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Devizes 2nd XV v Minety 1st XV

Saturday 27 October 2012

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety leave it too late

Devizes 2nd XV 24pts – Minety 1st XV 12pts

Having started slowly, missed too many tackles and struggled to turn territorial advantage into points, Minety could only come second best against their lively hosts in Devizes.

In blustery conditions, Devizes were the first to score, winning quick ruck ball on the left flank 25 minutes into the game and shipping it smartly down the line to winger James Last on the right touchline. He ran in the try and Matthew Holloran kicked the conversion.

Not to be outdone, Chris Barter soon added a try on the opposite wing, making it 12-0 at the break despite some late pressure from Minety, who finally seemed to be getting into the game.

The visitors continued to press after the interval but failed to cross the whitewash until mid-way through the half. Awarded a penalty five metres out, Sam Miller took tapped ball and piled over for a score.

The home team responded with two tries of their own which settled the result and gained them a bonus point as well.

The first came as Devizes retained the ball through a series of phases, recycling quick ruck ball to set Last away for his second score of the game.

After Holloran had added the extras, the second try came from a rolling maul set up from a lineout on the visitors’ 22. Devizes rumbled forward and then the man with the ball broke away from the formation, popping a pass to Gavin Curnow, who powered over for the score.

Dale Langdown added a late consolation try for the visitors, beating three defenders on his way to the line, but though a good conversion kick added a little respectability to the score-line, it was too-little-too-late from Minety.

Minety skipper Tom Fitzcharles comments:

All in all, another gutsy performance from the team, with a 10-minute lapse in concentration before half-time to blame for the eventual 12 point difference. Some great scrummaging from the pack kept Minety on the front foot at the set pieces, but Devizes probably won the 50/50 breakdown battles. Behind the pack, recent injuries and the subsequent absence of key players meant that Minety were always going to struggle against a well-organised Devizes back line. At one stage, we ended up with two flankers playing on the wing and in the centre and even at fullback in the first half!Promising half-breaks were made by individual players at various stages during the game, but the composure to turn pressure into points failed us when it counted. Dale’s try was a particular highlight… It was like a scene from Benny Hill!
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