Minety RFC

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Brilliant Minety

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To paraphrase Shakespeare, “And absent Minety supporters, Shall think themselves accursed they were not here.”  Minety 38 Frome 0.

The talk after the match, in the club house, was not so much about how good a performance it was.  Most present were trying to remember a better Minety performance … and failing.

Recent wins over Melksham And Royal Wootton Bassett and a narrow loss at Sutton Benger, all top four teams in the league, have shown what Minety are really capable of.  That the village team started the day in a perilous 10th place in a 12 team league shows just how varied performances have been this season.  But the feeling in the club since Christmas is that the squad is more settled, the structures are in place and there is a real confidence building.

Frome came into the match in 5th place but with a very real chance of overtaking Sutton Benger in 4th and on a pitch that had just passed a grounds inspection on Friday and then been saturated  by overnight rain, Minety’s task was never going to be easy.

Captain Andrew Hibbard lost the toss and Minety were forced to play down the slope in the first half in the knowledge that a good lead would be needed by half time if they were to win the match.

Frome’s confident handling saw them dominate the early minutes of the game in terms of possession but some fine and aggressive Minety tackling pinned the Somerset team back in their own half, flanker Kieran Tillotson leading the way.

With second row Matt Chisholm catching well at the lineout, scrum half Garin Garland and fly half Sam Hughes were able to set Minety up early for some attacking play along the backs in spite of the cloying conditions and slippery ball.

Minety opened the scoring in the 8th minute. Tillotson stole a Frome lineout deep in their 22 and 2nd row Bram Coleman flicked the ball out to Hughes, who burst forward and was brought down a metre from the line. Coleman was again in the centre of the action, taking up the ball from Garland and stretching the Frome defence. The ball was recycled across the pitch for hooker Mar Glew to launch an attack out wide on the left and from the ensuing ruck Garland spotted Andrew Hibbard’s beautifully timed run and the captain raced over, touching down beneath the posts.  Garland’s conversion was straightforward and Minety led 7 – 0.

Wallace touches down for the 1st try

As Frome hit back, Minety’s tackling was exceptional with hardly a tackle missed.  Flankers Jay Thompson and Tillotson closed down space and Frome struggled to break the game line time and time again. If there was to be a criticism of the home team it was that sometimes they overplayed situations, flinging the passes along the line and spreading play out rather than adopting a more pragmatic style of play, keeping it tight in centre field, in the light of the difficult conditions.

Minety’s centre partnership of Chris Rule and Duncan Simpson continually pressurised the Frome backs with their line speed as the visitors attempted to gain a foothold in a tight and entertaining first half.  When the aggressive Minety tackling forced Frome into giving away penalties Hughes’ kicking and Minety’s control at the subsequent lineout relieved pressure as the half wore on.

Whilst Minety were dominant in virtually every aspect of the game, coach James Irving cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as chances came and went as Minety sought for second try with the half and the advantage of the slope slipping away.

Garland increased the lead in the 31st minute after Frome were penalised 30 metres out for a dump tackle on Tillotson.

Frome’s kick off sailed directly into touch and from the scrum Hibbard picked up and fed Garland who made progress towards half way, releasing winger Dave Cooke.  His run took Minety to the Frome 22.  Simpson won the ball at the ruck and Garland sent a long pass out to Hughes who set Hibbard up for a run into the 22.  Garland picked up and made ground towards the line but when he was stopped he passed to Cooke, who side stepped the defence and slipped through a narrow gap to touch down beneath the posts. Garland slotted the conversion and Minety were 17 points up.

Dave Cooke after scoring Minety’s 2nd try

Dominant Minety should have increased their lead a minute later.  Hughes’ launched a bombshell of a clearance kick down field and Simpson’s follow up tackle saw the ball break free.  Winger Jesse Daybell kicked through but was unable to pick up the ball cleanly with the try line beckoning and the chance went begging.

But Minety were soon to gain their third try of the half.  After a Hughes penalty pinned Frome back deep in their 22, Hibbard caught the lineout, the Minety forwards gathered and pushed the Frome defence back and prop Andy Darrell collected and drove over. Garland’s conversion was out on the right was successful and the two teams turned around at half time with Minety leading 24 points to 0.

Andy Darrall (3) crashes through for the 3rd try.

With the slope against them and the pitch cutting up badly, it was essential that Minety kept the game tight at the start of the second half to hold back a determined Frome unit.  Once again, the fast line speed and demon tackling kept Frome at bay and when they did kick overhead, new full back Joe Smedley was calm under pressure and cleared his lines efficiently.

When Daybell was forced off with what looked like cramp, Irving introduced winger Alex Binnie to the fray and his pace immediately unsettled the Frome defence.

When Minety broke free they played some lovely rugby, exemplified by a move from a lineout.  Tillotson caught and passed the ball back to Garland, who made ground, before passing to Hughes.  With Cooke running a dummy line and slowing the Frome defensive line, Hughes found Smedley in the line and his pass to front row forward Hugo Beanland  pushed Minety into the Frome half.  From the ruck Garland fed Hughes and then Hibbard before bursting through himself, finding Simpson with a perfectly timed pass.  The centre made good ground before popping the ball to Rule whose off load found Garland again.  His quick pass to Hughes saw the fly half cut back through four tackles to touch down beneath the posts for what was certainly Minety’s best try of the season and a four try league bonus point.  Garland kicked his third conversion to stretch the lead to 31 points.

Sam Hughes scores Minety’s 4th try

Rather than sitting back, Minety launched attack after attack on the tiring Frome defence, Beanland brought down just metres from the line.

Minety’s 5th and final try came in the 67th minute.  From a scrum on half way, Hibbard collected the ball at the base of the scrum.  When he was halted, the ball came back to garland who kicked over the Frome defence.  The ball was collected but a pass went astray and Binnie was on hand to pick up and race in wide on the left for the try.

Alex Binnie dives over for the final try

Garland was clearly determined not to ruin his 100% kicking record and calmly slotted his 5th conversion from out near the touchline to end the scoring 38-0.

Coach Irving was able to clear his bench, bringing on Rob Hinwood and Charles Grayson as Minety held off a Frome team determined to register a score before full time.

Coach James Irving delivers the post game team talk.

Perhaps there have been occasions when Minety have allowed teams back into a game late on, but this squad were in no mood to surrender any points.  The tackling was just as sharp in the last ten minutes as it had been in the first ten and despite making a herculean effort, Frome were denied any points.

Minety’s five league points pushes the club up from 10th to 8th place in the league.

The match winning squad

Team: Hugo Beanland, Mark Glew, Andy Darrall, Bram Coleman, Matt Chisholm, Jay Thompson, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Garin Garland, Sam Hughes, Dave Cooke, Duncan Simpson, Chris Rule, Jesse Daybell, Joe Smedley, Rob Hinwood, Charles Grayson & Alex Binnie








Written by Graham Cooke

March 15th, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Minety beaten in close fought derby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A battered and bruised Mark Glew after the match.



Written by Graham Cooke

March 1st, 2020 at 5:58 pm

The “Comeback Kings” strike again

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For the second week running a less than full strength Minety team have come back in the second half to see off high flying opponents.  Last week Minety came back from 21 – 11 down after 50 minutes to defeat 2nd placed Royal Wootton Bassett 30 – 21 and this Saturday the team turned around a 17- 0 deficit to inflict defeat upon the team who leap frogged Bassett into second place in the league, Melksham.

As it seems with every passing week, Minety were forced through injuries and unavailabilities to put out a much changed side from the one which garnered the points at Bassett last week.  James Stuart, Matt Park and Rob Hinwood returned to the pack and Bram Coleman was pressed into action on the wing.

Kicking down the slope and with a blustery wind just about favouring them, Melksham started strongly and forced Minety to defend from deep in their own 22.  Minety’s first foray into the Melksham half came after a clearance kick from fly half Sam Hughes relieved some pressure and from a subsequent set of moves full back Del Murray drove through the Melksham line and raced 40 metres up field.

An early ankle injury to Matt Park ruled the hooker out for the rest of the game and coach James Irving was forced to make a  number of changes in the pack with only Ethan Whitehurst, a back, available on the bench.  Matt Chisholm moved up from 2nd row to hooker and James Stuart took over throw in duties for the duration.

Melksham used the breeze well and a long kick down field stayed in play and was collected by a Melksham player.  Despite some tenacious tackling, the ball was moved across the field for the right winger to touch down near the corner flag after 9 minutes and Melksham were ahead. An excellent conversion kick from 25metres out by the touchline by their fly half extended the lead to 7 points.

Minety were pinned back from the kick off and another down field kick saw them defending a scrum 22 metres out.  Melksham’s pack put the home side under pressure and when the ball emerged the number 8 picked up and charged the line, off loading at the last minute to their flanker who touched down for their second try out on the left.  The long range conversion drifted wide but Melksham now had a comfortable 12 – 0 lead with just 15 minutes on the clock.

Melksham thought they had their third try in the 20th minute.  With their pack dominant at set pieces and Minety struggling to find any coherence in their play, the Melksham backs moved the ball impressively and it was only the combined efforts of inside centre Duncan Simpson and replacement Whitehurst that kept the ball up when Melksham crossed for what looked like a certain try.

However, the respite was only temporary.  From the ensuing scrum the ball was picked up by the Number 8, flicked to the scrum half and then passed to the winger who crossed for his second try, wide out on the right, in the 23rd minute.

17 – 0 down and struggling against the wind, the slope and a very confident Melksham team, showing just why they are right up at the top of the table, Andrew Hibbard’s Minety side had to dig deep in the closing minutes of the half, and they did.

Tremendous tackling in mid field from flanker Kieran Tillotson, scrum half Garin Garland and outside centre Chris Rule kept Melksham in their own half.

A fine penalty kick to touch very much into the wind from fly half Sam Hughes pushed Minety up close to the Melksham 22 and from the ensuing throw in the ball went cross field with Murray joining the line and making good ground.  With props Coilin French and Hugo Beanland punching holes in the middle of the visitors’ defence, Hibbard’s drive to the line was stopped and then a trademark jinking run from Hughes left defenders clutching at thin air. Hughes, Hibbard, Garland and Coleman all went close as Minety desperately tried to break their first half duck.  Another powerful run from Murray and an offload to Chisholm set up another wave of Minety attacks as they began to dominate proceedings but they had to rely upon Rule’s timely intervention to stop a breakaway 4th try to Melksham shortly before half time.

Whatever was said in the huddle at half time certainly had an impact on the village team.  After an initial attack from Melksham, the increasingly impressive Murray broke free and, with the help of Rob Hinwwod and Rule, made ground to half way.  Melksham were penalised at the breakdown and Hughes’ long penalty kick was fumbled by the full back and Minety were now into Melksham’s 22 and pressing for their first try. 

Simpson was tackled short of the line but Melksham transgressed again at the break down and their No. 19 was yellow carded by the referee. From the restart the ball went along the line and Rule was only stopped by a head high tackle, the Melksham prop being given a yellow card.

Two players down, Melksham were unable to withstand a tap penalty from Garland and a charge to the line from Murray.  Garland’s conversion was successful and Minety were 17 – 7 down with 33 minutes to go.

The 13 men of Melksham fought hard but with numbers, impetus, the slope and the wind at their backs, Minety began to control possession and territory. Garland’s tap penalty and run to the line from 30 metres out was stopped marginally short and then Murray was held up with inches to go.  More pressure on the visitors’ line saw them penalised and another yellow card issued.

The pressure told in the 57th minute.  Melksham were penalised twice within inches of their line.  Garland moved the ball left and a combination of Hughes and Simpson set Whitehurst in for Minety’s 2nd try.  Garland’s conversion sailed wide but Minety were now very much back in the game, 12 – 17 down with 23 minutes left on the clock.

With two of the yellow cards completed Melksham were back to 14 players in the 68th minute when Stuart was lifted in a tackle and appeared to land awkwardly on his face.  The referee called the Melksham captain across and showed a straight red card to the prop forward involved in the tackle.

Minety now pushed hard for the try that would win them the game.  Hibbard was again instrumental in making ground in midfield and Beanland, Hughes and Hinwood combined to push Minety to within yards of the Melksham line.  A pass was Rule was judged forward with the line beckoning.

With just minutes left, Minety were again camped in Melksham’s 22 and as the visitors tried to break free a smothering tackle from Rule and a turn over achieved by a combination of Simpson and Tillotson saw Rule stopped metres from the line.  Garland, sensing that the defence was stretched, took the ball on and jinked his way through to touch down beneath the posts and bring the scores level at 17 – 17. His conversion from in front of the posts was successful and Minety led for the first time 19 – 17.

Excellent defensive line speed kept Melksham in their own half for the rest of the game and when the visitors transgressed at a ruck Hughes planted the ball in touch to end the match.

The four points for Minety now lifts them above Calne and Trowbridge and up into 8th place in the 12 team league.  Crucially, it means that Minety are now 5 points above 11th placed Marlborough and 22 above 12th placed Bradford, with two teams to be relegated at the end of the season.

Our impartial man of The Match adjudicator, Matt Chisholm, awarded the accolade to …. Matt Chisholm although it would be hard to pick out one individual from a superb team performance.  


Squad: Colin French, Matt Park, Hugo Beanland, James Stuart, Matt Chisholm, Rob Hinwood, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard ©, Garin Garland, Sam Hughes, Bram Coleman, Duncan Simpson, Chris Rule, Etai Scott and Del Murray.  Replacement: Ethan Whitehurst.





Written by Graham Cooke

February 9th, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Magnificent Minety pull off shock win

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Minety pulled off one of the biggest wins of the season with a shock bonus point win at high flying Royal Wootton Bassett yesterday to ease their relegation worries.

Against a team running 2nd in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North league, who had scored more points than any other team, and who were able to put out a team with a full bench of replacements, Minety’s threadbare side, featuring numerous players playing out of position and with just coach James Irving on the bench, staged a stunning second half comeback to win 30 points to 21 and, in so doing, move up from 11th in the table to 9th, jumping above both Marlborough and Calne.

On a bright, cold and very windy afternoon, Minety knew they were in for a real battle as Bassett’s powerful running side soon had the villagers on the back foot.  Prop Hugo Beanland was an early injury, picking up a nasty blow to the head whilst bringing down a Bassett back as he burst through, but the early pressure told when Minety lost possession 30 metres out in open play and Bassett’s strong outside centre picked up and raced through the defence to score.

Minety thought that they had a first try when scrum half Sam Hughes picked up from the base of a scrum and darted through the smallest of gaps only for the referee to call the play back and award Minety the scrum.  Undeterred, Minety hit back and some quick moves involving the more agile, but admittedly lightweight, backs saw Del Murray, playing at full back, latch onto an opening to barge his way through to score a try out wide on the right in the 16th minute.  Hughes’s conversion caught in the gale and missed but Minety were back in the game.

Hard running second rows Matt Chisholm and Colin French were always a threat in open play  with hooker Matt Park and prop Andy Darrell tackling anything in midfield.

Minety took the lead in the 31st minute when Hughes slotted home a penalty but then Minety surrendered the lead shortly before half time.  The pack were penalised at a scrum for an early engagement and from the penalty the outside centre once again burst through a series of covering tackles to touch down under the posts.  With the conversion, Bassett led 14 – 8 as the teams turned around for the second half.

A Hughes penalty in the 44th minute reduced the arrears to 3 points (14-11) before the Bassett outside centre scored his hat trick try in the 50th minute, brushing aside defenders to race in from 30 metres out.  The successful conversion put the home side 21 – 11 up and left the small, but very vocal Minety support wondering if they could stage a comeback.

Inspirational captain Andrew Hibbard provided the launch pad for the revival with a superb solo effort in the 70th minute to bring the score back to 21 -16 before Hughes spotted the smallest of gaps as Minety pressed for the win against a visibly tiring Bassett team.  Somehow the scrum half managed to squeeze past two tackles to run in and touch down beneath the posts.  His conversion was successful and Minety led 23 – 21 with just minutes left on the clock.

With both teams searching desperately for a 4th try bonus point and the win, the game became very broken up. A speculative kick through in the 80th minute saw the Bassett full back miss the bounce and James Irving, on for the injured fly half Kieran James, won the dash for the touchdown and Minety were home. Hughes slotted the conversion to take the lead out to 30 – 21 and then Minety managed the final moments to take the win, and the bonus point.

With bottom placed Bradford losing at home to Chippenham and Marlborough and calne being beaten by Sutton Benger and Melksham respectively, Minety’s win takes them up to 9th place with 26 points, in a league very much split between the top 6 teams and the rest.

Certainly a performance as spirited as this one will lift all concerned at Minety although the loss of Kieran James, gaining in experience and confidence with each passing game, to a shoulder injury will be a major blow as the team plots a way out of relegation worries over the last 7 games of the season.

Squad: Hugo Beanland, Matt Park, Andy Darrell, Colin French, Matt Chisholm, Mark Glew, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard ©, Sam Hughes, Kieran James, Etai Scott, Duncan Simpson, Dave Cooke, Chris Rule and Del Murray.  Replacement: James Irving.

Man of the Match:  After independent adjudication (by Kieran Tillotson), Kieran Tilltotson for his 97 turnovers, 127 tackles and 498 metres gained (statistics verified by … Kieran Tilltotson)

Congratulations also to Steve Wilson and his 2nd XV team who came together to defeat Swindon 3rds at Minety by 34 – 26.  

Other information worthy of note: Oxford commas are great! And today is World Palindrome Day; the date is 02 02 2020 (the first time that’s happened since the 11th November 1111) and it’s also noteworthy that it’s the 33rd day of the year with 333 days left!


Sadly, due to technical issues (I’ve lost the tripod) there will be no MTV this week.  A shame, because it was a great match!


Written by Graham Cooke

February 2nd, 2020 at 11:59 am

Minety lose out in basement battle

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Minety have found themselves sucked down into a relegation dog fight at the bottom end of Dorset and Wilts Division 1 after going down 26-15 at fellow strugglers Marlborough on Saturday.

On a cold and damp Saturday afternoon, with wreaths of fog swirling around the ground, Andrew Hibbard led his team out to face a fearsome looking squad from Marlborough who had well over 20 players kitted and readied during the match warmup.

Minety started at real pace.  From the kick off, scrum half Garin Garland collected and kicked back into open space.  Good pressure from the Minety backs forced an error and fly half Sam Hughes’ penalty kick pushed Marlborough back to their own 5 metre line. Jay Thompson’s throw was excellently caught by second row Matt Chisholm before Minety set up a rolling maul.  Flanker Del Murray and prop Andy Darrell controlled Minety’s march forward and captain Hibbard was on hand to take the ball and crash over out on the left.  Garland’s kick missed to the left but Minety were 5 -0 up with less than 2 minutes on the clock.

The lead lasted less than 4 minutes.  Marlborough’s use of their very large Fijian players at 6 and 8 to punch holes in the Minety centre, pushed the villagers back and from one of these moves the flanker burst through to score close to the posts.  The conversion was successful and Marlborough, who started the day behind Minety in 11th place, had the lead 7-5.

Marlborough moved futher ahead in the 25th minute with a try wide out on the right wing, converted superbly from range, to edge out a 14-5 lead.  While Minety matched Marlborough for swathes of the game, the powerful mid field running always caused them problems and the try came about when Minety were forced to over commit in midfield to stave off an assault there, and so left themselves vulnerable out wide.

Minety dominated the final minutes of the first half, maintaining possession and slowly pushing Marlborough back.  Chisholm, Del Murray, Jay Thompson and Hibbard all went close, the latter having an attempt deemed held up over the line.

Minety’s efforts did not go unrewarded.  After numerous attempts at the home line, the Thompson Chishol combination worked well at a 5 metre lineout and after two phases of attacking play, Murray was on hand to burst through and score in time added on at the end of the first half.

The visitors thought they had a third try early in the second half, Garland chipping through, Dave Cooke pressurising the full back into a mistake and young winger Jesse Daybell racing onto the loose ball to streak clear only for the linesman to flag for a foot in touch earlier in the move.

Only a desperate high tackle on Chris Rule, on for the injured Colin French, as Rule was about to score prevented Minety from adding to their half time score as they dominated possession and territory.  Rule’s powerful line running caused the Marlborough defence all manner of problems and it was from one of these in the 65th minute that a ruck was formed out on the left inside the Marlborough 22.  Garland found Hughes and the fly half deft kick across field found replacement winger Etai Scott, playing in only his second 1st XV match, waiting to collect and run in for Minety’s third try and a 15-14 lead.

The final 10 minutes was frantic, both teams chasing vital league points, 4th try bonus points and possible losing bonus points.  With the small Minety squad, crippled by the league rule that states that the top team at a club can only field 3 replacements while teams like Marlborough, who were fielding their 2nd team can use 8, the match moved more and more into the Minety half.

In the 71st minute the Minety defence was breached for a third time.  After a huge defensive effort the Marlborough scrum half was able to pick up at a base of the ruck near the posts and dive over a sprawl of players for the try, which was converted for a 21-15 lead.

Marlborough scored their 4th, bonus point winning try, in the 76th minute after a move started in midfield gained impetus down the left wing.  The kick was unsuccessful but the lead was now 26-15 with time running out for Minety.

Minety hit back and Cooke’s desperate lunge for the line was marginally short as Minety strove for a 4th try and a losing bonus point.

In the end, it was too much for Minety, who left the field empty handed in terms of league points despite their efforts.  The win and the bonus point for the 4th try now take Marlborough clear of Minety at the bottom of the table with only basement club Bradford below the village club.

Final score Marlborough 26 Minety 15

Squad: Andy Darrell, Jay Thompson, Hugo Beanland, Matt Chisholm, Colin French, Del Murray, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Garin Garland, Sam Hughes, Jesse Daybell, Kieran James, Dave Cooke, Sam Thompson and Duncan Simpson.  Replacements: Mark Glew, Chris Rule and Etai Scott

Written by Graham Cooke

January 26th, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Minety 2nd XV win at RWB

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With the 1st XV game against Melksham postponed after all three pitches at Minety failed tests on Friday due to waterlogging, all eyes were turned to the 2nd XV’s match against Royal Wotton Bassett at Ballard’s Ash.

Steve Wilson’s team started the match playing up the slope in freezing cold but bright conditions.  After the initial set of exchanges yielded no points, Minety took the lead when captain Dave White crashed over for the opening try in the 19th minute.  Del Murray’s conversion kick was not helped by the lack of a kicking “t” and flew wide but Minety were into a 5 – 0 lead.

It took the home side just 5 minutes to strike back, their No. 8 seizing onto a chance to score.  The conversion was successful and Bassett lead 7 – 5.

Three minutes later Chris Rule, playing at full back, latched onto the end of a good backs’ move to race through to score from 20 metres out, Murray converting the try and putting Minety 12 – 7 up.

Murray scored Minety’s third try in the 37th minute to send the visitors further ahead, 17-7, with half time approaching but in added time Bassett hit back with an unconverted try.

Minety made a number of changes at half time and immediately extended their lead when hooker Dan Overend touched down for a bonus point winning 4th try.  Garin Garland’s conversion sailed narrowly wide but Minety were 22-12 up.

If the healthy crowd were expecting lots more points in the 2nd half, they were to be disappointed.  The only other score of the half was a Bassett drop goal on 52 minutes to reduce the lead to 22-15 for Minety, a lead that the village team comfortably held on to until the final whistle.

The win keeps Minety in 6th place with 0 points (they had been docked 15 points for conceding three matches previously).  The season started with 10 teams in the league but recently Melksham and Trowbridge have fallen foul of the league and have had their points, and results expunged from the league.


Full Minety squad: Gareth Thomas, Dan Overend, Scott Glew, Matt Chisholm, Hugo Beanland, Jake Turner, Rob Hinwood, Dave White (c), Del Murray, Kieran James, Jesse Daybell, John Blair, Bram Coleman, Sam Thompson and Chris Rule.  Subs: Garin Garland, Dave Cooke, Andrew Hibbard, Luke Radcliffe, Mark Glew, Andy Darrell and Ben Kingston.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 19th, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Bonus point win for Minety

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Minety, who endured a torrid first half of the season bounced back from their Dorset and Wilts Vase final defeat last week to secure a fine 32 – 15 win over in form Warminster at Minety Fields on Saturday.

Welcoming back Andy Darrell at prop and giving a first team debut to Eti Scott on the wing, Minety skipper Andrew Hibbard lost the toss and the home team was forced to kick off down the slope in the first half in damp and over cast conditions on a pitch which was well grassed but boggy.

The home side made a fine start, pushing their opponents, who had only tasted defeat 3 times before this season, back into their own 22 metre area.  From a driving scrum captain Hibbard dived over to register the first of four tries in only the 2nd minute.  Scrum half Garin Garland’s fine conversion from out side on the left saw Minety 7 – 0 up.

That lead was extended with a long penalty kick from Garland in the 10th minute and then another, even longer, from the Number 9 in the 25th minute.

Minety went 18 points up in the 39th minute with full back Duncan Simpson latching on to a pass at the end of a fluent Minety to move to race in and score the second try and then flanker Del Murray burst through in the final move of the half, well into added time, to register the thrid try and a 25 – 0 half time advantage.

Scott was replaced by Ben Kingston at half time as Minety faced the slope and a blustery wind in the second half.

Warminster used the slope and their physical advantage to good measure early in the second half to push Minety back and then score the first of their three second half tries wide out on the left to reduce the arrears t0 25 – 5.  In the 62nd minute they repeated the feat, again scoring out wide after some thunderous attacking moves were repelled by excellent Minety defensive tackling.

Home nerves were jangling when Warminster scored their third try, again out wide, with just minutes to go to bring the score back to 25 – 15 but a very late Garland try not only secured the win but also garnered a vital bonus point as Minety strive to pull themselves away from the foot of the Dorset and Wilts table.

The win takes the village side up to 9th in the 12 team table, above Calne and 8 points clear of 11th placed Marlborough with a game in hand.

Team: Andy Darrell, Mark Glew, Hugo Beanland, Colin French, Matt Chisholm, Jay Thompson, Del Murray, Andrew Hibbard, Garin Garland, James Irvine, Eti Scott, Kieran James, Dave Cooke, Luke Radcliffe and Duncan Simpson.  Replacements: Gareth Thomas, Sam Thompson and Ben Kingston.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 11th, 2020 at 6:31 pm

Valiant Minety overwhelmed by Dorchester power

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Given less than a week to prepare for arguably their biggest match of the season did not bode well for Minety on Saturday.

After the original date for the Dorset and Wilts Vase Final was postponed due to waterlogging of the pitches at Warminster, Minety had just 4 days to garner a team together for the final but the 17 players who represented the team will be forever remembered for the huge effort they put in to provide a stiff test for a full strength, and hitherto unbeaten Dorchester team, riding high at the top of the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 South table.

Whilst the final score of 58 – 14 may suggest a drubbing, this was anything but that.  Unfortunately, two key injuries, the first a head injury to influential fly half Sam Hughes which forced him off mid way through the first half, the second to second row Ben Scott in the second half, disrupted Minety’s game plan and left them struggling against a well organised and efficient Dorchester team.

On a pitch still showing signs of the recent waterlogging, an in overcast and cold conditions, Dorchester kicked off the match playing towards the club house end of Warminster’s main pitch.

Dorchester’s hard running backs and a very powerful pack had Minety on the back foot from the outset and the Dorset team’s opening try came in the 6th minute when their outside centre evaded a tackle wide out on the left wing to cross near the corner flag.

Minety struck back almost immediately.  After pushing Dorchester back with some fluent moves in midfield, fly half Hughes was on had to pick up an intercepted pass and run half the length of the pitch to score near the posts.  Hughes’s conversion pushed Minety into a 7-5 lead.

The lead was shortlived; straight from the kick off the ball went to ground and the Number 7 picked up and crashed over for Dorchester’s second try, this time wide out on the right.  Dorchester increased their lead in the 17th minute, the Minety scrum being pushed back over the line and the Number 8 touching down for a try, converted with an excellent kick from wide out on the right hand side.

Minety’s front rowers Hugo Beanland, Colin French and Mark Glew pushed Dorchester back into their 22 but Hughes picked up a nasty blow to the side of the head while making a tackle in mid field and Minety lost their play maker for the rest of the match.  Player coach James Irvine swapped to fly half to cover for the injured Hughes with Sam Thompson coming on to play on the wing, Matt Stone switching to centre duties with Dave Cooke.

Minety struck back through inspirational captain Andrew Hibbard in the 36th minute.  Having scored tries in both of Minety’s recent visits to the Vase final in 2015 and 2018, Hibbard was keen to complete his “hat trick”.  A rolling maul involving most of the Minety forwards pushed the towards the Dorchester 22 metre line and Hibbard emerged with the ball to race in and score.  Irvine’s conversion was successful and Minety had cut the lead to 19-14.

Dorchester restored and extended their lead to 29-14 in the dying moments of the half with two more tries, the second in the 8th minute of stoppage time as Minety visibly tired.

The early exchanges of the second half were dominated by Dorchester who pushed Minety back with wave after wave of attacks, each repelled by some fine defensive work from the village team.  James Stuart, who endured a two and a half hour drive to get to the match to support the team, entered the fray as coach Irvine tried to freshen up the attack.  The pressure told in the 47th minute when Dorchester’s No 21 was on the end of a move, crossing for a try wide out on the right wing.

With Hibbard, ably supported by Scott and the other forwards, Minety fought back and some pleasing moves in the backs saw Irvine and full back Chris Rule combine to press Dorchester back into their own half, scrum half Del Murray setting up the backs to attack down the left.  Minety were unlucky not to score when flanker Kieran Tillotson charged down a Dorchester clearance but the ball bounced awkwardly into touch with the try line beckoning.

The game was soured shortly after, in the 56th minute, when second row Ben Scott was left on the ground after a ruck and needed medical attention on the pitch and then a trip in an ambulance to Bath Hospital at the end of the game.  With some Minety players concerned about their stricken colleague and both referee and linesman following the ball as it was cleared from the ruck, play continued and ended when Dorchester scored their 7th try, the conversion, from long range, striking the cross bar on the way.

With Scott still prone on the touchlines as an ambulance was called, an exhausted Minety team conceded three late tries to leave the final score a slightly flattering 58-14 in favour of Dorchester.

If, sometime in the future, someone writes about this game in a club history, I hope that the score will not be the only detail mentioned.  Credit goes to all 17 of the players who wore the Purple and Green – they gave everything and I, for one, was hugely proud of each and every one of them.


Team: Hugo Beanland, Mark Glew, Colin French, Ben Scott, Matt Chisholm, Kieran Tillotson, Jay Thompson, Andrew Hibbard, Del Murray, Sam Hughes, Rob Hinwood, James Irvine, Dave Cooke, Matt Stone, Chris Rule, Sam Thompson and James Stuart


Written by Graham Cooke

January 5th, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Second half tries secure the points

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Three second half tries secured an invaluable 4 league points as Minety fought to get away from the nether regions of Division 1 and deny fellow strugglers Chippenham any points.

On a cold and blustery afternoon Chippenham started the match playing downhill on a very wet and boggy playing surface and immediately used the advantage to push Minety back deep into their own half.

A much changed Minety team from the one that went down at Calne last weekend fought hard to deny the visitors any advantage and used Sam Hughes, back to his natural starting position at fly half, to kick clear and relieve pressure.

As the half progressed the home team more than matched their local rivals and good line out and scrum ball gave half backs Garin Garland and Hughes plenty of scope to launch attacks through the backs and  Minety captain Andrew Hibbard and his forwards.

Hibbard was a constant threat at the base of the scrum while new recruit Hugo Beanland showed plenty of fight up front alongside hooker Mark Glew and fellow prop Colin French.

Minety held out until the 37th minute before Chippenham opened the scoring with a converted try from a forward move after massive pressure in the Minety line.

It took the home side just three minutes to even up the score in the second half.  Hibbard spotted a gap and drove through the Chippenham line to crash over for the first try, converted by Garland.

Eight minutes later it was the turn of Minety returnee Tom McAllister to put the home side ahead.  Back from university and on as a half time replacement for Kieran James, McAllister burst through the Chippenham defence to register Minety’s second try.

Despite territorial advantage, as both teams tired in the challenging conditions, Minety were unable to push home for a four try win, which would have garnered them an additional league point in a season where already a number of teams are scrapping to avoid the two relegation spots that threaten at the end of the campaign.

A wonderful chance went begging when, after a fluent backs move when winger Dave Cooke was unable to hang on to a pass 40 metres out but with the Chippenham defence at sixes and sevens.

The points were secured late in the 82nd minute when full back Duncan Simpson seized upon a chance to dive through for the last score of the game, leaving Minety 17 to 7 victors and denying Chippenham a losing bonus point.

The win lifts Minety into 10th place, eight points clear of bottom club Bradford on Avon and three clear of Marlborough and just 3 points  behind 7th placed Calne.

In the weekend’s other Minety match the second XV went down to a late Cricklade try to lose 17 – 7 leaving them in 6th place in Division 3.

Next Saturday all roads lead to Warminster for the final of the Dorset and Wilts Vase where Minety will need to be at their very best when they take on Dorchester, runaway leaders of Dorset and Wilts Division 1 South, unbeaten in 11 league matches this season. 

Minety squad against Chippenham: Hugo Beanland, Mark Glew, Colin French, Matt Chisholm, Matt Stone, Jay Thompson, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Garin Garland, Sam Hughes, Dave Cooke, Kieran James, Ben Langridge, Chris Rule & Duncan Simpson. Replacements: Del Murray, Tom McAllister & Ben Kingston


Written by Graham Cooke

December 15th, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Three tries but no points for Minety

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Minety, struggling in 11th place in the league, travelled to fellow strugglers Calne on Saturday, but despite registering three second half tries, came away with nothing and remain just one place off the bottom of Division1.

Fielding another changed lineup, player coach James Irving and club captain Andrew Hibbard, knew that they would be in for a battle against a Calne team bristling with aggression and ambition.

Minety slipped behind in the 4th minute when Calne scored the first of their four tries and then were 10 points down after 24 minutes from a penalty.

Calne increased their lead to 17 unanswered points at half time with another converted try as Minety found it difficult to compete physically with the large Calne squad on a bleak and windswept pitch.

Giving a season debut to James Stuart, who had travelled all the way from London to play on the wing, and shuffling the backs, moving Dave Cooke to inside centre alongside Irving at fly half and Chris Rule at outside centre, whatever was said at half time certainly galvanised the Minety team.

After a fine forwards move Matt Chisholm reduced the arrears in the 49th minute with a try.  Calne hit back 9 minutes later with their third try before Chisholm was again on the spot to crash over for his second try in the 63rd minute.

Calne gathered their fourth, and bonus point winning, try in the 73rd minute to extend the lead to 27-10.

The final minutes saw Minety push forward for the two tries that would salvage at least one bonus point but despite Matt Stone’s 75th minute try, converted by scrum half Sam Hughes, they were denied a point.

Scott Glew made only his second appearance for the 1st XV, playing alongside son Mark, coming on late when flanker Morgan Aubrey picked up a nasty looking ankle injury.  Scott last played two seasons ago in a fixture at Avonvale.

Final score: Calne 27 Minety 17

Squad: Mark Glew, Jay Thompson, Hugo Beanland, Ben Scott, Matt Stone, Matt Chisholm, Morgan Aubrey, Andrew Hibbard (c), Sam Hughes, James Irving, James Stuart, Dave Cooke, Chris Rule, Sam Thomspon and Del Murray.  Replacement Scott Glew.

In the weekend’s other fixture, Minety 2nd XV travelled to top of the table Chippenham in Division 3 but were beaten 37 – 5.


Written by Graham Cooke

December 8th, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Mighty Minety march into Vase Final

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Minety travelled to Lytchett Minster, not far from Poole, in Southern Dorset on a blustery and cold Saturday to take on the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 South team in the final of the Dorset and Wilts Vase, a repeat of the 2015 Final which Minety famously won after a classic encounter at Warminster’s ground.

With the wind whipping across the field captain Andrew Hibbard lost the toss but was more than happy when the home side opted to play with the wind at their backs in the first half.

Fielding a greatly changed side from the one who defeated Warminster in the last round, Minety kicked off and immediately pressurised the home defence, new half back combination Sam Hughes and Andrew Irving making in roads and using the power of Chris Rule at centre and the pace of Duncan Simpson and Dave Cooke to spread play across the field and deep into the Lytchett Minster 22.

The home side’s aggressive and powerful rucking provided them with plenty of ball but Minety’s fast paced passing game kept them on top in the opening exchanges.

With Ben Scott dominant at the line out and the scrum holding firm despite huge pressure from the larger Minster pack, Sam Hughes was able to clear any dangers although only a last gasp tackle from Simpson and a timely intervention from captain Hibbard prevented Minster from opening the scoring as the wind buffeted the Minety team backwards.

Minety opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Flanker Kieran Tillotson took a lineout catch and Hughes released Simpson in midfield who moved it on to Irving. A complex dummy move involving Rule and Cooke saw the Minster defence disrupted and Sam Thompson and Matt Chisholm combined to drive Minety to the half way line.  When the ball was recycled a long pass across field saw hooker Jay Thompson burst through, off loading to prop Colin French who put Hibbard away.  When the captain was felled on the Minster 22 metre line Hughes picked up, cut through the defence and released Irving to run in and touch down near the posts.  Hughes converted the try and Minety were 7 – 0 up.

Lytchett Minster hit back in the 20th minute after a period of impressive attacking play.  An errant Minety hand disrupted play and the Minster captain and scrum half kicked the ensuing penalty to reduce their arrears to just 4 points.

Minety hit back with two tries in the space of four minutes soon after.  When a long pass out wide from the Lytchett fly half went to ground Hibbard picked up the loose ball and drove forward. With new second row Jack Gillet on hand to take the off load, Minety were into the Minster 22.  Another finer off load in tackle saw Jay Thompson burst through the line.  From a ruck Hughes fed Irving who pushed forward before Hughes found Jay Thompson again, who was stopped inches out. With the defence in some confusion, Hughes set up the next phase, dummy runners all over the place allowing Rule to punch his way over for a fine try. Huighes’ conversion caught in the wind and cannoned off the upright but Minety were 12 – 3 up.

From the kick off Minety passed the ball swiftly through forwards and back and forced themselves deep into Minster territory.  When Simpson threw a pass infield in the direction of Hughes with the try line beckoning the Minster scrum half deliberately knocked the ball forward and was shown a yellow card.

The Minety pack afforded Hughes good ball and he fed Irving. Quick passing involving Irving, Simpson and Cooke saw the latter stopped feet from the line but when the ball came back to full back Del Murray via Irving, the full back danced his way past two defenders before touching down for Minety’s third try.  Hughes converted the try and Minety were 19 -3 up.

Sensing that their first half advantage of the wind at thgeir backs was ebbing away, Minster began to dominate in the open, playing some of their most expansive rugby but the Minety defence was resolute and Hughes was able to clear the lines despite the gale in his face.

Minster were able to register their first try on the cusp of half time, the full back running around a tiring Minety defensive line to score out wide on the right.  The conversion was unsuccessful and Minety led as the teams turned around at half time by 19-8.

If the first half could be described as expansive, the second half was a battle as the wind, which had played such a significant part in the first half, died and both teams began to tire in the energy sapping conditions. Minety’s forwards used the driving maul to good effect while Minster tried to release their pacey backs but were thwarted by some very effective tackling from the Minety defence.

Minety had two scrums close to the Minster line but were unable to increase their lead despite excellent work from Colin French and Matt Chisholm.

Minster set up a tense last 12 minutes when their fly half scored their second try, later converted, under the posts in the 68th minute.  For once the Minety defence was caught out as the No. 10 was able to run around the defensive line and race in unopposed.

A break from Simpson and a sharp interchange of passes with the impressive Gillet saw the centre bundled into touch metres from the line while shortly afterwards a wildly ambitious pass across field from Irving almost saw Chisholm in at the corner.

Irving used his one available substitute, Ethan Whitehurst, to replace Sam Thompson late on as Minety penned Minster back in their own half.  When Simpson hauled down the Minster scrum half as he gathered speed and Minety took the ensuing throw in, Hughes ended the game and Minety were into their third Vase final in 5 years.

Afterwards coach James Irving said, “It was a great win.  We found a way to win the match and some of the play was beautiful to watch.  We all know that there is a lot of work to be done but the coaching staff will be meeting to devise the plan for the final.  But we need all of our squad, injured or not, at training from now on.”

Captain Andrew Hibbard echoed the coach’s sentiments.  “Excellent performance.  We started as we meant to carry on and fended like Tojans in the second half.  Special thanks must go to all the 2nd XV players who stepped up to play.”

Congratulations to both sets of players who provided a fine example of hard but fair play, and to the referee who allowed play to flow.

Onwards and upwards!

Team:  Colin French, Jay Thompson, Matt Park, Ben Scott, Matt Chisholm, Jack Gillet, Kiran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Sam Hughes, James Irving, Sam Thompson, Duncan Simpson, Chris Rule, Dave Cooke, Delham Murray & Ethan Whitehurst.

Written by Graham Cooke

December 1st, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Minety in comfortable win

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Playing on Chippenham’s all weather pitch on Friday night, Minety built upon the confidence they gained on the all weather surface in their cup defeat of Warminster to comprehensively defeat Bradford on Avon on Friday night under the floodlights by 41 – 10.

Minety began strongly in a match played in blustery conditions.  Jack ward seized upon a drive by the Minety forwards to crash over for a try as early as the 3rd minute wide out on the right.

Garin Garland, playing at fly half, increased the lead in the 21st minute when Bradford forwards were caught offside and penalised.

Bradford struck back in the 27th minute when their inside centre burst throught the Minety defences to touch down on the right but Minety restored their advantage in the 36th minute when Chris Rule raced over from 30 metres out to touch down close to the posts, Garland converting the try and sending Minety in at half time 15-5 up.

The second half was just 2 minutes old when scrum half Sam Hughes spotted a gap in the Bradford defence to score Minety’s 3rd try and just 6 minutes later Rule was on hand after a fine move cross field involving forwards and backs to score his second try of the evening, Garland converting the try and pushing Minety into a 27-5 lead.

In the 55th minute Dave Cooke opened his season’s scoring account, latching on to a pass from full back Duncan Simpson and running in from 35 yards to score under the posts, Garland again converting.

Minety’s 6th try came in the 60th minute when Jack Ward seized upon a ball in his own half, spotted a gap in the Bradford defence and raced over 50 metres to touch down beneath the posts.  Garland’s conversion saw Minety 45-5 up.

Bradford scored a consolation second try late on with a pushover from their large and heavy pack as Minety began to tire.

The win lifts Minety off the bottom of the table but they will be looking for wins against Calne and Chippenham before the mid season break if they are to make up for ground lost in the first half of the season.

Minety’s next match is a road trip to Lytchett Minster in Dorset in the semi final of the Dorset and Wilts Vase.  A coach is being planned – look out here for details.  We hope to get as many supporters down to Lytchett on a day out as possible.

Team against Bradford:  Colin French, Jay Thompson, Mark Glew, Ben Scott, Matt Stone, Matt Chisholm, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Sam Hughes, Garin Garland, Chris Rule, Jack Ward, Ben Langridge, Dave Cooke, Duncan Simpson, Morgan Aubrey, Jack Gillet

Minety 2nd XV’s match against Bradford on Avon, due to be played at Minety, was called off by Bradford, the points being awarded to Minety.




Written by Graham Cooke

November 24th, 2019 at 10:27 am

Minety win through in Cup battle

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Minety defeated Warminster in the 2nd round of the Dorset and Wilts Vase at Chippenham’s new all weather facility on Wednesday night.

The match was orginally scheduled to be played at Warminster on the previous Saturday but was switched to an 8pm Wednesday evening at Chippenham after concerns about pitch conditions after the recent spell of very heavy rainfall across the region.

Minety’s 29 – 8 victory came against a Warminster team who have shown good form this season, defeating Marlborough, Melksham, Minety and Sutton Benger thus far in the league.

Jack Ward opened the scoring in the 3rd minute after a fine break away try involving Luke Radcliffe, captain Andrew Hibbard and others.  Garin Garland converted the try to put Minety 7 – 0 up.

Warminster struck back with a penalty and then an unconverted try in the 16th minute to lead by 8 – 7 before Andrew Hibbard struck for a try after period of Minety pressure on the Warminster line.

With rain falling heavily, both teams fought out the rest of the half with Minety turning roujnd at half time with a 12 – 8 lead.

As the rain continued to fall there is no doubt that the game would have been abandoned were it not played on the newly laid all weather pitch at Chippenham.

Ward added a second try in the 46th minute, again converted by Garland and the victory was sealed on the hour when flanker Jay Thompson crossed for a fine try, with the conversion by Garland.

Garland ended the scoring with a surprise drop goal in the 70th minute to put the village side 29 – 8 ahead and they held out for a fine win.

Film of the match can be found on the Minety player (MTV) page – see the right hand menu option.

Team: Colin French, Tom Claxton, Mark Glew, Ben Scott, Matt Stone, Jay Thompson, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard (c), Sam Hughes, Garin Garland, Dave Cooke, Luke Radcliffe, Jack Ward, Del Murray and Chris Rule.  Replacements: Andy Darrall, Matt Chisholm, Morgan Aubrey and Scott Thompson.


Written by Graham Cooke

November 8th, 2019 at 9:43 pm

Late try secures victory for Minety

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Minety welcomed hitherto unbeaten Royal Wootton Bassett to Minety Fields on Saturday in a Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North encounter on Saturday.

Playing up the slope, on a well grassed pitch, Minety held their illustrious visitors in the early stages of the match but had to rely upon some excellent defensive tackling from, amongst others, flanker Matt Chisholm, prop Mark Glew and scrum half Garin Garland to keep the visitors out.

Bassett opened the scoring in the 9th minute.  A clearing kick fell short and Bassett’s backs ran the ball back into Minety’s 22m for their winger to score wide out on the right.  A fine touchline conversion kick opened up a 7-0 lead for the visitors.

Minety tied the scores in the 16th minute.  Centre Duncan Simpson broke through and was stopped close to the line.  Bassett were penalised for not releasing and Garland took a quick tap penalty and dived over to score.  The conversion was successful and the scores level at 7 points apiece.

After a period of territorial advantage, Minety were put on the back foot by some clever tactical kicking down the slope by Bassett., who regained the lead in the 32nd minute with a try from their Number 8 and another well kicked conversion.

Minety ended the half strongly and captain Andrew Hibbard was held up over the Bassett line in the 38th minute before a Garland penalty kick sailed narrowly wide.

Bassett, leading 14-7 at the break, looked the more likely to score at the start of the second half but Minety’s defense held resolute and Garland’s pressure relieving kicking held Bassett at bay.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 64th minute after Minety were penalised for a high tackle 20 metres out in front of the posts.

The home side hit back almost immediately after the restart.  A defensive kick only found Garland 30 metres out.  Somehow the scrum half managed to evade all of the Bassett defence to touch down a superb solo effort under the posts.  The conversion was successful and Minety were back within 3 points at 17-14.

The match winning points for Minety came in the last minute of normal time.  A Bassett scrum was disrupted in their own 22m and Garland picked up the loose ball and raced for the line, passing to flanker Kieran Tillotson who drew the final defender before slipping the ball to Hibbard who raced in to score.

Garland kicked the conversion and Minety held out for a fine 21-17 win.


Squad:  Colin French, Jay Thompson, Mark Glew, Ben Collins, Matt Stone, Matt Chisholm, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard, Garin Garland, Ben Langridge, Dave Cooke, Duncan Simpson, Luke Radcliffe, Del Murray, Chris Rule, Rob Hinwood, Tom Claxton and James Irvine.

Written by Graham Cooke

October 20th, 2019 at 7:04 pm

1st XV Report: Minety go down fighting

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On Saturday Minety travelled to Melksham, injures forcing coach James Irving to don his boots as part of makeshift Minety back line. However, Minety stepped up and looked the more likely to score in opening exchanges. On 25 mins Minety took advantage of a Melksham yellow card to take a scrum against the head allowing number eight Andrew Hibbard to power over, stand in kicker Dave Cooke falling fractionally short with the long-range conversation.

Melksham hit back immediately with a freak score. A Minety knock on from the restart hitting the head of the Melksham winger, bouncing behind the Minety defence and sitting up nicely for a score in the corner.

A further score from Melksham on the stroke of half time gave them a 12-5 lead at the interval.

The second half was evenly contested throughout but a half peppered with injuries. Minety losing Ben Scott and Mark Glew.

On 60 minutes Melksham stretched their lead to 17-5 breaking out from their own 22m to score in the corner. A further penalty took it to 20-5 in the last minutes of normal time.

Minety held on through some 15 minutes of added time to deny Melksham a try bonus and keep the final score at Melksham 20 Minety 5.

Team: Colin French, Tom Claxton, Andy Darrall, Ben Scott, Matt Stone, Kieran Tillotson, Jay Thompson, Andrew Hibbard, Mark Glew, Ben Langridge, James Irving, Duncan Simpson, Dave Cooke, Rob Hinwood, Chris Rule. Replacements: Ben Collins, James Stuart, Matt Chisholm.


Match report: Cliff Garland

Written by Graham Cooke

October 6th, 2019 at 5:34 pm