Both Minety teams are at home this weekend, Saturday 18th February with Andrew Hibbard’s 1st XV entertaining Devizes II whilst Matt Stone’s 2nd XV host Melksham III.
Buoyed by two successive away wins, both featuring excellent defensive qualities, the 1st XV will be looking to bridge the gap between their 6th place and Bradford on Avon, who sit 6 points and one place above them in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North. Minety are actually only 8 points behind 3rd placed Pewsey Vale, who they play on the last match day of the season.
Andrew Hibbard’s team will be looking for a bonus point win on Saturday when they face up to bottom club Devizes II. Unfortunately for them, Devizes have lost all 15 of their matches this season and sit at the foot of the table with a -3 points tally, accounted for by their being penalised for not being able to fulfill fixtures, such as they conceded match against Bradford on Avon last weekend. Prior to that they had lost 36-7 at Melksham and 5-80 at home to 2nd placed Warminster.
“We’ve upped our game since the loss against Bradford,” said Hibbard, “but long term injuries are mounting and it is increasingly difficult to put out a full team. I’d like to put on record my thanks to Matt Stone and his 2nd XV squad for filling many of our gaps, often at the last moment, and for sacrificing some of their games to help us out. Their commitment has been exemplary and shows the spirit that exists in the club.”
The 2nd XV face Melksham III at Minety Fields on Saturday. Sitting in 8th place, the 2nds have not won a match since 26th November when they traveled to Melksham and recorded a 50-10 bonus point winning victory. With a squad ravaged by injuries and last minute call ups to the first XV, Matt Stone and his team have found life difficult but will view this as a fixture that they can win.
Melksham III are in 11th place with just two wins to their credit this season. They recorded a morale boosting win at Swindon in early January but since then have conceded one match and lost the other two.
Reports on both matches will appear on this site on Sunday.