Minety 21 - Royal Wootton Bassett II 17
Minety welcomed hitherto unbeaten Royal Wootton Bassett to Minety Fields on Saturday in a Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North encounter on Saturday.
Playing up the slope, on a well grassed pitch, Minety held their illustrious visitors in the early stages of the match but had to rely upon some excellent defensive tackling from, amongst others, flanker Matt Chisholm, prop Mark Glew and scrum half Garin Garland to keep the visitors out.
Bassett opened the scoring in the 9th minute. A clearing kick fell short and Bassett’s backs ran the ball back into Minety’s 22m for their winger to score wide out on the right. A fine touchline conversion kick opened up a 7-0 lead for the visitors.
Minety tied the scores in the 16th minute. Centre Duncan Simpson broke through and was stopped close to the line. Bassett were penalised for not releasing and Garland took a quick tap penalty and dived over to score. The conversion was successful and the scores level at 7 points apiece.
After a period of territorial advantage, Minety were put on the back foot by some clever tactical kicking down the slope by Bassett., who regained the lead in the 32nd minute with a try from their Number 8 and another well kicked conversion.
Minety ended the half strongly and captain Andrew Hibbard was held up over the Bassett line in the 38th minute before a Garland penalty kick sailed narrowly wide.
Bassett, leading 14-7 at the break, looked the more likely to score at the start of the second half but Minety’s defense held resolute and Garland’s pressure relieving kicking held Bassett at bay.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the 64th minute after Minety were penalised for a high tackle 20 metres out in front of the posts.
The home side hit back almost immediately after the restart. A defensive kick only found Garland 30 metres out. Somehow the scrum half managed to evade all of the Bassett defence to touch down a superb solo effort under the posts. The conversion was successful and Minety were back within 3 points at 17-14.
The match winning points for Minety came in the last minute of normal time. A Bassett scrum was disrupted in their own 22m and Garland picked up the loose ball and raced for the line, passing to flanker Kieran Tillotson who drew the final defender before slipping the ball to Hibbard who raced in to score.
Garland kicked the conversion and Minety held out for a fine 21-17 win.
Squad: Colin French, Jay Thompson, Mark Glew, Ben Collins, Matt Stone, Matt Chisholm, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard, Garin Garland, Ben Langridge, Dave Cooke, Duncan Simpson, Luke Radcliffe, Del Murray, Chris Rule, Rob Hinwood, Tom Claxton and James Irvine.