Saturday 24 November 2012
Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Minety pull together for a win
Avonvale 1st XV 7pts – Minety 1st XV 24pts
Minety combined their first and second teams to pull off a much needed win against Avonvale.
With a host of players injured or unavailable, Minety had to withdraw from their second team fixture and concentrate their limited resources on the first team’s visit to Avonvale. As the main field there was underwater, the game was played on a sloping reserve pitch but gusting winds and driving rain made handling difficult and the playing surface soon cut up underfoot.
Avonvale opened with a fine break and an early try was only prevented by a last-ditch tackle from Minety scrumhalf Duncan Simpson.
After that, the visitors gradually began to dominate, their lightweight front five managing to hold their own in the set piece. A threatening run from Dale Langdown and a penalty attempt by Phillip Stephens narrowly failed to put points on the board, but when Simpson got good ball from an attacking scrum, the visitors were under way. Flyhalf Stephens slipped a pass to Milo Hartley and he in turn stepped his man before offloading to Robin Greenway, who sped away for a well-worked try which Andy Edwards converted.
Avonvale missed a penalty goal attempt, but their bigger forwards began to get the upper hand in the final 10 minutes of the half. When scrumhalf Joe Pugh picked up from a ruck, he was able to wriggle through for a try which centre Steve Retford converted to tie the score at seven-all at the break.
Edwards missed a penalty early in the second half but sustained pressure eventually enabled the visitors to move ahead as a tap penalty and two quick passes released skipper Tom Fitzcharles for a try under the posts. This time Edwards made no mistake and his conversion made it 7-14 in Minety’s favour.
A penalty goal from Edwards extended the visitors’ lead and as Minety continued to press, Avonvale gave away further penalties.
When lock Dave Church, normally a centre, was given the ball from a tap penalty, he piled through for a try, the successful conversion sealing Minety’s 7-24 win.