Minety returned to league action for the first time in over a month with a convincing 5 try 36-0 win over Trowbridge on a very muddy Minety pitch on Saturday.
The village team had lost three recent fixtures to the weather and now face a fixtures backlog that will see them in action every Saturday between now and the end of the season.
Other than the heavy defeat at title chasing Combe Down, Tom Claxton’s team have been impressive in 2018, winning four of their five fixtures and scoring 107 points in their victories whilst conceding just 3.
Minety kicked off playing uphill and with a stiff breeze in their faces.
Minety’s well organised pack dominated at set pieces and cancelled out any advantage that Trowbridge might have derived from the slope and breeze.
Minety increased their lead in the 14th minute, Garland spotting a gap to squeeze through after a period of sustained pressure on the opposition try line. Garland’s successful conversion put Minety 12 points clear.
Garland’s penalty, after Trowbridge were caught offside, extended the lead to 15 after a series of moves saw captain Tom Claxton, flanker Jack Ward, winger Dave Cooke and prop Mark Glew all held up within inches of the line.
Early on in the league campaign, one criticism that could be levied at Minety was the quality of their tackling. That weakness is now a strength; every time Trowbridge threatened , Minety put in tackles, halting progress and turning defence in to attack.
Hard charging centre Jack Howse opened the scoring in the second half, intercepting a pass and running 30 metres to score beneath the posts. Garland’s conversion was successful and Minety lead 22-0.
Howse looked to have sealed the bonus point after Claxton intercepted a pass and had taken play to the Trowbridge line but from the ensuing 5 metre scrummage, the dominant Minety pack drove over the line and Ward touched down to secure the 4 try bonus point after 60 minutes.
Garland kicked the conversion to extend the lead to 29.
Minety ended the scoring in the 66th minute. Roberts was held up on the line but when the ball came back Garland picked up and crossed for his second, and Minety’s 5th try, which he subsequently converted.
In the closing moments Howse, Roberts and winger Steve White all went close but failed to add to the score line.
Coach Andy Grayson was reasonably pleased with the win. “Scoring 36 and conceding none is excellent but we know that we left a lot of points out on that pitch and we looked rusty. We will need to step up our performance next week when we take on table topping Bradford on Avon here. The lack of competitive action recently has taken the edge off our play. We need to get training and make sure our support play is much improved.”
The win keeps Minety in 4th place in Division 1 behind Bradford on Avon, Combe Down and Avonvale.