Saturday 10 September 2011
Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
A positive start
Fairford 17pts – Minety 1st XV 43pts
Minety got their league season off to an excellent start with a convincing away win over Fairford, aided by a hat-trick of tries from Ryan Dowling.
The hosts were first out of the traps, landing a try after only two minutes, but Minety soon got into their stride. A try by Dowling was promptly followed by one from promising young forward Ashley Windle, while a second Dowling try made it 5-19 at the break.
Fairford started the second period strongly but, as in the first half, their opening try was shortly matched by one from the fleet footed Dowling.
The visitors added a penalty goal before the home team managed their third try, which they converted to bring the score to 17-29.
Despite being reduced to 14 men for the last half hour of the match after one of their forwards was sent off for punching, the Wiltshire side finished strongly. Russell Barstow sped over for a score which he converted himself and then Gareth Peirce, who had an excellent game, finished the job with a final try for Minety. A successful conversion by Dowling brought his personal tally for the afternoon to three tries, four conversions and a penalty goal.
“I was very pleased by the result,” commented Minety coach Huw Jones. “There’s still plenty of work to do but I thought we kept some good shapes and patterns of play. It was particularly gratifying to score two tries in the final 10 minutes.”