Minety RFC

Sad news: Glynis Cooper

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

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

As of yet there is no decision regarding donations.

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

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



Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

This weekend’s action

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 11:38 am

Posted in News

Over 120kph on ice

Note the Minety top!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Graham Cooke

January 18th, 2019 at 11:21 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV Supermarine

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

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

Written by Graham Cooke

January 16th, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Team who defeated Supermarine on Saturday

1. Mark Glew

2. Tom Claxton (c)

3. Andy Darrell

4. Ben Scott

5. Ben Collins

6. Jay Thompson

7. Kieran Tillotson

8. Andrew Hibbard

9. Garin Garland

10. Sam Hughes

11. Chris Rule

12. Jack Ward

13. Jack Howse

14. Duncan Simpson

15. Matt Roberts

16. Rob Hinwood

17. Morgan Aubrey

18. Jonathan Leong

Written by Graham Cooke

January 16th, 2019 at 8:43 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from around the league

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

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

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

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



Written by Graham Cooke

January 14th, 2019 at 8:01 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Hughes hat trick as Minety hit 50

Hat trick hero, Sam Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Rule scores 1st try

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

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

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

Sam Hughes crosses for try 2

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

Ben Collins scores try No. 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack Ward beneath the posts for try No. 4

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

Jack Howse scores No. 5

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

Duncan Simpson races in for try No. 6

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

Sam Hughes grabs No. 7

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

Sam Hughes caps a fine performance with a hat trick try

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

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

Man of the Match: Matt Roberts

Next week Minety make the short journey to Sutton Benger.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 13th, 2019 at 12:18 pm

MTV of Bassett match

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

Many thanks.

Written by Graham Cooke

January 9th, 2019 at 9:59 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend Review

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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Graham Cooke

January 8th, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Skeleton Dave

On the Bath training track

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

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

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

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

The Whistler course

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

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



Written by Graham Cooke

January 7th, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety battle back to form against Bassett

All local derby matches are keenly fought and the one which pitched 7th placed Minety against 5th placed Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday was no exception.

It was the village team who emerged victors at the end of a full bloodied affair, storming back from 14-5 down to win 25 – 17 and complete a noteworthy double over their more illustrious neighbours.

The home team, playing down the slope, started brightly, taking the first scrum and sending scrum half Garin Garland down the right.  A high tackle halted his run but Minety opted for a scrum rather than a penalty and their enterprise was rewarded when No. 8 Andrew Hibbard picked up at the base of the scrum and charged the Bassett line.  Further attacks from captain Tom Claxton and flanker Ash Windle were held up but temporary scrum half James Nicksen reversed the direction of play and a fine backs’ move saw the recovering Garland drive over for the opening score in the 4th minute.

Garland scores Minety’s 1st try

Bassett struck back immediately, pinning the home team back in their 22 and moving the ball confidently from side to side as they sought to breach the Minety line.  Only some fearless tackling from centre Jack Howse, flanker Jay Thompson and fly half Tom McAllister kept the Minety line intact but they were helpless to prevent the opening Bassett score.  A long flighted pass split the home defence and the full back was on hand to score near the posts.  The conversion was successful and Bassett led 7-5.

The visitors had clearly rattled a Minety team who had lost their previous 4 matches and only a last gasp tackle from prop Mark Glew prevented a breakaway try direct from the kick off.

Matters worsened for the home team seconds later when full back Ben Langridge suffered nasty ankle ligament damage in a tackle, an injury that could keep him out for several weeks.  Coach Andy Grayson was forced to reorganise, shuffling the back line and bringing on Jack Ward, himself still not match fit after an injury before Christmas.

The visitors increased their lead in the 16th minute from another slick backs’ move which ended with a lovely line from the full back to break the home defence.  Another successful conversion and Bassett had stretched their advantage to 14-5.

The home team struck back, dominating the scrummage and disrupting the Bassett line out and after another burst into the opposition 22 by the powerful Hibbard, Garland fired a pass out to Claxton, unusually positioned out on the wing, and the Minety captain scored his first points of the season wide out on the left.  Garland’s huge conversion kick drifted agonisingly wide but Minety were back in the match just 10-14 down.

Claxton scores Minety’s 2nd try

With both teams playing some lovely rugby, the pace of the game actually increased as did the ferocity of the tackling.  Minety were reduced to 14 players when Ward saw yellow after he took exception to a tackle and its aftermath.

Bassett increased their lead with a penalty in the 29th minute after the home side were caught off side at a ruck.

Minety managed the yellow card period by continuing to dominate at set pieces and through some hard tackling from second rowers Ben Collins and Ben Scott allied to some clever tactical kicking from Tom McAllister and penetrative running from centres Sam Hughes and Chris Rule.

With Ward back on the pitch, Minety took a scrum and attacked down the right. A tap penalty taken by Hibbard saw the No. 8 batter the Bassett defence and the ball was swiftly passed along the line to Nicksen on the right wing, who scored despite a neck high tackle.  The referee awarded Minety a penalty try to bring the scores level at half time.

James Nicken is caught by a high tackle scoring Minety’s 3rd try

Bassett kicked off the 2nd half with the advantage of the slope, usually considered to be worth at least two scores, and Claxton’s team knew that they had their hands full to arrest a slide that has taken them down the league in recent weeks.

With their dominance of set pieces still intact, Minety pushed for the bonus point winning 4th try and looked to have had it when Hibbard picked up at the base of a scrum, charged forward and slipped the ball to the unguarded Garland to run through but the pass was considered forward and play was brought back.  Seconds later another scrum against the head saw Hibbard almost in at the corner before a cross field kick to Hughes ended with the centre held up inches short.  From the recycle, Minety moved the ball along the line and Howse seemed to be over for a try but the ball was dislodged as he dived for the line.

Minety were dominant at this stage, playing their best rugby of the season, and Bassett only held them out with fully committed tackling, rucking and some tactical kicking.

Minety lost centre Hughes to a leg injury, Dave Church coming on to replace him in the centre in the 53rd minute.  The attritional nature of the game saw Howse down after a heavy tackle.  Garland’s penalty attempt in the 60th minute floated wide as both teams fought to break the deadlock.

Minety thought they had a try shortly after when Ward crossed but once again it was brought back, the ball again being dislodged by a defender’s hand.

Tempers flared shortly after and the referee had to separate the two teams and speak to the captains.

Bassett were reduced to 14 men after a yellow card for a high tackle in the 66th minute and Garland stroked home the penalty to put Minety ahead by 20-17.

With both teams now playing some of the most impressive and aggressive rugby seen at Minety this season, something was sure to give and the visitors were reduced to 13 men in the 73rd minute when a player was shown a second yellow and dismissed for another high tackle.

Minety introduced Matt Roberts, back after a long term injury, in the 73rd minute to replace Church but then Windle suffered ankle ligament damage and Church was forced back on to replace him for a frantic last 5 minutes.

The match was settled in stoppage time with the move of the match.  Ward set up a ruck just outside his own 22.  Claxton ran a dummy line and allowed Garland to find Rule who broke through the line, releasing Hibbard.  The No. 8 burst forward up to the Bassett 22 before passing to Garland who scored by the corner flag to put Minety 25-17 up and secure the league bonus point.

Garin celebrates after scoring the 4th try in stoppage time

Garland was yellow carded as Bassett made a desperate last attempt on the Minety line but the home side held out magnificently.

Afterwards coach Grayson praised his teams all round performance.  “We did make it hard for ourselves at times but I can’t fault any of the 18 players who played today.  Special mention must go to centres Chris Rule and Jack Howse and young James Nicksen, but it was the pack that really won it for us and I thought Tom Claxton was a deserved Man of the Match.”

Man of the Match, Tom Claxton


Written by Graham Cooke

January 6th, 2019 at 11:45 am

Stat Attack!

Club statistician Benjamin (call me Benny) Disraeli is back with a brand new edition of Anton’s favourite feature – Stat Attack.  Yes, it’s another meaningless trawl through “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics”.

So what has Benny made of the first half of the 2018 – 2019 campaign?  Well, here goes!

  1. Minety have played 11 league games this season, 7 away and only 4 at home.
  2. The disparity between home and away was caused by the swapping of venues for the opening matches of the season as the newly drained Minety pitches bedded in.
  3. Of the 11 games, 5 have been won and 6 lost.
  4. The 1st XV has scored 295 points and conceded 282 giving them a net of +13.
  5. League points have been accrued with 4 “4 try bonus points” and 2 Losing bonus points to give the team 26 points at the mid point in the table.
  6. The club sit in 7th place in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North
  7. Including cup / Vase ties, the 1st XV have played 13 games.
  8. 38 different players have donned the 1st XV shirt giving us enough players for two full teams and two 3 player benches!
  9. Against the table topping Combe Down we could only field 14 players and we only had the bare 15 for the match against Pewsey.
  10. No player has featured in all 13 matches.
  11. The top appearances come from Mark Glew, Chris Rule, Ben Scott and Matt Stone.  Each has played in n12 of the 13 games.  Tom Claxton and Jack Howse have appeared in 11.
  12. The most popular 1st letter of the surname swaps from “S” to “C” as Church, Claxton, Coleman, Collins, Cooke, Crisp and Cross have all appeared at least once this season.
  13. The 1st XV have scored 384 points in all matches this season at an average of 29.53 per match.
  14. Top points scorers are: Garin Garland 104 (29.88%), Jack Ward 44 (13.22) and Jack Howse and Ben Sellick 30 (8.62%).
  15. 17 different players have scored points for the 1st XV this season.
  16. Of those 17, 7 were forwards and 10 backs.
  17. The highest score for Minety in a single match was 74 (against Supermarine).;
  18. The lowest score was 7 (against Pewsey).
  19. 41 tries have been scored by 1st XV players this season.
  20. Most tries in a match was 10 (Supermarine).
  21. At least 1 try has been scorede in each match played this season.
  22. 16 different players have scored tries this season.
  23. Top try scorers are: Garin Garland with 7 and Jack Howse and Ben Sellick with 6 each.
  24. Most points scored by an individual in a single game: Jack Ward with 24 against Supermarine, followed by Ben Sellick with 20, also against Supermarine and Garin Garland with 19 at Trowbridge.
  25. Of the 41 tries scored, 36 have been converted, a conversion rate of 87%
  26. 3 players have successfully kicked penalties for the 1st XV: Garin Garland with 11, Jack Ward with 4 and Ash Windle with 2.
  27. 5 players presently sit on the “naughty step” – 4 yellow cards and 1 red in 13 matches.
  28. There are 7 home and only 4 away matches until the end of the season.
  29. Anton and Benjamin have still yet to grace the field of play in MInety colours this season.
  30. Benny needs to find a dark room for a couple of hours.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 4th, 2019 at 10:56 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Happy New Year!

Training on Wednesday 2nd January at 7pm.  Two home matches this weekend – 1st XV v. Royal Wootton Bassett and 2nd XV v Combe Down.

Match previews and a half season Stat Attack! planned for later this week on this site.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 1st, 2019 at 11:56 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Merry Christmas

Written by Graham Cooke

December 25th, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Mid Season report

The two week break for Minety comes exactly half way through their Dorset and Wiltshire Division 1 season and Andy Grayson’s side find themselves down in 7th place, 7 points behind Trowbridge in 6th place.

Certainly the first half of the 2018 – 19 season has been a challenging one for the village team.  7th place at Christmas is their lowest league position at the half way stage of a season for at least four seasons.  In 2015 they were 2nd, in 2016 6th and last year they started the second half of the season in 5th place. So what has gone wrong?

Perhaps the first half of the season could be encapsulated in the first game, a tough away fixture at Warminster.  Forced into a raft of changes late on, Minety took on one of the perennial favourites with a team featuring a number of debutants and a bench made up of veterans.  Despite a battling performance, they eventually went down 41-28 after Warminster punished them with  two late tries as the team began to tire.

The second match of the season saw Minety on the road again, having to switch fixtures while the newly installed secondary drainage system bedded in on the Minety pitches.  Royal Wootton Bassett was the opposition for a side featuring 4 changes.  Minety started at their normal fast pace and their intensity led to early tries from Matt Stone and Garin Garland as the village team led at half time 12 points to 8.  If the first half had been impressive, the second half was remarkable.  Andrew Hibbard’s break and pass to Sam Hughes put the young fly half in for a fine try and then centre Jack Howse danced through the Bassett defences for a bonus point winning try before Mark Glew registered Minety’s 5th try. Stone collected his second try of the game and Minety were worthy winners 47-13.

Progress through the first round of the Dorset and Wiltshire Senior Vase came via a walkover against Calne before Grayson’s team returned to league action with a 72-17 hammering of Supermarine with flanker Ben Sellick scoring four tries in a blistering performance.  Other tries from Gareth Peirce, Chris Rule, Andrew Hibbard, Jack Howse, Ben Langridge, Duncan Simpson and Jack Ward ensured Minety came away with a full set of league points and a bonus point.

The run of wins continued with a 27-10 defeat of newly promoted Sutton Benger with Howse, Sellick and Langridge scoring again.

With the team unbeaten since the  first match of the season, confidence was high.  Minety were well placed in the table and the expectation was that a top four place at Christmas was possible.  But then injuries and player unavailability began to impact upon a small squad of players from a small club that supports two teams. When the 1st XV travelled to Trowbridge on the 20th October, the 2nd XV had already been forced to concede their match at home to Warminster simply because they didn’t have 15 fit players.

Two tries from Garin Garland and a third from Andrew Hibbard should have seen Minety home, but chances were missed, and Trowbridge snatched the victory by 26-24. A win would have seen Tom Claxton’s team into 3rd place; the loss condemned them to 6th in a keenly contested top half of the table.

The loss was compounded a week later when 2nd placed Avonvale crushed an understrength Minety team by 57-8 at Minety Fields, the heaviest home defeat for some time. Without the necessary replacements and with a number of players playing in unaccustomed positions, Minety pressed hard but were unable to contain a free scoring Avonvale team.

A win at lowly Calne in November brought some relief to Grayson’s team.  Tries from Glew, Hibbard, Jack Ward and Howse together with a first club try for flanker Kieran Tillotsen were sufficient to see off the opposition and secure league points and a 4 try bonus point.

While other teams enjoyed a mid term break, Minety were back on the Senior Vase duty, drawn at home to the powerful Warminster team.  Four tries from Ben Collins, Garin Garland, Andrew Hibbard and Tom McAllister saw Minety through to the Vase Final with a crushing 32-7 win.

Back in league action Minety struggled to overcome Chippenham at home, eventually coming out 20-12 winners with Garland and Stone picking up tries but the losses earlier at Trowbridge and Avonvale had cut Minety apart from the leading group.

Once again, while other team enjoyed a break, Minety travelled to Salisbury Rugby Club to take on the form team from Dorset, the Dorset Dockers in the final of the prestigious Senior Vase Final.  For once coach Andy Grayson and club captain Tom Claxton were able to choose from a squad of players.  Although they eventually went down by 36-17 the village side put up a spirited fight against a very good Dorset team with Hibbard and Langridge both crossing for tries.  The opposition commended the Minety team on putting up the best performance that the Dorset team had faced this season.

Sadly, as so often has happened in this topsy turvy season, injuries hit Minety hard and they travelled to top of the table Combe Down with only 14 players and ended up with only 11 after injuries during a 55-10 defeat that flattered the home team. Dave Cooke ran in Minety’s only try with Ash Windle adding the conversion and a further penalty.

The final home match of the year was against the in form Melksham team, third placed in the table and chasing the runaway leaders Combe Down and Avonvale. Melksham had only lost once since the start of the season and showed their class early on, moving a makeshift Minety team around, although unable to score.  It was Minety, playing downhill in the first half who opened up a deserved 13 – 0 lead, Garland scoring a try and kicking the conversion and two further penalties.  Unfortunately, Minety’s new centre Wil Crisp dislocated his shoulder and the home team started to struggle. Melksham dominated the second half and scored the winning points with almost the last play of the game to snatch victory by 15-13.

Minety’s final match ended with defeat at Pewsey Vale.  In a match played in the most dreadful of conditions, Minety started with a bare 15 players and soon lost Glew and Howse to head injuries.  When Jay Thompson was forced off Minety had just 12 players on the pitch and Pewsey took full advantage, winning the match by 17-7 when Garland was withdrawn injured and both teams were facing hypothermia.

So the table shows Minety as being 7th with 5 wins and 6 defeats in the league.  What is doesn’t reflect is that with the cup matches included, Minety only had one free weekend between the start of September and the Christmas break.  Injuries, work commitments and unavailabilities has seen Andy Grayson field 38 different players, enough for two whole teams and substitutes and Minety have failed to field the same team twice this season, let alone in successive matches.

Let us hope that the break allows the injured to recover and the exhausted to relax before the season starts up again on the 5th January with a home clash with Royal Wootton Bassett and Minety Fields.


Written by Graham Cooke

December 23rd, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Home Page,News