Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Mud, mire & Minety
Minety 1st XV 17pts – Avonvale 1st XV 5pts
In appallingly muddy and slippery conditions, Minety saw off Avonvale but failed to secure a vital bonus point.
Avonvale played with only 14 players for the first 30 minutes until their stragglers arrived and brought them up to strength.
Playing up hill, Minety started brightly. Awarded an attacking five metre scrum, the pack put in a shove, the ball was slipped to flyhalf Duncan Simpson and he scuttled in for a try under the posts.
Inside centre Michael New slotted the conversion only to storm back a few minutes later to cap another scoring move. This started with Avonvale on the attack in Minety’s 22. Boldly opting to run out of defence, the home side caught their opponents on the hop. Piling on the pace, Minety streamed up slope and New finished the move with try in the corner, though he pulled a hamstring in the process and subsequently had to retire from the game.
Avonvale opted for short passes to big forwards standing off the fringes of rucks, a sound idea but poorly executed, with the runners often unsupported and standing too high in the tackle. Minety’s Matt Hooper and Gareth Peirce were wise to this and stopped successive runners in their tracks.
Minety for their part failed to make best use of the plentiful possession won by their hard working pack. Attempts to get the threequarters running foundered in the mud, creating lateral movement but little forward impetus.
A low kick down the hill in the second half proved more effective as three Avonvale defenders failed to secure the greasy ball. Lock Ashely Windle scooped it up and dived over from short range for Minety’s third try.
Bottom of the table Avonvale look certain to go down at the end of the season. With only seven wins and three games to go, Minety are just two places above them, their fate still hanging in the balance.