Minety 32 - Warminster 15
Minety, who endured a torrid first half of the season bounced back from their Dorset and Wilts Vase final defeat last week to secure a fine 32 – 15 win over in form Warminster at Minety Fields on Saturday.
Welcoming back Andy Darrell at prop and giving a first team debut to Eti Scott on the wing, Minety skipper Andrew Hibbard lost the toss and the home team was forced to kick off down the slope in the first half in damp and over cast conditions on a pitch which was well grassed but boggy.
The home side made a fine start, pushing their opponents, who had only tasted defeat 3 times before this season, back into their own 22 metre area. From a driving scrum captain Hibbard dived over to register the first of four tries in only the 2nd minute. Scrum half Garin Garland’s fine conversion from out side on the left saw Minety 7 – 0 up.
That lead was extended with a long penalty kick from Garland in the 10th minute and then another, even longer, from the Number 9 in the 25th minute.
Minety went 18 points up in the 39th minute with full back Duncan Simpson latching on to a pass at the end of a fluent Minety to move to race in and score the second try and then flanker Del Murray burst through in the final move of the half, well into added time, to register the thrid try and a 25 – 0 half time advantage.
Scott was replaced by Ben Kingston at half time as Minety faced the slope and a blustery wind in the second half.
Warminster used the slope and their physical advantage to good measure early in the second half to push Minety back and then score the first of their three second half tries wide out on the left to reduce the arrears t0 25 – 5. In the 62nd minute they repeated the feat, again scoring out wide after some thunderous attacking moves were repelled by excellent Minety defensive tackling.
Home nerves were jangling when Warminster scored their third try, again out wide, with just minutes to go to bring the score back to 25 – 15 but a very late Garland try not only secured the win but also garnered a vital bonus point as Minety strive to pull themselves away from the foot of the Dorset and Wilts table.
The win takes the village side up to 9th in the 12 team table, above Calne and 8 points clear of 11th placed Marlborough with a game in hand.
Team: Andy Darrell, Mark Glew, Hugo Beanland, Colin French, Matt Chisholm, Jay Thompson, Del Murray, Andrew Hibbard, Garin Garland, James Irvine, Eti Scott, Kieran James, Dave Cooke, Luke Radcliffe and Duncan Simpson. Replacements: Gareth Thomas, Sam Thompson and Ben Kingston.