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Bradford-on-Avon 1st XV v Minety 1st XV

Saturday 13 February 2010

Southern Counties South

Minety leave it too late

Bradford-on-Avon 1st XV 28 pts – Minety 1st XV 21 pts

Having taken too long to get into their stride, Minety came off second best in this must-win tussle at the foot of Southern Counties South.

There was plenty of good rugby on display in this hard-fought and fast-paced encounter, but for much of the game it was being played by Bradford-on-Avon.  Tries by winger Ben Shepherd and centre Andy Keogh, both successfully converted, gave the home team a 14-point opening lead before the visitors finally got on the board.

This was achieved thanks to centre Max Sparrow, who jinked through an attempted tackle and then weaved his way round the fullback to score a try from 40 metres out which Jack Ward converted.

Bradford struck back straightaway. Pinning Minety back into their 22, they charged down a clearance kick from just in front of the try line. The ball ricocheted high in the air before flanker Tim Bowles gathered it and threw himself over the line for a try. The conversion made it 21-7.

Minety finished the half strongly, camping on the Bradford line. The home side’s number 6 was yellow carded but in the final play of the half, a wayward pass prevented Minety from turning their pressure into points.

The visitors’ early efforts in the second half were little more successful and when Bradford won turnover ball on half way, they demonstrated a depth of support and fluency of passing which their opponents rarely achieved. Moving the ball out wide and then back inside, they kept it alive despite Minety’s solid tackling and scrumhalf Phil Heale completed the move by running in the try.

The conversion made it 28-7 but from that point Minety finally began to get back into the match. Winger Robin Greenway took an interception and eluded several tackles as he ran 50 metres to score under the posts, making it easy for Sparrow to kick the subsequent goal.

Several times, Minety came close to scoring but lacked the precision to exploit promising opportunities. It wasn’t until the dying minutes of the game, when Bradford were once more on the attack, that Minety dispossessed them close to their own try line, giving Sparrow the chance to run the ball out of defence. He passed to Greenway, who made it to halfway before setting fullback Reuben Saunders on his way. He flew the final 50 metres for a try, Sparrow’s successful conversion kick proving to be the last action of the game.

The result drops Minety back to the foot of the table, while Bradford-on-Avon rise to third from bottom. The Villagers must hope for better success this Saturday when they welcome Corsham to Minety.


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