Minety return to winning ways
Minety halted their run of four straight league defeats with a fine away victory over Supermarine on Saturday. After their poor run of form, the villagers started the day just one place above their opponents in Dorset and Wilts 1 North and needed a win to put their season back on track.
After a scrappy opening in which the strong wind favoured Supermarine, Minety started to display the kind of attacking play that made them so successful last year, moving the ball through the backs and defending aggressively. It was against the run of play that Supermarine took the lead. Minety were penalised at a ruck and Supermarine slotted a superb penalty from 40 yards out in the 8th minute.
Two dropped passes at the end of a series of flowing moves denied MInety clear scoring opportunities as they fought to claw their way back into the match.
Scrum half Garin Garland’s speed and aggression forced Supermarine into conceding a penalty which the young scrum half converted to tie the scores in the 17th minute.
With centres Jack Ward and Matt Roberts always a threat and full back Dave Church and winger Dale Langdown willing to run at the Supermarine defence, Minety regained control of the match as the half drew to an end only for another long range penalty to give the home team a narrow 6 – 3 lead at half time.
It took the villagers just two minutes of the second half to take the lead. Impressive flanker Stephen Brown stole the ball at a breakdown and an excellent backs move saw Roberts beat four defenders before crashing over the line. Garland converted and Minety were 13-6 up.
An unusual substitution occurred in the 52nd minute when the referee had to be replaced after sustaining an injury. With the wind at their back, Minety dominated possession and territory and should have added at least two more tries but for handling errors at crucial moments.
When a Ward penalty kick in the 67th minute was mishandled over the line by a Supermarine defender Minety secured the ball from the resultant 5 metre scrum and Garland found the smallest gap to burst through to score Minety’s second try. The conversion was missed but Minety’s lead was now 18-6.
In contrast to much of their rugby since Christmas, Minety managed the last 10 minutes with ease, pinning Supermarine back in their own half and tackling superbly to deny the home team.
Coach Andy Ward was delighted with the performance. “For the first time this year we had nearly a full 1st team squad out there and we had lots of opportunities to score even more than we did. We defended well and our 1st tackles were superb. We deserved that win and now need to build on it as we approach the last three league games of the season.”
Supermarine 6 Minety 18
19th March 2016 at Supermarine
Cold and over cast but reasonably dry underfoot
Man of the Match: Stephen Brown
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Claxton to Brown
Coach Andy Ward & team
Pre match coaching
Tom Windle & Ben Collins lift Stephen Brown
Garin Garland fires the ball out to launch a backs’ move