Minety made eight changes to their lineup as they travelled to Division 1 North newcomers Warminster on Saturday but were unable to force their first win of the season.
The homeside, who played in the Division 1 South last year, boasted a large and well drilled pack who put the Minety forwards on the back foot throughout the encounter. Early exchanges were dominated by quality ball for the Warminster forwards. Seeking some possession Minety tried to pull the home defence wide with some adventurous backs’ moves prompted by scrum half Garin Garland and fly half Adam Watts.
In an even first quarter Warminster continued to exert pressure through the forwards whilst Minety counter attacked through the backs.
Powerful and direct running from centres Matt Roberts and Jack Ward caught the Warminster forwards offside and Garland opened the scoring with a penalty.
Warminster laid siege to the Minety line but some fine defensive tackling thwarted the home side.
Given their dominance up front, it was surprising that it took Warminster 32 minutes to breach Minety’s defences. A clever miss move in the centre saw the Minety line split wide open and Warminster scored their first try close to the posts. The ensuing unsuccessful conversion left the scores 5-3.
Minety hit back and flanker Stephen Brown was denied a try in a chase for the ball when Watts cleverly chipped over the Warminster defence.
Garland restored Minety’s lead before half time with a penalty after a period of open play dominated by the visitors.
Minety started the 2nd half brightly with a lovely move out wide to speedy winger Ben Langridge which was only halted by a desperate high tackle near the Warminster line.
Warminster restored their lead in the 53rd minute with a penalty after an infringement in the ruck on the Minety 22 metre line but the villagers replied almost immediately with a Garland penalty for a similar offence.
The decisive score came in the 63rd minute. From quality possession following a scrum in the Minety half, Warminster’s fly half dummied and left the Minety defence flat footed. A flighted pass saw Warminster touch down for a try near the corner flag.
A long range Garland penalty attempt in the 70th minute fell agonisingly short as Minety pushed forward, ending the match strongly but not being able to cross the home side’s line.
Minety’s Chairman Dave Peirce was able to take a lot of positives from the match. “I thought we played really well in phases and stood up to a much bigger pack. We’re on the verge of some good things at Minety and I’m really proud of the lads.”
Final score: Warminster 13 Minety 9
Played at Warminster on Saturday 17th September. Kick off 3pm. Weather overcast and blustery.
In the other game at the weekend, the Minety 2nd XV went down to a 45 – 5 defeat against Alfred’s Nomads at Marlborough. Team captain Matt Stone reported that the score was not a fair reflection of a close fought match and that he was proud of his team in what was their first outing of the season.