Saturday 18 February 2012
“O the cold wind and the rain!”
Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Avonvale 1st XV 0pts – Minety 1st XV 12pts
Minety overcame chilling cold, driving rain and determined opponents to clock up a 12 points to nothing victory away against Avonvale.
Led by their pack and with the wind at their tails, the visitors had the best of the early exchanges. Exerting steady pressure, Minety took the lead after 10 minutes when centre Jonty Messer was first to the ball after a cunning chip ahead wrong-footed the defence and caught the fullback out of position.
After Messer’s centre partner Luke Radcliffe had slotted the conversion for an extra two points, the game settled into a tactical battle in which neither side was able to gain the upper hand. Getting into their stride, Avonvale enjoyed their share of possession but were unable to break through a well-organised Minety defence.
The teams turned round with the visitors still ahead by seven points to nothing.
Turning up the pressure, Avonvale had their best period after the break. The wet conditions made handling difficult, but the home forwards were in good form and several times came close to scoring. For all their efforts, though, Minety held them out, tackling doggedly and refusing to concede a score.
And it was the visitors who finished the stronger, snatching up loose ball and running it back at their opponents. Picking up the pace, the Minety threequarters moved the ball smartly down the line. Winger Robin Greenway stepped outside his marker and sealed his team’s performance by skimming over for a try out wide.
Avonvale’s attempts to get back on terms in the final minutes met no better success than their earlier efforts. Minety kept their nerve and their defensive shape to hold on for a hard-fought win.