the 9th minute allowing their fly half to chip over the advancing defence and score beneath the posts.

Both teams enjoyed the excellent playing surface, played on one of Minety’s reserve pitches after the main pitch was declared too wet for rugby, and the ball was run at every opportunity.

Ben Langridge scores 1st try

Minety were reduced to 14 men when lock forward Ash Windle was yellow carded for a late tackle in the 21st minute but hit back when Minety captain Andrew Hibbard exploited some loose ball, kicked ahead and fly half Tom McAllister fed winger Ben Langridge who ran in to score from 30 metres out.  Scrum half Garin Garland pushed the conversion wide, but Minety were back in the game.

Warminster were reduced to 14 men after a head high tackle on McAllister and Garland slotted home the subsequent penalty to give Minety a slender 8-7 lead.

Warminster struck back in the 34th minute when their winger collected a pass 20 metres out , avoided three tackles and ran in to score from 80 metres.

Garin (hidden) scores 2nd try

Minety’s response was to lay siege to the Warminster line and Garland, one of the smallest players on the pitch, somehow managed to smuggle the ball over for Minety’s 2nd try, which he converted.

In the closing minute of the half Warminster re-took the lead with a penalty.

Minety struck back in dramatic fashion at the start of the second half.  Garland collected a clearance kick and ran back at the heart of the Warminster defence before off-loading to Ash Windle who shrugged off 5 tackles on his way to score under the posts.  Garland’s conversion took the score to 22-17 for the hosts.

Only some desperate last ditch tackling from Church and wingers Langridge and Dave Cooke prevented Warminster from scoring as the game entered its final quarter.

Ash powers through for try No. 3

The home team’s desire to run the ball from their own line in the 61st minute cost them dear.  An intercepted pass and then a ruck saw Warminster’s fly half touch down wide out on the right.  The conversion was missed but the scores were now locked at 22 all.

Minety’s woes were compounded at the re-start when Langridge was yellow carded for a high tackle but they re-grouped and changed tactics.  Playing downhill and one man down, Minety resorted to tactical kicking to keep Warminster pinned in their own half.

Garland restored Minety’s lead in the 76th minute with a penalty.

The final minutes were pulsating – both teams abandoning defence for all out attack, flinging the ball from side to side, much to the crowd’s delight and the obvious frustration of both sets of coaches.  Garland extended the lead to 6 points with another penalty as the game entered stoppage time.

But there was to be a sting in the tail; in the final play of the match, Warminster won a scrummage against the head, spread the ball out wide and scored a try in the corner.

The match was decided on a long range conversion which fell agonisingly short for Warminster and Minety emerged victors by 28-27.

Congratulations to players, officials and coaches alike – it was great entertainment.

Minety joint Men of the Match: Ash and Tom Windle.

Joint man of the match – Ash Windle

Written by Graham Cooke

January 15th, 2017 at 10:49 am

Missed opportunities cost Minety dear

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Minety went into Saturday’s Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North game with Melksham knowing that a win would take them into 4th place during the Christmas break.  Sadly, it was not to be as a patched up Minety team, missing 7 regular 1st team players, lost a bruising encounter 12-3 at Minety Fields.

Melksham, playing downhill in the 1st half, dominated the early exchanges with some incisive running from their backs.  In damp and misty conditions, ball handling was difficult and Minety scrum half Garin Garland and fly half Tom McAllister evened up affairs with some clever positional kicking, pushing Melksham back into their own half.

The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute after firing the ball along their back line.  A crucial missed tackle in midfield allowed their flanker to cross for a try close to the posts.  The conversion was successful and Melksham were 7 – 0 up.

Melksham extended their lead in the 27th minute after a period of territorial advantage.  Once again, missed tackles put the home team on the back foot and the Melksham forwards took their chance to score a second try.  The conversion was missed but the visitors’ lead was now 12 points.

As the half drew to a close the Minety forwards upped their game and began to dominate with No. 8 Tom Windle, hooker Tom Claxton and captain Will North all making strong incursions into the Melksham 22 but the visitors’ defence remained resolute and the half ended with Melksham 12-0 up.

Reduced to 14 men early in the second half after a yellow card for an offence in the ruck, Melksham were forced to soak up massive Minety pressure.  Stand in coach Andy Ward introduced last week’s try scorer Adam Watts into proceedings at full back and his presence in the line added much needed impetus as the home team pressed forward looking for their first score.

Minety turned down a number of very kickable penalties, preferring to run the ball.  In hindsight the home team might have been better served by taking the penalties on offer.

The key moment of the second half came in the 60th minute when, after a spell of concerted pressure on the Melksham line, the Minety forwards drove forward and over the line with Tom Windle appearing to touch down.  However, the referee was unsighted and decided that the ball had been held up.

The village team eventually broke their duck in the 63rd minute when Garland kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears to 9 points.  The final quarter of the match was evenly contested with chances at both ends but the defences held firm and Melksham finished 12-3 victors.  The loss dropped Minety one place down the table and they enter the second half of the campaign in 7th place with lots of hard work ahead of them.

Andy Ward was proud of the team’s effort but frustrated with the result.  “They had two chances in the first half and took them both.  We had at least three chances in the second half and took none of them.  It was that close.  It was a hard game and both teams are to be congratulated on their efforts.  We had a lot of players stepping up to fill gaps brought about through injury so we weren’t as fluent or dynamic as we can be but those lads left nothing out on that pitch today.”

In the weekend’s other match, Matt Stone’s 2nd XV drew 22 all with Devizes 3rds.  In a tight match, the home team came back to force a draw with a series of late tries.  The points won leave the 2nd’s in 7th place in Dorset and Wilts 3 North.

Both Minety teams will start the second half of their league campaigns on the 14th January when the 1st XV take on Warminster whilst the seconds entertain Alfred’s Nomads.

 

Josh Bull, Ash Windle and Tom Claxton – “Losing hurts!”

 

Try telling him that it’s only a game!

Written by Graham Cooke

December 18th, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Watts try edges Minety home

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In distinctly gloomy conditions on Saturday afternoon an Adam Watts try at the end of the first half was sufficient for the village side to overcome Swindon in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North.

A wet pitch and a troublesome wind always meant that the match would be a territorial battle with little flowing or expansive rugby, and so it proved to be.

Playing into a swirling wind and rain, Minety dominated possession and territorial advantage in the first twenty minutes of the game, pinning Swindon back into their own half and forcing the play.  After 20 minutes Swindon lost one of their backs, yellow carded, and the pressure on their line grew.

The wet ball and greasy conditions made running play difficult but it was surprising that it took the village side 25 minutes before they opened the scoring, scrum half Garin Garland slotting home a penalty from 22 metres out after Swindon forwards were penalised for going off their feet in a ruck.

Minety were straight back on the attack from the kick off. Excellent territorial kicking from Garland, fly half Tom McAllister and full back Adam Watts pushed play back into the Swindon half and some tenacious tackling by the Minety forwards ensured that Swindon only ventured in the Minety half on a handful of occasions in the first half hour.

The pressure told in the 32nd minute when Swindon were forced back onto their own line.  A fumbled pass over their own in goal line gave Minety a scrum 5 metres out.  The pack held firm and Garland quickly flicked the ball out to McAllister whose pass to outside centre Jack Ward split the home defence.  Ward shrugged off two defenders before popping the ball to full back Watt who crossed easily for the opening try.  The conversion was missed in the swirling wind but Minety were now 8 points up.

The village side lost prop Gareth Thomas to a lower back injury and McAllister’s movement was restricted when he picked up an ankle problem.  In the closing minutes of the first half Minety pressed forward again in search of a second try but resolute defence from Swindon kept them at bay until the final play of the half when the home forwards were caught off side and Garland scored with the resultant penalty to take Minety into a reasonably comfortable 11 point lead at half time.

It seemed as if the domination would continue in the second half when flanker Josh Bull caught the kick off, chipped over the Swindon defence  and was only just beaten to the ball inches from the Swindon line.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were spent with the team camped in the Swindon 22.  Bull and debutant James Thompson troubled the Swindon forwards all match.  In the wet conditions, with ball carrying at a premium, they were there to pick up loose ball time after time.

Minety’s lead was extended to 14 in the 52nd minute with another Garland penalty but they were caught flat footed almost immediately.  Possession was lost from the kick off and the Swindon full back was able to pick up and run in for a try, which was converted. With their lead cut to 7 Minety lost shape and Swindon at last saw some possession in their opponents’ half.

It came as something of a relief when Minety were able to break free without conceding any more points.  Once again Swindon forwards were caught offside and Garland kicked the penalty to push the visitors’ lead out to 10 points.

In a frantic last 10 minutes, in the fading light, Swindon mounted attack after attack on the Minety line and when Minety were penalised for not releasing after a tackle, Swindon took a quick penalty and moved the ball out wide to the right, scoring by the corner post.  The conversion was missed and Minety were able to hold on for a fine away win by 17-12.

Minety coach Richard Hall was full of praise for his players.  “I thought they played with real passion today.  We pressurised a really good Swindon team into making errors and capitalised on them.  It was a great win played in dreadful conditions.  All I am concerned about is our tendency to switch off for short stretches in our games.  It happened again today and cost us 7 points.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard relished playing in the muddy conditions.  “We’re used to the mud, playing at Minety.  We were all over them in the first half and at the start of the second but then we had that quiet spell and lost our shape and momentum.  We’ve got a hard match next week against Melksham and we need to be at our best for the full match if we’re going to win that one.”

Man of the Match: Josh Bull for a tremendous all round performance, especially his ability to turn loose ball into Minety possession.

In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nd XV travelled to Westbury with just 13 players but came away with an amazing 62 – 0 win.  At one stage the Minety were down to 12 men after an injury but still ran in a number of tries.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 11th, 2016 at 11:31 am

Minety lose out in local derby

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Probably the first fixture that Minety players look for when the lists are published is the match up with local rivals, Royal Wootton Bassett.

When the two teams met for the first time this season at Minety Fields in the league last Saturday the result was a bruising encounter with the visitors eventually emerging 22-19 winners.

Minety started the day in 5th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North, their visitors just two places below them, buoyed no doubt by their excellent performance the week before when they were only narrowly defeated by the unbeaten Corsham side.

In a fast paced opening sequence of play, both teams moved the ball well but were unable to retain possession long enough to make real inroads into the defences.

Minety took the lead in the 15th minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted a penalty from 25 metres out after Bassett players were penalised at a ruck.

Bassett hit back 5 minutes later after some sustained pressure had pinned the villagers back in their own 22.  Spotting the defence out of position, Bassett’s scrum half picked up the ball at the base of a ruck and ran in to touch down beneath the posts.  The conversion was successful and Wootton Bassett led 7-3.

Minety struck back four minutes later when Garland fed the Minety captain Andrew Hibbard, who crashed through the Bassett defence to score near the posts.  Garland’s conversion restored the home team’s lead at 10-7.

When Bassett’s defence was caught offside Garland extended the lead to 13-7 with a well taken penalty in the 27th minute.

The visitors hit back soon after when an attempted clearance kick was charged down and Minety’s defence were unable to reset properly.  Bassett stole the ball from the ensuing ruck and spread it out left for the outside centre to run in and score.  The unsuccessful conversion left the villagers with a narrow 13-12 lead which Garland extended in the final minutes of the half to bring the half time score to 16-12.

The home side started the second half promisingly.  Tall second row Ben Collins made his presence felt up front whilst full back Duncan Simpson’s entries into the line placed added pressure on the visitors’ defence.

In their final matches for the village club, long serving flanker Steve Brown and winger Ben Langridge both put in huge tackles to force Bassett back as Minety upped the pressure.

The match, so evenly balanced, changed direction in the 60th minute when Minety were forced into major alterations up front after prop forward Peter Andrews was withdrawn after a head injury and influential scrum half Garland was yellow carded shortly afterwards.

With Minety down to 14 players and Simpson moving from full back to scrum half, Bassett took control and crossed for their 3rd try wide on the left in the 66th minute.  Their 4th, and bonus point winning try, came four minutes later, this time the inside centre touching down wide out on the right.

Garland, back from his 10 minutes in the sin bin, kicked a penalty for Minety in the 73rd minute to cut Bassett’s lead to just 4 points but, as the light faded and the minutes ticked away, Minety were unable to convert pressure into points and had to settle for a losing league bonus point as Bassett emerged 22-19 victors.

For the home team Garland kicked four penalties and one conversion while Hibbard scored their only try.

Man of the Match: Front row forward Will North who put in a battling performance up front.

Playing their last matches for Minety:  Steve Brown and Ben Langridge.  We will be reporting on both in the coming days and weeks but I’m sure that everyone at Minety will wish them well as they take on new challenges.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Ben Langridge

Ben Langridge

Written by Graham Cooke

November 27th, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Minety hang on for one point win

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Minety hang on for one point win

Seemingly coasting to a comfortable away victory, with a half time lead of 22-5, Minety had to cling on for the win as home team Supermarine fought back in the second half, eventually falling just one point short in a thrilling climax to an error strewn game.

Once again Minety coach Richard Hall was forced to make numerous changes to his line-up with teenage fly half Tom McAllister moving to scrum half, second row Tom Windle at inside centre and numerous others changing roles as injuries and unavailabilities bit hard.

Minety started promisingly with Windle’s powerful running always a threat to the home defence.

Both teams found the wet ball and the slippery conditions difficult to manage and all too often the final ball went to ground as Minety pressed forward and Supermarine defended doggedly.

Minety’s more mobile pack, led ably by hooker Tom Claxton, began to assert their authority and it was no surprise when prop forward Peter Andrews picked up and drove over for the opening try after another Claxton led drive after 20 minutes.

Minety doubled their lead in the 26th minute.  Outside centre Robin Greenway won the ball in midfield and McAllister, seeing a gap behind the home defence, chipped the ball over the Supermarine backs and ran in to collect the ball and touch down from 20 metres out.

The home team hit back three minutes later, moving the ball across the width of the pitch to score in the left hand corner but Minety restored their lead seconds later when Academy star Ben Kingston, playing on the wing, picked up a loose ball, shrugged off a tackle and ran in a fine solo try from 60 metres out.

As the first half wound down, Minety’s defence handled all that Supermarine could throw at them with relative ease and the speed of flanker Josh Bull and the back line kept the home team pegged in midfield.

When McAllister broke through the home defences and fed Bull for Minety’s 4th try in first half stoppage time, and fly half John Blair slotted home the conversion, the lead was a deserved 22-5 for the villagers.

Supermarine’s dramatic second half comeback started in the first minute when a wayward pass was intercepted by their outside centre who ran in from 35 metres.  Four minutes later Supermarine had their 3rd try when the ball was moved out left quickly and, with the Minety defence outnumbered, the full back raced in to touch down.  The successful long range conversion brought the score back to 17-22.

An injury to McAllister saw Greenway move to scrum half and further changes to the back line as Minety repelled the menacing Supermarine attacks.

Blair slotted a penalty for Minety in the 54th minute to extend the lead to a crucial 8 points.

Only a last ditch intervention from Minety captain Andrew Hibbard prevented Supermarine from scoring as the game entered its final quarter.

Minety re-grouped and played some of their best rugby of the second half and kept the home team back in their own half as the clock ticked down.

With just seconds remaining the home team launched one last attacking move and their winger, playing fly half, picked up the ball at a ruck and ran in past four defenders to score in the corner.  The conversion was successful but it proved to be the last play of the game and Minety were home and dry by 25-24 to move up to 5th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.

Joint Man of the Match:  Josh Bull and Tom Claxton.

After the game Claxton was philosophical.  “We had the first half under control but then we didn’t stick to the game plan in the 2nd half and the game became really ugly.”

Coach Hall said, “It really was a game of two halves.  We were comfortable but then switched off for 15 minutes and the whole momentum of the game changed.  We’ll need to be far more focused next week when we entertain Royal Wootton Bassett at home.”

Minety 2nd XV match at Corsham was called off when it became clear that the villagers’ limited playing resources would not allow them to put out a team for the match.

Pete Andrews scores 1st try

Pete Andrews scores 1st try

Robin Greenway's tackle for try No. 2

Robin Greenway’s tackle for try No. 2

Tom McAllister scores try No. 2

Tom McAllister scores try No. 2

Ben Kingston dives over for try 3.

Ben Kingston dives over for try 3.

Josh Bull runs in try 4

Josh Bull runs in try 4

Written by Graham Cooke

November 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Minety fail to spark in Bonfire Day clash

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Corsham maintained  their unbeaten record in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North with a 36 points to 11 victory at Minety in a Bonfire day match that promised much but failed to catch fire for the village side.

With two comprehensive victories behind them it looked as if Minety’s faltering start to the season was turning the corner but Andrew Hibbard’s men knew that the Corsham encounter was likely to be their toughest of the season.  The power of the Corsham pack was soon clear as they dominated the early scrums and forced the Minety backs to play largely on the back foot.

Corsham’s power told in the 9th minute when, from a lineout on the right, the ball was passed along the backs to centre William Chivers.  His clever kick over the advancing Minety defence was latched on to by Liam Snape who ran in to touch down close to the posts.  The conversion was missed leaving the visitors 5 – 0 up.

Minety hit back in the 13th minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty from 25 metres out.  With the howling cross field wind making handling difficult both teams resorted to defensive clearance kicks to touch to relieve pressure and re-set lines.

Minety took the lead in the 29th minute with another Garland penalty.

The points inspired the home team and they enjoyed their best spell of the game when their lighter, but more mobile pack moved the ball quickly out to the centres where Matt Roberts and Dave Church were always a handful for the Corsham defence.

Some desperate tackling by Hibbard and flanker Steve Brown prevented a Corsham try in the 38th minute but less than 60 seconds later a fine move from a ruck on the right saw Corsham winger Hamish Miller touch down wide on the right to restore the visitor’s lead.

Deep into first half injury time a Minety attack was broken up and Corsham exploited defensive weaknesses to allow winger Aaron Gale to score by the right hand side corner flag to leave the half time score at 15-6 in favour of the league leaders.

Injuries to front row forwards Owen Richardson and Peter Andrews meant assistant first team coach Craig Smith had to re-shuffle his pack, bringing himself and fellow prop Nick Britten into the action.

Despite having to contend with the Minety slope, Corsham pressed forward, giving the home team little chance for the open, running game that they enjoy.

The visitors’ 4th, and bonus point winning try, came in the 54th minute when Gale’s perfectly timed run split the home defence.  The conversion took the Corsham lead to 22-6.

A superb break by Roberts saw Minety encamped on the Corsham line but after a series of penalties and scrums they were unable to penetrate a resolute Corsham defense until a clever interplay between Roberts and full back Jack Ward saw the latter cross for a try wide on the right.

Hopes of a Minety revival were dashed in the 75th minute when a fine kick through found touch metres from the home team’s line.  Corsham took the lineout and their forwards drove over for the score.  The conversion took the score to 29-11 and the tiring and injury ridden home team were unable to prevent a 6th Corsham try in the 78th minute when Snape ended a pitch long move to register his second try of the match.  The successful conversion ended the scoring leaving Corsham 36-11 victors.

Captain Andrew Hibbard was philosophical afterwards.  “It was a really tough day.  We started well and matched them for long periods of the game but we gave away some silly points and we’ll need to re-group as we prepare for the run in to Christmas, where league points will be vital.”

In the day’s other match, Minety 2nd XV surprisingly lost 36-26 at home to a Supermarine team that had come into the game with just one previous win this season.

Matt Stone’s Minety team gave up a try early on in the match but hit back with tries from second row Colin French and inside centre Jon Blair.  Fly half Kieran Gash scored their third try just before half time but they were unable to stamp their authority over a Supermarine team who kept coming back at them.

Strong forward play at the start of the second half saw Supermarine take the lead through a try but Minety hit back when Blair scored his second try to close the gap to just three points.

Supermarine exploited Minety’s defensive lapses and extended their lead in the closing minutes of the game to take the league points with a 36-26 win.

Skipper Matt Stone said after the match, “We played well in the first half but fell apart a little in the second half. I’m gutted to see our winning ways end but we now have a week off to work on things and come back strong in the weeks up to Christmas.”

Both teams have a week off with no games next Saturday before resuming league action on 19th November when the 1st will travel to Supermarine while the seconds make the trip to Corsham.

Written by Graham Cooke

November 6th, 2016 at 11:13 am

Double success for Minety on the road

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Both Minety teams recorded bonus point winning victories on the road on Saturday.  Rich Hall’s 1st XV won a hard fought match at Devizes by 32 – 10 whilst Matt Stone’s 2nd XV ran out a resounding 50-10 victors at Melksham.

Minety’s 1st XV recorded their first away win of the season with a bonus point winning 32-5 victory at Devizes, pushing the village side up to 6th in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.

Devizes started brightly but a combination of excellent tactical kicking from scrum half Garin Garland and full back Dale Langdown pushed the home side into defending deep in their own territory.

Garland opened Minety’s scoring with a penalty kick in the 11th minute and then doubled the lead when Devizes were penalised for not releasing the ball after a tackle.

Minety laid siege to the Devizes line and only a last ditch tackle prevented Minety’s captain Andrew Hibbard from scoring under the posts to extend their lead.

After losing influential centre Jack Ward to a rib injury, Minety were forced to shuffle their line-up but when fly half Tom McAllister’s kick through was fumbled by the Devizes full back, front row forward Owen Richardson seized the opportunity to kick ahead and won the race to touch down under the posts for his first try in Minety first team colours.  Garland’s conversion took the half time score to 13-0.

Minety continued to press at the start of the second half.  Moving the ball well and handling confidently, the villagers set up chance after chance, so it was surprising that it took until the 53rd minute for them to score their second try.  Prop forward Will North fed 2nd row Ben Scott, whose slip pass allowed Langdown to score by the corner flag.

With the score at 18-0 and the Minety side suffering further injuries to Scott, fellow 2nd row Ben Collins and flanker James Stuart, Devizes played some of their best rugby and were only denied by some resolute Minety defending.

The home side eventually breached the Minety line in the 69th minute to bring the score back to 18-5.

Minety regained their composure and pushed forward in an attempt to score the two extra tries required to enable them to pick up a valuable league bonus point.

Man of the match Tom Windle set up Minety’s third try with a brilliant 40 metre burst through the Devizes defences.  Garland collected the ball and fed McAllister for an easy try over on the right.  Garland’s conversion took the score to 25-5 and the left the villager’s with the chance of the bonus point in the final minutes of the match.

Deep into injury time, hooker Tom Claxton collected the ball from a lineout and, with Devizes defenders desperately trying to pull him down, barged through to score Minety’s 4th try.  Garland’s successful conversion was the last action of the match as Minety ran out 32-5 victors and with an important try bonus point in their pockets.

Captain Andrew Hibbard was quick to praise the contributions of all the 2nd team squad players who had stepped up to fill gaps left by injury in the 1st team.  “It’s good to know that we have quality cover in every position and I’d like to thank the 2nd team lads for their tremendous support.”

In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nds scored 8 tries in their resounding  50-10 victory at Melksham.  After conceding an early try, Matt Stone’s team hit back with a Keiran Gash try and a Will Mason penalty before three tries in the space of just 12 minutes at the start of the second half sealed the win.  A late Del Murray try took Minety’s score to 50 points just before the end.

Captain Stone praised his side’s second half display.  “I was really impressed with how consistent our scrummaging and line outs were, even with people playing out of position. We have a great team and I look forward to seeing how we can compete through the season.”

Final score: Melksham 10 Minety 50.

Owen scores 1st try

Owen scores 1st try

Dale crosses for #2

Dale crosses for #2

Ben Scott at lineout

Ben Scott at lineout

Tom Windle bursts through

Tom Windle bursts through

Tom McAllister try #3

Tom McAllister try #3

Tom Claxton try #4

Tom Claxton try #4

 

Written by Graham Cooke

October 30th, 2016 at 10:16 am

Back to Winning ways

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After a disappointing run of losses Rich Hall’s Minety returned to winning ways with a convincing 27-10 victory over local rivals Chippenham 2nds , who started the day in 3rd place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table, 5 places above the village side.

Choosing to play uphill in the first half, Minety took the match to Chippenham with strong forward play featuring the two Windle brothers in the second row.  The village side took the lead in the 9th minute when returning scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty after a high tackle.

Chippenham responded with some strong running, especially from centre Daniel Jones, but Minety full back Matt Roberts was always on hand to clear the lines.

Against the run of play, Chippenham scored their only try in the 17th minute when a mix up at the base of a home scrum on the half way line allowed Jones to latch on to a misplaced pass and run in under the posts.  With fly half Richard Stone slotting home the conversion, Minety found themselves 7-3 down.

Garland kicked his second penalty in the 20th minute to reduce the arrears to a single point and the teams exchanged penalties in the closing minutes of the first half to leave the visitors 10-9 up at half time.

A surging run from Roberts in the 42nd minute split the Chippenham defence and from the ensuing play Garland fed veteran front row forward Craig Smith who crashed over for his first league try in 7 years.  Garland’s long range conversion took the home side into a 6 point lead.

Minety consolidated their position 3 minutes later when their other front row forward Will North took the ball at the tail of the lineout to score Minety’s second try.  Garland narrowly missed with the conversion but the home side now led 21-10.

Garland slotted home two further penalties and Minety appeared comfortable at 27-10 with 20 minutes to go.  Two yellow cards for replacements Collins and Richards meant the villagers had to hold out in the closing minutes as Chippenham mounted wave upon wave of attacks upon the home line.

Coach Richard Hall was particularly pleased with the result and his team’s performance. “The moves we practiced in training came off and I was pleased with the way that we controlled the game.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard praised the defence in the final quarter of the game.  “We were outnumbered but our defensive tackling and cover was superb today.”

The result moves Minety up to 7th in the D&W1N table with an away fixture at Devizes next Saturday before a mouth watering encounter with hitherto unbeaten league leaders Corsham at Minety on the 5th November.

In the weekend’s other fixture the Minety 2nd squad entertained a big Trowbridge team.  After a promising opening from the home side, Trowbridge took the lead with a try and conversion.

Matt Stone’s side recovered quickly and, through a combination of strong forward pressing and expansive back moves, soon created an opening for flank forward Matt Chisholm to power over for the home team’s first try.

Trowbridge hit back and penned Minety into their own half for long periods of play but a mistimed pass allowed Stone to intercept and run in Minety’s 2nd try from 60 metres out. The successful conversion took the lead to 12-7 in the home side’s favour.

Minety extended their lead when fly half Kieran Gash dummied the away defence and raced through to touch down for Minety’s 3rd try.  Mike Scott added the conversion and the teams swapped ends with Minety 19-14 up.

Down to 14 men early in the 2nd half, Minety threw the ball wide and after a series of fine forwards moves, 2nd row forward Ben Scott was able to pick up from a ruck and score to extend Minety’s lead to 10 points.

With the opponents visibly tiring, the pacey Minety backs were able to create holes in the defence and Jon Blair was able to add another try in the corner.  Scott scored his 2nd try soon after and Minety’s win was assured.

A further penalty and then a second try from Blair ended the game with Minety 2nds running out comfortable 46-14 victors.

Captain Matt Stone was naturally delighted with the performance.  “We played an organised and intelligent match, defending well and then attacking decisively.”  Stone picked out Ben Scott and flanker Jay Thomson for special praise. “We had notable performances throughout the team but those two really stood up to the plate and made crucial contributions throughout the 90 minutes.”

 

Craig Smith crashes over

Craig Smith crashes over

Outstanding performance

Outstanding performance

 

Written by Graham Cooke

October 23rd, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Weakened Minety no match for Bradford

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Minety’s run in the cup came to an abrupt and painful end on Saturday when they were soundly beaten by a well organised Bradford on Avon team 38 points to 5 at Minety Fields.

The two teams had faced each other in a Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North fixture at Bradford the previous Saturday, the home team eventually running out 32-24 victors.

Minety’s cup team showed 9 changes from the last match, largely due to an extensive injury list with only McAllister and Cooke as regular backs.

After an even 1st quarter of the game, where Minety enjoyed the majority of the possession and territory, the tide began to turn as Bradford exerted pressure through their forwards and opened the scoring in the 19th minute when flanker Jonathan Bates crossed the line from close range and fly half William Slark converted to put the visitors 7-0 up.

Minety’s defence was breached again in the 21st minute when full back Tom Bartlett finished off a fine move involving backs and forwards out on the right touchline.  Slarks’ excellent long range conversion extended Bradford’s advantage to 14 points.

Minety hit back in the 32nd minute when their backs collected a defensive clearance kick and spread the ball wide.  2nd row forward Tom Windle drew the Bradford defence from a ruck and allowed flanker Josh Bull to score.

The home team’s hopes of a late first half comeback were dashed when influential flanker Stephen Brown was yellow carded for an unsafe tackle and the home team were forced to end the half with 14 players.

The 2nd half started evenly although Minety’s impressive full back, Robin Greenway, was called on to make a number of fine tackles to prevent Bradford extending their lead.

When Slark slotted home a penalty in the 57th minute Bradford were 12 points clear and that was further stretched when No. 8 Andrew Twinney broke through for the visitors’ 3rd try on the hour after a tap penalty exposed holes in the home defence.

With a 19 point cushion and time running out for the village side, Bradford’s well organised defence handled all that Minety could throw at them and when the home forwards lost control of the ball on the half way line in the 72nd minute Bradford capitalised and Slark burst through to score under the posts from 30 metres out.

Minety’s desperate attempts to add to their own score were held up time and time again in the closing minutes and they were unfortunate when Bradford cleared their lines and latched on to a loose ball in midfield to allow centre Charles Burwell to run in a try from distance, which Slark converted to end the game 38-5 in favour of the visitors.

For Minety this was a desperately disappointing result and their inability to put out a settled team is showing in their results this season.  Coach Rich Hall can only hope that performances and results pick up as Minety return to league action next Saturday with a home league match against Chippenham.

dscf2916

Written by Graham Cooke

October 16th, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Minety narrowly defeated in 9 try thriller

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Minety 1st XV were narrowly beaten 32-24 in a thrilling Dorset and Wilts encounter at Bradford on Avon in a game that showed the very best of local club rugby, played out on a beautiful playing surface.

Forced into making a number of late changes through injury, Minety started brightly using their pacy backs.  The villagers missed two very kickable penalties early on and it was the home team who opened the scoring with a penalty after Minety were caught offside at a ruck.

With both teams enjoying the side open spaces of an enormous playing surface to attack and counter attack, Minety winger Dave Cooke and full back Duncan Simpson were held up on the Bradford line in the 20th minute.

With the attacking combination of scrum half Jack Ward and 18 year old fly half Tom McAllister, Minety were always a threat but an 80 metre break out from their own line saw the home team dominate possession in the Minety 22 metre area and a fine scissor movement in the centre saw Bradford extend their lead with a try.  Another breakaway try for the home team in the 38th minute took the lead out to 15 points.

Minety hit back in injury time when scrum half Ward spotted an opening from a Minety penalty and raced through to score in the corner.  McAllister slotted the difficult conversion and the teams turned around with Bradford 15-7 up.

Minety closed the gap almost immediately in the second half. A fine backs’ move led to some strong forward play and flanker Stephen Brown set up McAllister for a try to bring the scores back to 15-12.

Minety’s comeback was thwarted in the 45th minute when Bradford’s fly half intercepted a pass and ran in for his second try for ex England captain Lewis Moody’s Bradford team.

The fly half registered his hat trick with a fine solo effort, which he converted, to further extend the home team’s lead.

When 2nd row Kirkonel barrelled his way over for Bradford’s 5th try in the 63rd minute the game looked to be over.

At this stage lesser teams than Richard Hall’s Minety team might have folded but winger Ben Langridge was only denied a comeback try by a try line tackle a minute later.

Minety’s pleas for a penalty for a high tackle fell on deaf ears and Ward was sin binned when his protestations became too much for the referee.

Down to 14 players, Minety pressed and laid siege to the Bradford line.  That pressure told when Cooke intercepted a clearance pass and ran in to score beneath the posts.  McAllister’s conversion bought the scores to 32-19.

Minety’s 4th try came in the 79th minute when McAllister jinked his way past four defenders to score his second try.  The conversion drifted agonisingly wide in the blustery conditions and the match ended shortly afterwards with Minety desperately seeking a 5th try.

The two team meet again next Saturday, this time in  Cup action at Minety Fields.

Final score: Bradford on Avon 32 Minety 24

Minety Man of the Match Duncan Simpson.

In the other match Minety 2nd XV lost to top of the table Swindon Old Boys by 38-17.

Written by Graham Cooke

October 9th, 2016 at 10:22 am

Dramatic Double kick starts Minety’s season.

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Under torrential rain, both Minety teams recorded maiden league victories with the 1st XV overwhelming Frome II’s by 67-0 whilst the 2nd XV defeated top of the table Bradford on Avon II’s in a much closer match by 19-12.

The matches were played in driving rain which made handling the ball extremely difficult.

The 1st XV attacked the Frome line from the opening whistle.  With the forwards, who have not enjoyed much quality ball thus far this season, on top of their game, the first try came after just 3 minutes when stand in scrum half Jack Ward picked up at a ruck and crashed over  from short range.  Fly half Tom McAllister’s conversion was successful and the home side led 7-0.

Minety’s second try came in the 8th minute when Ward collected a clearance kick on the half way line and fed centre Dave Church, who ran 40 metres to touch down in the corner. McAllister’s magnificent long range conversion from the touch line took the score to 14-0.

After a brief period of territorial advantage for the visitors, Minety extended their lead to 19 when Ward crossed for a second try after 15 minutes.

The pack, now completely on top, provided quality ball for the pacey Minety backs and they used the opportunities to run the ball at every opportunity.

Centre Matt Roberts scored the 4th try after a fine move involving both forwards and backs which pulled the Frome defence from one side of the pitch to the other.  Robert s scored again in the 31st minute, latching on to a Ward pass and running in a try from 30 metres.

On the cusp of half time Minety scored their 6th try when, from deep in his own half, Roberts collected the ball, beat 4 defenders before slipping the ball to prop Will North who fed captain Andrew Hibbard who ran in the try from 25 metres out.  Another fine McAllister long range conversion saw the teams turn round with the home side 36-0 up.

Ward scored his hat trick try from close in on 48 minutes and McAllister’s conversion took the lead to 43 points.

The 8th try came when winger Ben Langridge crossed close to the corner flag with McAllister landing a monster conversion from all of 40 metres out.

Hibbard’s 60 metre burst from deep in his own half, blasting through the Frome defence and out pacing their full back resulted in try number 9.

With conditions visibly deteriorating under the driving rain, Minety continued their onslaught, the 10th try coming when prop Gareth Thomas popped up in the line and side stepped his way through to score his first try for the village club.

The final score of the match came in the 70th minute when, after a free flowing move, replacement forward James Stuart burst forward down the left wing, beat one player and delivered a perfectly timed pass to Ward for Minety’s 11th  try and a 67-0 victory.

In the other match, Minety’s 2nd XV started strongly against league leaders, and hitherto unbeaten, Bradford on Avon. The home team were pegged back before half time but snatched a brilliant victory with a try in the last 4 minutes to record their first league win of the season 19-12.  Captain Matt Stone was delighted with the performance.  “That’s a great way to start our season after and I’m really proud of the way that we stood up to a powerful and well organised Bradford team.”

1st team coach Rich Hall was similarly delighted with the way that the 1st XV played. “We executed the moves that we’d practiced in training and were really well disciplined in our game play.  We played to our strengths and kept the ball in very difficult conditions.”

Minety 1st XV Man of the Match:  Jack Ward, for his four tries and all round game.  Forwards Ben Collins and Josh Bull were also picked out for special praise by Hall.

Written by Graham Cooke

October 2nd, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Changes, but no change of luck for Minety

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Minety made eight changes to their lineup as they travelled to Division 1 North newcomers Warminster on Saturday but were unable to force their first win of the season.

The homeside, who played in the Division 1 South last year, boasted a large and well drilled pack who put the Minety forwards on the back foot throughout the encounter.  Early exchanges were dominated by quality ball for the Warminster forwards.  Seeking some possession Minety tried to pull the home defence wide with some adventurous backs’ moves prompted by scrum half Garin Garland and fly half Adam Watts.

In an even first quarter Warminster continued to exert pressure through the forwards whilst Minety counter attacked through the backs.

Powerful and direct running from centres Matt Roberts and Jack Ward caught the Warminster forwards offside and Garland opened the scoring with a penalty.

Warminster laid siege to the Minety line but some fine defensive tackling thwarted the home side.

Given their dominance up front, it was surprising that it took Warminster 32 minutes to breach Minety’s defences.  A clever miss move in the centre saw the Minety line split wide open and Warminster scored their first try close to the posts.  The ensuing unsuccessful conversion left the scores 5-3.

Minety hit back and flanker Stephen Brown was denied a try in a chase for the ball when Watts cleverly chipped over the Warminster defence.

Garland restored Minety’s lead before half time with a penalty after a period of open play dominated by the visitors.

Minety started the 2nd half brightly with a lovely move out wide to speedy winger Ben Langridge which was only halted by a desperate high tackle near the Warminster line.

Warminster restored their lead in the 53rd minute with a penalty after an infringement in the ruck on the Minety 22 metre line but the villagers replied almost immediately with a Garland penalty for a similar offence.

The decisive score came in the 63rd minute.  From quality possession following a scrum in the Minety half, Warminster’s fly half dummied and left the Minety defence flat footed.  A flighted pass saw Warminster touch down for a try near the corner flag.

A long range Garland penalty attempt in the 70th minute fell agonisingly short as Minety pushed forward, ending the match strongly but not being able to cross the home side’s line.

Minety’s Chairman Dave Peirce was able to take a lot of positives from the match.  “I thought we played really well in phases and stood up to a much bigger pack.  We’re on the verge of some good things at Minety and I’m really proud of the lads.”

Final score: Warminster 13 Minety 9

Played at Warminster on Saturday 17th September.  Kick off 3pm. Weather overcast and blustery.

In the other game at the weekend, the Minety 2nd XV went down to a 45 – 5 defeat against Alfred’s Nomads at Marlborough.  Team captain Matt Stone reported that the score was not a fair reflection of a close fought match and that he was proud of his team in what was their first outing of the season.

Written by Graham Cooke

September 18th, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Pewsey Shock Minety in season opener

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Newly promoted Pewsey Vale recorded a surprise but well deserved victory in their opening Dorset and Wilts Division 1 encounter away at Minety on Saturday.

On a wet pitch and with a slippery ball, that made handling difficult, the well-disciplined Pewsey pack disrupted the home team’s scrum and made life very difficult at set pieces.

Minety took the lead in the 3rd minute when scrum half Garin Garland slotted home a penalty after Pewsey were penalised for handling in a ruck.

The visitors’ narrow, well drilled game, was better suited to the slippery conditions and with Minety’s lineout misfiring, Pewsey were able to mount a series of forwards’ moves and crossed for the opening try under the posts in the 8th minute.  The ensuing conversion took the score to 7 – 3 to the visitors.

Minety responded with some of their best rugby of the match as they fought back with centre Dave Church and fly half Tom McAllister prominent.  When winger Ben Langridge charged down a clearance kick it was McAllister who reacted first to race through and touch down under the posts, Garland converting to restore Minety’s lead at 10-7.

Pewsey hit back with a penalty of their own in the 21st minute to even up the scores and then ended the half strongly, a fine forwards’ move seeing them score wide on the right to secure a half time lead, 15-10.

The loss of influential captain Andrew Hibbard and prop Will North at half time led to enforced changes in the Minety pack with new club coach Rich Hall coming off the bench for an unexpected debut.

Minety pressure was met with resolute Pewsey defence and, in the play of the game, Pewsey attacked from their own line, broke through the Minety defence and kicked ahead.  In a desperate sprint for the line Langridge was unable to fend off two Pewsey backs and they scored a try against the run of play.  The conversion took the lead out to 12 points for the visitors.

Minety pressed hard and were rewarded with a penalty in front of the Pewsey posts in the 58th minute.  From the ensuing tap penalty a ruck was set up on the Pewsey line and Garland fed Hall who crashed over for Minety’s second try.  Garland’s conversion brought the score back to 17-22 but despite mounting pressure Pewsey held out for a deserved victory.

Coach Richard Hall was reflective after the match.  “Of course it’s disappointing to lose a close match like and it being our first match of the season.  We didn’t clear our lines well enough, and that led to two of their tries, and we missed too many game line tackles.  They’re a well drilled team with a big, strong set of forwards but we felt confident at half time but the breakaway try was decisive.  I was pleased to see that heads didn’t drop and that we ended the match strongly.  There’s real potential here at Minety – we just need to work harder to unlock it.”

 

The 2nd XV’s match against Warminster II’s was cancelled at late notice with the visitors unable to field a full team.  Minety have been awarded the league points.

Written by Graham Cooke

September 11th, 2016 at 10:15 am

New Coach happy as Minety run in 9 tries

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New club coach Richard Hall declared himself more than happy with Minety’s nine try, 53-7 victory in a pre season friendly match played against Cainscross from Gloucestershire.
 
The visitors took a surprise lead with a break away try in the first 5 minutes but from then on a powerful Minety team, made up of predominantly 2nd team players and some 1st teamers playing out of position, took over and ran in nine tries including braces for flanker Harry Neal and 1st team skipper Andrew Hibbard.
 
“It was a bit messy at times and there was evidence of pre season rustiness but overall I was very happy with the way that the lads played and the spirit that they showed,” said Hall after the match.
The match gave the coaching staff a good chance to look at the depth of the Minety squad as they prepare for their first match of the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North championship in two weeks’ time. “We’ll need to sharpen up our set pieces and make sure that our ruck ball is won cleanly and quickly. I’d like to see the backs running from deeper positions but I feel confident about the coming season. I definitely feel that we’ve got the players here at Minety to win the league, assuming that we can always put out our strongest team.”
 
Hall started his playing days with Bath Colts before moving on to Gloucester, where he played at the highest level. An injury curtailed his top level career but he moved to Minety before retiring and taking up coaching. “Minety has changed beyond belief since I played here. The support that the players and coaches receive from the committee and the back room staff is immense and I’m delighted to be back at a club which holds such happy memories for me.”
 
Minety 1st start their league campaign with a home match against Pewsey Vale on 10th September. The 2nds begins their D&W3N season at Minety Fields with a home fixture on the same day.
 
Try scorers: Harry Neal (2), Andrew Hibbard (2), Tom Windle, Dan Wilson, Richard Hibbard, Duncan Simpson and Garin Garland.
RichardHall2

New Minety Coach, Richard Hall

Written by Graham Cooke

August 27th, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Royal Agricultural University win Minety 7’s

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The Royal Agricultural University team won the Minety 7’s rugby tournament at Minety Fields on Saturday afternoon.

12 teams, divided into two pools, contested the competition in startlingly contrasting conditions.  A large crowd, enjoying a refreshments tent, barbeque, bouncy castle and other attractions were entertained by the action on the two adjacent pitches under brilliant sunshine until the thunder clouds massed and the semi finals and final were concluded in torrential rain.

The hosts, Minety, got off to a flying start with a 31-0 win over Painswick before St Paul’s Sharks battled out a 12 all draw with Tetbury.  The “Voodoo” touring team ended the first round of matches in Pool 1 with a comprehensive win over a team representing the “Weighbridge” from Swindon. Ashley Windle, the Weighbridge’s coach was philosophical about the defeat.  “I thought we were unlucky; we just didn’t get the bounce of the ball.”

In Pool 2 Minety’s 2nd XV, “The Dreamers” found themselves on the wrong end of a 40-0 at the hands of the Parachute Training School from RAF Brize Norton.  The “Magic” team defeated a young Chippenham team 30-0 before the Royal Agricultural team defeated the Minety Academy.

As the tournament developed, in hot and humid conditions on very firm pitches, the favourites began to make their presence felt.  St Paul’s Sharks followed their opening win with a heavy defeat of the Weighbridge team before cementing their place in the semi finals with a fine 14-0 win over Voodoo.  They guaranteed top spot with a close win over Minety in the last pool 1 game in which the hosts also qualifying for a semi final spot.

Pool 2 saw the Physical Training Instructors from Brize Norton breeze past the Magic team to set up a top of the table clash with the unbeaten Royal Agriculture University team in the last match of the qualifiers.

As the rain clouds massed and thunder rumbled all around, the RAU team showed their class, mastering the changing conditions and inflicting the Instructors first defeat of the day.

In the “Oh So Nearly Cup” Minety Academy lost out in the pouring rain to the “Voodoo” touring team.

The main competition semi finals saw the home team facing the unbeaten RAU team whilst the PTI’s took on St Paul’s Sharks. With the crowd seeking any form of shelter from the driving rain the Royal Agricultural team were too strong for a Minety team whilst the PTS’s from Brize Norton saw off St Paul’s.

The final went the way of the RAU who closed down the PTS’s for space when defending and threw the ball wide on the attack.

Tournament organiser Jack Ward handed over the winning trophy to the RAU team.  He said, “It’s been a great day but just a shame about the thunderstorm at the end.  I think everyone’s enjoyed themselves and it’s been a great way to end what has been a tremendous year for the Minety Club.”

Click on any photograph to bring it up to full size.

Tournament sponsors, The Weighbridge

Tournament sponsors, The Weighbridge

Rob Bugden and the PTI team

Rob Bugden and the PTI team

Waiting for the action to begin

Waiting for the action to begin

Dave and Jo

Dave and Jo

Action from Minety v Voodoo

Action from Minety v Voodoo

Action from the Refreshments tent

Action from the Refreshments tent

Matt Cross after his first try

Matt Cross after his first try

Nick, Tom and James - a fine front row!

Nick, Tom and James – a fine front row!

Weighbridge in action (Pink)

Weighbridge in action (Pink)

Weighbridge v St Pauls

Weighbridge v St Pauls

The Dreamers Squad

The Dreamers Squad

Minety v Weighbridge

Minety v Weighbridge

Duncan Simpson for Minety

Duncan Simpson for Minety

Just what is Elis saying to Dale?

Just what is Elis saying to Dale?

Garin in action

Garin in action

Pressure on the Weighbridge line

Pressure on the Weighbridge line

And then it started to rain

And then it started to rain

... heavier and heavier

… heavier and heavier

The crowd sought shelter ...

The crowd sought shelter …

Watching on from the Food tent

Watching on from the Food tent

Prizes for the Minety Academy team

Prizes for the Minety Academy team

Voodoo win the "Oh so nearly" Award

Voodoo win the “Oh so nearly” Award

Jack presents the winners trophy

Jack presents the winners trophy

RAU - 2016 Minety 7's winners

RAU – 2016 Minety 7’s winners

Rob and Dave

Rob and Dave

Rob and his friends

Rob and his friends

Written by Graham Cooke

May 8th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Minety Pride as champions are beaten

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Minety 1st XV’s remarkable season ended with a brilliant 29-20 victory over Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North champions, Combe Down, in front of a large crowd at Minety Fields on Saturday.

Combe Down had only tasted defeat once this season, by a single point at Corsham, and arrived at Minety looking to end their season on a high but the village team pulled together for a win which leaves them in a very creditable 4th in the table, only missing out on a top 3 position by points difference to Melksham.

The first quarter was an evenly matched affair, both teams spreading play out wide and Minety holding the champions’ attacks with some fine tackling, especially by flankers Stephen Brown and Harry Neal.

Minety took the lead in the 22nd minute with a Garin Garland penalty.  Another Garland penalty in the 30th minute extended Minety’s lead to 6 points.

Minety’s first try came on 36 minutes. A defensive kick was caught by winger David Cooke who threw a long pass infield to Garland.  His pass to full back Dale Langdown caught the entire Combe Down defence flat footed and the full back raced through to score wide on the left.

Garland’s fine long range conversion took the score to 13-0.

The league champions hit back with the final play of the first half.  Stealing the ball from a Minety scrum, they crashed over for an unconverted try to leave the half time score at 13-5.

Playing uphill in the second half, Andy Ward’s team knew they had to start strongly to defend their lead but Combe Down struck early. A missed tackle in midfield left an overlap on the left wing for a try to be scored. 13-10.

Minety’s fighting spirit, which saw them win the Dorset and Wilts Vase earlier in the season, shone through and, after Garland was tackled in mid field, fly half Jack Ward cleared out an attacker allowing flanker Brown to pick up and race through from 30 metres.  Garland converted and Minety were 20-10 up.  A Combe Down penalty on 49 minutes reduced the lead but two more Garland penalties in the 54th and 67th minutes stretched the lead to 26-13 entering the final quarter.

Minety were reduced to 14 men for persistent infringements near to their own line on 74 minutes and conceded a penalty try shortly after as Combe Down fought back.

A Garland penalty deep in injury time ending the scoring with Minety 29-20 victories in a pulsating match.

Captain Andrew Hibberd could hardly contain his joy at the end.  “We were really up for that match from the start.  It was a superb team performance both in defence and attack.  I’ve really enjoyed my time as captain this season and this result ends our campaign perfectly.”

Coach Andy Ward, in his last match as 1st team coach, was emotional at the final whistle.  “I really believed in this team.  I knew they had it in them for once last, magnificent effort.  Our set pieces worked well.  We dominated at lineout and scrummaged so much better in the second half.  It was a real hearts and pride performance.  I’m so proud of all of them.”

Man of the Match: Jack Ward

Date: Saturday 23rd April 2016.  Kick off 3pm

Venue: Minety Fields

Weather conditions: Sunny and breezy

Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

Click on a photograph to bring it up full screen size.

Minety warm up before start

Minety warm up before start

Stephen Brown (7) and Garin Garland

Stephen Brown (7) and Garin Garland

Stephen Brown, David Cooke and Andrew Hibberd

Stephen Brown, David Cooke and Andrew Hibberd

Centre, Robin Greenway

Centre, Robin Greenway

Pre match huddle

Pre match huddle

Cliff Garland, Ryan Simoes, Debra and Andrew Hibberd

Cliff Garland, Ryan Simoes, Debra and Andrew Hibberd

Ryan, Debra and Wallace joined by the referee and Combe Down captain

Ryan, Debra and Wallace joined by the referee and Combe Down captain

Guest for the day, Ryan Simoes tosses the coin

Guest for the day, Ryan Simoes tosses the coin

 

Written by Graham Cooke

April 24th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Minety victorious in bruising battle

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Minety retained their 4th place in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North match in a bruising bonus point winning 26 – 0 victory at bottom club Colerne on Saturday, a game brought to an end on 65 minutes with a Colerne player stretched out on the pitch with what looked like a serious shoulder injury.

Minety opened the scoring in the 9th minute.  After pressure down the right flank, Josh Bull caught the ensuing lineout and a 10 man drive saw scrum half Garin Garland race through to score under the posts.

With the match littered with handling errors and a lack of fluidity, it was a try saving tackle from centre Matt Roberts which preserved Minety’s lead as Colerne pressed forward.

Minety extended their lead in the 31st minute.  Garland spread play out to fly half Jack Ward, whose perfectly timed pass set Roberts away.  A pass to full back Duncan Simpson and another to the impressive Bull saw the latter score under the posts.  Garland converted and MInety were 12 points up.

Tempers flared in the 31st minute and both teams were reduced to 14 after a brawl involving a number of players from both sides.

The home side started the second half strongly and pinned Minety back in their own half but the villagers’ defensive line remained resolute and their dominance at lineout relieved the pressure.

Captain Andrew Hibberd scored MInety’s 3rd try in the 54th minute, collecting from the lineout and driving through the defence in the corner.  Garland’s excellent conversion from distance took the visitors to a comfortable 19 – 0 lead.

The 4th, and bonus point winning try, came in the 59th minute when Roberts outpaced the defence to end a fine back line move.  Garland’s conversion stretched the lead to 26 – 0.

The match ended shortly after as medical staff waited for an ambulance to attend to the stricken Colerne player.

After the match, coach Andy Ward said, “It was sad that the match had to end 15 minutes early.  Obviously our thoughts are with the injured player.  We lost our shape as the game progressed, and that is something we’ll have to address on the training pitch before we take on Combe Down, the league champions, in our final game of the season at Minety next week.  Our set pieces were good but we should have used our width across the line more effectively.”

Captain Andrew Hibberd commented, “We played well in patches but overall I felt we were too rushed.  We should have taken more time to assess where the mismatches were in their defence and exploited them.”

Date: Saturday 16th April 2016.  Kick off 3pm

Venue: Colerne

Weather conditions: Light cloud, bitter wind

Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

Garin collects the ball to opening the scoring

Garin collects the ball to opening the scoring

Josh Bull ends a brilliant pitch length move

Josh Bull ends a brilliant pitch length move

Matt Roberts outpaces the defence for the 4th try

Matt Roberts outpaces the defence for the 4th try

Jack, Wallace, Matt and Garin

Jack, Wallace, Matt and Garin

Click on any picture for an enlargement.

Written by Graham Cooke

April 16th, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Hibbard shines as Minety win

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Minety roared back into 4th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North on Saturday after an exciting and entertaining 31-20 win against a strong Chippenham II side at Minety Fields in which captain Andrew Hibbard and centre Matt Roberts each bagged a brace of tries.

In bright, sunny conditions, Minety won the toss and chose to play downhill.

The home team started strongly, with scrum half Duncan Simpson driving the team forward, and the visitors were forced for defend their own line from wave after wave of Minety attacks.

Somewhat against the run of play, Chippenham opened the scoring with a penalty in the 12th minute, but despite the smaller pack, the Minety forwards, superbly led by Hibbard, were soon level when centre Jack Ward slotted a penalty in the 16th minute and then kicked Minety into the lead in the 19th.

Some fine positional kicking from Chippenham kept the game in midfield as the match settled down after the hectic opening quarter.

Minety’s first try started almost on their own try line.  A fine breakout from flanker Harry Neal ended with a pass to Hibbard who drew the defence before popping the ball to centre Roberts who ran in an excellent try from well inside his own half.

Minety extended their lead to 16-3 in the final minute of the half when Hibbard collected a pass from Ward to crash over from short range.

Chippenham started the second half strongly and only a fine tackle from full back Dale Langdown prevented a try. The pressure told soon after when a fine flowing backs’ move down the right saw the visitors score their first try to close the score down to 16-8.

Minety hit back with two tries in four minutes midway through the half.  Roberts grabbed his second from short range before flanker Stephen Brown ran in MInety’s bonus point wining try from near the half way line after a Hibbard break from a scrum.

Another excellent move between Brown and Hibbard saw the latter cross for his second and Minety’s 5th try in the 70th minute, extending the villagers’ lead to 31-8.

Chippenham fought back in the final 10 minutes as the Minety pack tired and scored two tries to end the match 31-20 to the home side.

Coach Andy Ward thought that, in patches, Minety played some of their best rugby this year.  “We need to be able to maintain that quality of play – at times we looked a little match rusty.  That was a good Chippenham team that we beat today and I’m proud of the lads.  We need to hit the training ground hard this week to set us up for the last two, crucial matches of the season. We are still in there with a chance of a promotion play-off spot.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard was more than happy with his two tries.  “I thought we put in a great performance. And it’s always nice to grab a try or two.”

 

Man of the Match: Andrew Hibbard

Date: Saturday 2nd April 2016.  Kick off 3pm

Venue: Minety Fields, Mintey

Weather conditions: Sunny and bright

Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

Fly Half Tom McAllister

Fly Half Tom McAllister

Full back Dale Langdown

Full back Dale Langdown

Scrum half Duncan Simpson

Scrum half Duncan Simpson

Hooker Tom Claxton

Hooker Tom Claxton

Centre Matt Roberts

Centre Matt Roberts

2nd row Ben Collins

2nd row Ben Collins

Captain Andrew Hibbard

Captain Andrew Hibbard

Flanker Harry Neal

Flanker Harry Neal

Winger Luke Radcliffe

Winger Luke Radcliffe

Front row Nick Britten

Front row Nick Britten

The captains

The captains

Steve and Matt - try scorers

Steve and Matt – try scorers

 

Written by Graham Cooke

April 3rd, 2016 at 10:15 am

Minety 2nds win at Westbury

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Have just received the news that the 2nds won their rearranged match in Dorset and Wilts 3 North at Westbury this afternoon by 27 – 5.  More news as and when we get it.

Written by Graham Cooke

March 26th, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Back to winning ways at Supermarine

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Minety return to winning ways

Minety halted their run of four straight league defeats with a fine away victory over Supermarine on Saturday.  After their poor run of form, the villagers started the day just one place above their opponents in Dorset and Wilts 1 North and needed a win to put their season back on track.

After a scrappy opening in which the strong wind favoured Supermarine,  Minety started to display the kind of attacking play that made them so successful last year, moving the ball through the backs and defending aggressively.  It was against the run of play that Supermarine took the lead.  Minety were penalised at a ruck and Supermarine slotted a superb penalty from 40 yards out in the 8th minute.

Two dropped passes at the end of a series of flowing moves denied MInety clear scoring opportunities as they fought to claw their way back into the match.

Scrum half Garin Garland’s speed and aggression forced Supermarine into conceding a penalty which the young scrum half converted to tie the scores in the 17th minute.

With centres Jack Ward and Matt Roberts always a threat and full back Dave Church and winger Dale Langdown  willing to run at the Supermarine defence, Minety regained control of the match as the half drew to an end only for another long range penalty to give the home team a narrow 6 – 3 lead at half time.

It took the villagers just two minutes of the second half to take the lead.  Impressive flanker Stephen Brown stole the ball at a breakdown and an excellent backs move saw Roberts beat four defenders before crashing over the line.  Garland converted and Minety were 13-6 up.

An unusual substitution occurred in the 52nd minute when the referee had to be replaced after sustaining an injury. With the wind at their back, Minety dominated possession and territory and should have added at least two more tries but for handling errors at crucial moments.

When a Ward penalty kick in the 67th minute was mishandled over the line by a Supermarine defender Minety secured the ball from the resultant 5 metre scrum and Garland found the smallest gap to burst through to score Minety’s second try.  The conversion was missed but Minety’s lead was now 18-6.

In contrast to much of their rugby since Christmas, Minety managed the last 10 minutes with ease, pinning Supermarine back in their own half and tackling superbly to deny the home team.

Coach Andy Ward was delighted with the performance.  “For the first time this year we had nearly a full 1st team squad out there and we had lots of opportunities to score even more than we did.  We defended well and our 1st tackles were superb.  We deserved that win and now need to build on it as we approach the last three league games of the season.”

Supermarine 6 Minety 18

19th March 2016 at Supermarine

Cold and over cast but reasonably dry underfoot

Man of the Match: Stephen Brown

Click on any picture below to bring it up to full size.

Claxton to Brown

Claxton to Brown

Stephen Brown

Stephen Brown

Coach Andy Ward & team

Coach Andy Ward & team

Pre match coaching

Pre match coaching

Tom Claxton

Tom Claxton

Lineout practice

Lineout practice

Will North

Will North

Ben Collins makes the ball available

Ben Collins

Tom Windle & Ben Collins lift Stephen Brown

Tom Windle & Ben Collins lift Stephen Brown

Garin Garland fires the ball out

Garin Garland fires the ball out to launch a backs’ move

Written by Graham Cooke

March 20th, 2016 at 11:04 am

Corsham cruise to win

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Corsham’s 60-5 win over Minety on Saturday took the home side up to second place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North and put them in with a real chance of the promotion playoff spot at the end of the season.  The league’s form team, Corsham, have not lost a division match since November and were looking to inflict a 4th straight league defeat on Andy Ward’s Minety.

After a tight opening phase in which Minety exerted most of the pressure, missing a penalty, Corsham’s confident handling at pace pulled the makeshift Minety defence apart, moving the ball from one side to the other to allow Tim Minety to score the first point.  Corsham’s second try once again stretched the villagers’ defence before winger Ryan Jones cleverly chipped over the covering back to run in and score beneath the posts.

The well drilled Corsham team added a third try in the 14th minute when a driving maul from 20 yards out saw Tim Minety grab his second try to take the lead to 17 points.

Minety upped their game and camped out on the Corsham line, but for the third game in a row, massive pressure brought no points for the visitors, second row Tom Windle coming closest to a try when his drive was held up over the line.  With scrum half Duncan Simpson prompting Minety on, the villagers finally scored when hooker Tom Claxton found himself on the end of a fine move involving centre Jack Ward and second row Ben Scott.

Minety suffered a major setback when they lost young fly half Tom McAllister to a leg injury and had to reorganise hastily.  The patched up village team were unable to prevent Harry Beazer adding a fourth try and Jacob Unwin scoring a 5th to bring the half to a close with Corsham 31-5 up.

The opening minutes of the second half saw Minety with the majority of possession but unable to gain any territorial advantage in the face of excellent Corsham tackling. Somewhat against the run of play, Corsham scored when winger Ewan Campbell touched down out wide on the left before a brace of tries in the 55th and 57th minute ended any chance of a Minety comeback, Unwin and Beazer scoring again.

Corsham were reduced to 14 men after a stamping offence but Minety lost Ward to a yellow card soon after.

With Minety pressing hard, Corsham broke away down the left wing, allowing Beazer to cross for his hat trick before Unwin broke out of his own 22 to run the length of the pitch for Corsham’s 10th try, to end the scoring at 60-5.

Coach Andy Ward praised his team’s efforts throughout the game but admitted that they were well beaten by a fitter, stronger and well drilled Corsham team.  “We need to get out on the training pitches and get back to the form that saw us in 2nd place at the turn of the year.  We were missing lots of players but it was a lack of match fitness and practice that told in the end.”

160312table

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Written by Graham Cooke

March 13th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Minety slip to third defeat

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A much depleted Minety 1st XV fell to a third successive Dorset and Wilts Division 1 defeat on Saturday at the hands of fellow promotion hopefuls, Melksham by 20 -14 at Minety Fields.

Missing 8 regular 1st team players due to injury and unavailability, the village team brought in second team and academy players in a much patched up team but took the fight to a strong Melksham unit.

Playing uphill in the first half on a very heavy pitch, Minety fell behind to Melksham forwards’ try in the 5th minute.  The visitors, who sit in second place in the table, doubled their lead in the 27th minute with a pushover try.  The home side held their own at lineout and in the scrum and began to exert their own pressure.  Despite being penalised heavily at the breakdown, Minety ended the half strongly, with the pack led by captain Andrew Hibbard, matching their more experienced opponents.  Melksham were somewhat flattered by a third try in the 33rd minute when a break out and loose ball saw them cross on the right wing.

Minety lost James Stuart, Kieran Gash, Ben Scott and scrum half Will Mason to injuries at the start of the second half and gave a season debut to ex academy player Josh Bull.

Playing downhill, Minety upped their game and began to dominate set pieces.  With ex Academy star Garland prompting at scrum half and young Tom McAllister distributing the ball well from fly half, Minety pushed Melksham back and it was only some desperate tackling that saw the home side repelled.

The breakthrough for Minety came in the 69th minute.  A throw in was collected by Bull and led to a fine forwards’ drive.  The ball was fed to hooker Tom Claxton, who was tackled on the line but the impressive flanker Harry Neal stole the ball to score.

As the minutes ticked away, play became more open and mistakes occurred from both teams, the heavy mud taking its toll.  Melksham restored their lead with a try wide out on the right before Minety struck back with the final score of the game with just minutes to play.  Robin Greenway, making only his second appearance for the 1st XV this season, broke through the Melksham line and passed to Bull, who raced through to score under the posts.  Garland converted to bring the scores to 14-20 but that ended the scoring.

Minety pick up a losing bonus point but slip back to 5th in the table behind runaway leaders Combe Down and the following pack made up of Melksham, Royal Wootton Bassett and Corsham.

Coach Andy Ward was upbeat on the final whistle.  “We knew that this was going to be a really tough match. With over half a team unavailable we had to dig deep and ask 2nd XV players and Academy lads to step up and they did a magnificent job against a full strength Melksham team.  For the third match running we spent significant time camped out on the opposition line without scoring and that is something that we can only address when we can get out on a pitch to train, something we haven’t been able to do in 2016.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard was equally positive.  “I thought the lads did brilliantly.  To have a team made up of 2nds, Academy and ex Academy players and push a good team like Melksham like that gives us real hope for the future.”  Asked if he could pick out a man of the match, Hibbard replied, “They all deserved it; I couldn’t single anyone out; they all played well.”

Date: Saturday 27th February 2016.  Kick off 2.30pm

Venue: Minety Fields, Minety

Weather conditions: Light cloud, cross wind, dry but very heavy underfoot

Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

Man of the Match: Whole team shares the honour

Melksham's first try in 5th minute. 0-5

Melksham score their first try in 5th minute. 0-5

Melksham extend their lead in 27th minute. 0-10

Melksham extend their lead in 27th minute. 0-10

Melksham score their 3rd try in the 33rd minute. 0-15

Melksham score 3rd try in the 33rd minute to lead 0-15

Harry Neal powers over for Minety's 1st try in 77th minute

Harry Neal powers over for Minety’s 1st try in 77th minute

Melksham score their 4th try in 72nd minute. 7-20

Melksham score their 4th try in 72nd minute to lead 7-20

Josh Bull scores Minety's 2nd try in 80th minute. 14-20

Josh Bull scores Minety’s 2nd try in 80th minute. 14-20

Click on a photograph to bring it up to full size.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 28th, 2016 at 10:07 am

Minety’s slide continues

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Minety’s hopes of a promotion play off place took another massive blow at Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday as the village side slipped to a second straight league defeat and surrendered second place in the league to their local rivals.

In dreadful conditions, with driving rain and a swirling cross wind, Minety withstood early Wootton Bassett pressure before camping out on the home side’s line for over 10 minutes without scoring.  A Dale Langdown effort was ruled out by the referee as Minety launched wave upon wave of attacks on the Bassett line.  Reduced to 14 men after conceding a series of penalties, the home side adapted to the conditions far better as the half wore on.  Keeping the ball in close and utilising some clever touch line kicking, Bassett forced their way back into the match and scored the opening points in the final minute of the half with a converted try.

All hopes that Minety might get something out the match were extinguished in the first 10 minutes of the second half when the home side ran in a further three tries.  With the forwards visibly tiring in the heavy conditions, Minety were no match for their fierce rivals and conceded a fifth try in the closing minutes as the home side ran out comprehensive 32-0 victors.

The loss, coupled with the shock defeat at lowly Trowbridge last week, see Minety slip to 4th place in the table behind Bassett and the fast improving Corsham side, who overcame struggling Colerne.

Coach Andy Ward was despondent after the defeat.  “Too often we were stationery when we should have been driving over the ball.  Bassett enjoyed lots of quality ball while we had to make do with scraps.  We needed to put a score on the board after all that first half pressure and should have adapted better to the conditions.  Our lack of ‘on pitch’ training is really telling; we haven’t hand a home match at Minety for a month and we haven’t been able to train on our pitches since before Christmas.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard shared his coach’s views.  “We made really hard work of it.  I felt we dominated great swathes of the first half but just couldn’t get the ball over the line despite our possession.  The loss makes next week’s match against Melksham even more important; we’ve got to get back to the type of rugby that served us so well in the first half of the season.”

Final Score : Wootton Bassett 32 Minety 0

Played at Wootton Bassett

Saturday 20th February.  Kick off 2.30pm

Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

Man of the Match: Harry Neale

Written by Graham Cooke

February 20th, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Minety 2nd lose at Bassett

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Minety 2nd XV travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett to face a well drilled and powerful Wootton Bassett 3rd team on Saturday in Dorset and Wilts 3 North. Bassett knew that a win would take them to the top of the league whilst Minety were hoping to put their recent loss at Swindon behind them.

Bassett started quickly and moved the ball along the line to put the slow starting Minety on the back foot.  Although the visitors defended well the pressure told and within the first 20 minutes Bassett had roared into a 15 point lead with three tries.

Minety re-grouped with the forwards matching the powerful Bassett pack but wave after wave of attacking moves from the home side showed why they are at the top of the division as they raced in more tries to end the half 35-0 up.

The second half showed the fighting qualities that the Minety team are well known for.  The forwards upped their game and matched the home team.

Minety put pressure the Bassett defensive line and a kick through saw the forwards and winger Matt Stone pressurise the defence into spilling the ball. Although Minety lost the ensuing ruck, they were able to recapture the ball allowing Mark Glew to cross for a try, which was converted, to bring the score back to 35-7.

Sensing a chance of more points Minety increased the pressure on the home line, forcing a scrum near to the Bassett line.  Number 8 Ben Scott picked up at the base of the scrum and his run and pass to Mark Glew opened up the home defence allowing Brodie Murray to score in the corner.  The conversion was missed but the scoreline was now a more respectable 35-12.

Minety’s efforts to claw their way back took their toll and as Bassett used their extensive bench to replace and replenish, Minety simply ran out of steam. In the last minutes the defence buckled and let Bassett in to have the last word with a try to bring about the final score of 40-12.

Special mention for front five.

Man of the match: Colin French

Saturday 13th February 2016

Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North

Played at Wootton Bassett

Weather: overcast and damp ground.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 14th, 2016 at 11:37 am

Misfiring Minety crash to shock league defeat

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High flying Minety fell to a surprise 10-5 loss at lowly Trowbridge on Saturday.  In a match switched to Trowbridge after the Minety pitches were again deemed unfit, the home side, 9th in the table and with just three victories all season, launched an impressive and ferocious assault upon the Minety line in the first 15 minutes of the match.  Seemingly able to handle the driving wind and slippery ball much more effectively, Trowbridge didn’t allow Minety out of their own half.  With a forward pack dominating the scrum, the hosts belied their league position.

It was entirely against the run of play that Minety opened the scoring.  A good kick through from young fly half Tom McAllister pushed Trowbridge back into their own half and a superb move through the backs left winger Ben Langridge to cross the line wide out on the left for the opening try.  Scrum half Will Mason was unable to add the conversion.

Minety’s try merely stirred the dominant Trowbridge pack onto greater efforts.  Time and time again MInety players had to pull off try saving tackles but the pressure told in the 26th minute. A mix up in a lineout close to their own try line saw the ball break free to allow a Trowbridge forward to score.  With the conversion missed in the swirling wind the scores were level.

Minety enjoyed their best spell of rugby in the lead up to half time.  For once the ball started to move along the line although the two wingers had precious little opportunity to run with the ball. Centre David Church made a number of forceful breaks but follow up play was ragged and disjointed.

After Mason missed a long penalty attempt on the half time whistle the teams swapped round at 5-5.

The second half mirrored the first.  Basically handling mistakes, a misfiring lineout and failure to capitalise in thescrum left Minety defending desperately.  In the 49th minute Trowbridge scored the decisive try.  A lost ball at the scrum deep in their own 22 metre area was picked up and driven over the line by the Trowbridge pack.

Minety pressed forward in the final minutes, beginning to show some of the rugby that had taken them to 2nd in the table, but in the end it was too little and too late.

Although they were able to pick up a losing bonus point, the loss now ends the villagers’ chances of catching league leaders Combe Down, and they now find themselves mired in a four way battle for a chance at a possible promotion place with Melksham, Wootton Bassett and the fast improving Corsham all hot on their heels.  Next week’s game at Royal Wootton Bassett will be a crucial game in defining MInety’s season.

 

Man of the Match: David Church

Date: Saturday 13th 2016.  Kick off 2.30pm

Venue: Trowbridge RFC (match switched from Minety due to unfit pitches)

Weather conditions: Cold and wet. Driving cross field wind

Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North

 

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Written by Graham Cooke

February 14th, 2016 at 8:25 am