Minety 1st XV travelled to Devizes on Saturday for their Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North encounter and found ideal conditions for their type of running, expansive rugby. Under clear skies and with a firm and even surface, the village team ran in no less than 12 tries to win by 79-0 and keep up the pressure on the league leaders, Coombe Down.
Early pressure saw Devizes pinned back in their own 22m and it came as no surprise when the first try was score by second row Harry Neale, bursting through to take advantage of a fine break by flanker Stephen Brown. Minety were 14 points up soon after when scrum half Garin Garland collected the ball from a lineout and sniped down the blindside before passing to winger David Cooke, who side stepped the full back and scored close to the posts.
With the fast MInety team clearly enjoying playing on a good surface, the score should have been greater but a number of fluent backs’ moves came to nought as final passes were dropped or mistimed.
But the constant pressure on the home line told when Garland collected at a ruck and spotted a gap to run in from 30 metres for his first try. In the 39th minute centre Will Mason evaded a number of tackles to touch down for the third try of the half before Cooke collected his second try after a rampaging run by Minety captain Andrew Hibbard had forced Devizes into conceding a penalty close to their own lines.
There was no let up in the second half as Minety added three tries in 10 minutes. Man of the match, hooker, Tom Claxton tore through the Devizes defence before flicking the ball out of the back of his hand to allow Garland to score his second of the day. The 7th try came about as a result of a fine move from the kick off, involving several forwards and the entire back line with full back Dale Langdown crossing for the points. Second half substitute Matt Roberts sided stepped two defenders to extend the lead to 55 before Mason added his second try in the 56th minute.
Neale’s second try was a devastating solo effort. Picking up the ball deep in his own half, the second row burst through the defence beating more than four players before touching down for Minety’s 10th try. With Roberts and Langdown bagging late tries the visitors ran out 79-0 winners to consolidate their second place in the table.
Although very pleased with the win, Coach Andy Ward was critical of Minety’s first half performance. “We were all disappointed with the first half performance because we wasted four good scoring opportunities with handling errors and some bad decision making. Our second half was a great improvement. We were stronger and fitter and it told. I must commend the Devizes team for sticking to the task for the full 80 minutes in a game played in good spirit on an excellent surface which suited our expansive game. Claxton put in an outstanding performance and pipped Harry Neale for Man of the Match.”
Captain Andrew Hibbard praised the whole team. “The lineout worked well and the forwards put in a great shift. The backs spilled some ball but it was great to play our attacking game on a superb surface.”
Man of the Match: Tom Claxton
Date: Saturday 23rd January 2016. Kick off 2.15pm
Venue: Devizes Rugby Ground
Weather conditions: Sunny, mild and good playing surface
Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North
Harry Neale scores Minety’s first try
David Cooke runs in the second try
Garin Garland bags the third try
Will Mason scores number 4
David Cooke grabs try Number 5
Tom Claxton flicks the ball to Garin
Harry Neale runs in his brilliant solo effort
Dale Langdown runs in try number 7.
Matt Roberts crosses for try number 11
Man of the Match, Tom Claxton
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