Both Minety teams recorded bonus point winning victories on the road on Saturday. Rich Hall’s 1st XV won a hard fought match at Devizes by 32 – 10 whilst Matt Stone’s 2nd XV ran out a resounding 50-10 victors at Melksham.
Minety’s 1st XV recorded their first away win of the season with a bonus point winning 32-5 victory at Devizes, pushing the village side up to 6th in the Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North table.
Devizes started brightly but a combination of excellent tactical kicking from scrum half Garin Garland and full back Dale Langdown pushed the home side into defending deep in their own territory.
Garland opened Minety’s scoring with a penalty kick in the 11th minute and then doubled the lead when Devizes were penalised for not releasing the ball after a tackle.
Minety laid siege to the Devizes line and only a last ditch tackle prevented Minety’s captain Andrew Hibbard from scoring under the posts to extend their lead.
After losing influential centre Jack Ward to a rib injury, Minety were forced to shuffle their line-up but when fly half Tom McAllister’s kick through was fumbled by the Devizes full back, front row forward Owen Richardson seized the opportunity to kick ahead and won the race to touch down under the posts for his first try in Minety first team colours. Garland’s conversion took the half time score to 13-0.
Minety continued to press at the start of the second half. Moving the ball well and handling confidently, the villagers set up chance after chance, so it was surprising that it took until the 53rd minute for them to score their second try. Prop forward Will North fed 2nd row Ben Scott, whose slip pass allowed Langdown to score by the corner flag.
With the score at 18-0 and the Minety side suffering further injuries to Scott, fellow 2nd row Ben Collins and flanker James Stuart, Devizes played some of their best rugby and were only denied by some resolute Minety defending.
The home side eventually breached the Minety line in the 69th minute to bring the score back to 18-5.
Minety regained their composure and pushed forward in an attempt to score the two extra tries required to enable them to pick up a valuable league bonus point.
Man of the match Tom Windle set up Minety’s third try with a brilliant 40 metre burst through the Devizes defences. Garland collected the ball and fed McAllister for an easy try over on the right. Garland’s conversion took the score to 25-5 and the left the villager’s with the chance of the bonus point in the final minutes of the match.
Deep into injury time, hooker Tom Claxton collected the ball from a lineout and, with Devizes defenders desperately trying to pull him down, barged through to score Minety’s 4th try. Garland’s successful conversion was the last action of the match as Minety ran out 32-5 victors and with an important try bonus point in their pockets.
Captain Andrew Hibbard was quick to praise the contributions of all the 2nd team squad players who had stepped up to fill gaps left by injury in the 1st team. “It’s good to know that we have quality cover in every position and I’d like to thank the 2nd team lads for their tremendous support.”
In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nds scored 8 tries in their resounding 50-10 victory at Melksham. After conceding an early try, Matt Stone’s team hit back with a Keiran Gash try and a Will Mason penalty before three tries in the space of just 12 minutes at the start of the second half sealed the win. A late Del Murray try took Minety’s score to 50 points just before the end.
Captain Stone praised his side’s second half display. “I was really impressed with how consistent our scrummaging and line outs were, even with people playing out of position. We have a great team and I look forward to seeing how we can compete through the season.”
Final score: Melksham 10 Minety 50.
Owen scores 1st try
Dale crosses for #2
Ben Scott at lineout
Tom Windle bursts through
Tom McAllister try #3
Tom Claxton try #4