Saturday 5 December 2009
Southern Counties South
Lost in the first 15 minutes
Ivel Barbarians 1st XV 36 pts – Minety 1st XV 27 pts
A determined fight back and four excellent tries were not enough to save Minety’s bacon in a game that they effectively lost in the opening quarter of an hour.
Maybe it was the long journey down to Yeovil, maybe it was the dreadful weather, but Minety took a full 15 minutes to get themselves organised at the start of this game. During that time, their hosts ran in four tries. The first came from a turnover almost on their own line. One moment, Minety seemed poised to score, the next the ball was being tossed out to the Barbarians’ Rusiate Vuetanatotoka, who sprinted the length of the pitch to score at the other end.
A try by Joe Stelmaszyk, another by Vuetanatotoka and one Mike Ellis followed in short succession and three conversions out of four attempts meant that the home team were soon 26-nil ahead.
Acutely short of manpower, Minety had travelled with only one substitute, former coach Andy Ward, who had actually travelled to the game to watch his son Jack play at flyhalf. When skipper Dave Church tore his knee ligaments in a tackle after seven minutes and was forced to leave the field, Ward was drafted in as an emergency lock. In the event, he gave a terrific performance, playing above and beyond the call of duty for the remaining 73 minutes.
When Minety finally got their act together, the game looked very different. The visiting pack began to dominate and their backs to look good with the ball in hand. A fine try from winger Will Howse, a penalty goal and a converted try from Jack Ward brought the score back to a more respectable 26-15 at half-time.
The second half opened with a try from Ivel Barbarians winger Troy Fowler, but a try from Minety centre Max Sparrow and another from Howse brought the visitors to within four points of their hosts. The game seemed poised to go either way, but a late try by Stelmaszyk finally sealed it for the home team, leaving Minety to rue their poor defence and disorganised start.
This Saturday, Minety play hosts to Sherborne.
There are photos and videos (though only of the home team’s tries!), plus a match report on the Ivel Barbarians website.