It seems almost in conceivable but this weekend’s fixtures conclude the 2016 / 2017 season for both Minety teams.
Andrew Hibbard, who will be stepping down as captain of the 1st XV after the match, takes his 1st XV to Pewsey Vale. Pewsey have enjoyed a tremendous season after their promotion from Division 2 last season. Pewsey chairman Steve Parks has praised his club for their achievement this season, and quite rightly so. It was Pewsey who came to Minety Fields for the 1st match of the current Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North campaign and left with a win under their belts. There is no doubt that Hibbard and his Minety team will be looking to avenge that first match defeat in the final match of the season.
A win at Pewsey would cement 6th place in the league for the village team. With Pewsey sitting one place, but 10 league points ahead of Minety, all attention will be on the result of the match between our old rivals Royal Wootton Bassett and Bradford on Avon at Ballards’ Ash. Bassett, with an identical played 21, won 11, lost 10 record, sit just 4 points behind Minety in the table. A heavy win for Bassett and a similar loss for Minety would see the teams swap places in the table.
Bassett’s match against 3rd placed Bradford on Avon is equally important for their highly placed opponents. BOA currently lie in 3rd place in the table, equal on points with Melksham, who themselves have a tough match on their hands with an encounter with 2nd placed Warminster.
Corsham, who were assured of the Championship two weeks ago, host bottom of the table Devizes, with exactly 100 league points separating the two.
To sum up, if Minety beat Pewsey then they finish 6th. If Pewsey beat Minety and Bassett defeat Bradford heavily then Bassett will finish 6th and Minety 7th whilst Bradford may well slip down to 4th behind Melksham.
Whatever the case, all eyes will be on the results when the matches end at 4.30pm on Saturday.
Matt Stone’s 2nd XV end their Dorset and Wilts Division 3 North campaign with a match against Warminster II. The 2nd XV find themselves in 8th place, largely through being penalised for being unable to field a team in some matches this season when injuries and sudden call ups to the 1st XV restricted player choice. Whilst Warminster have little to play for other than pride (they are 7 points behind 3rd placed Corsham II’s and 9 ahead of Bradford on Avon III’s), Minety 2nd will be hoping for a good win and a chance to leapfrog Devizes, who are immediately above them in the table and just 2 points ahead. Minety have a vastly superior points total if the two clubs were to tie in the league.
Full match reports and comment will be available on the website on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.