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Minety 1st XV v Avonvale 1st XV

Saturday 19 February 2011

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety do it right

Minety 1st XV 20 pts – Avonvale 1st XV 5 pts

Minety put in an outstanding 15-man performance to thwart Avonvale, accumulating points in the first half and astutely shutting down their opponents in the second.

Playing downhill, Minety struck early with two tries in the first 10 minutes.

The first came from a blindside move from a five metre scrum which put winger Jonty Messer away for a try in the right-hand corner.

The second followed a lineout, an area where Minety dominated. The home side secured clean ball and opted to move it down the threequarter line. Winger Ryan Dowling latched onto the final pass 20 metres out and powered through the remaining defence for a try by the left-hand corner flag.

Avonvale got into their stride after that, but although they gained territory for a while, they could find no way through their hosts’ resolute defence.

The half ended with Minety turning the screw once more. The visitors thought they had held the line when their opponents opted to use an attacking penalty to take a pot at goal. But the ball rebounded off the post, and when Avonvale booted it upfield, Dowling caught it and ran it straight back. Awarded another penalty, Minety this time opted to tap and go, lock Matt Hooper finishing the job by bulldozing his way to the line for a try.

Flyhalf Tom Fitzcharles’ successful conversion made it 17-nil at the break.

With the slope now in their favour, the visitors came back strongly in the second half but struggled to gain momentum in the slippery conditions. Number 8 David Hazell and wing-forwards Andrew Hibbard and Olivier Brassatt were all over them, with scrumhalf Andy Brown playing like an extra flanker and making life difficult for his opposite number all afternoon.

Centre Robin Greenway epitomised the Minety spirit, consistently making the hard yards with straight running in the middle of the field.

A short range penalty eventually gave Avonvale prop Dean Hulin the opportunity to burrow over for a try, but Minety came straight back from the restart and Martin Coe narrowly missed scoring after putting a foot in touch barely a metre short of the line.

Further attacking efforts by Avonvale foundered on Minety’s stonewall defence, and the game ended with Fitzcharles kicking a penalty goal for Minety after his team had defied the slope to spend the last five minutes in their opponents’ 22.


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