Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Minety 1st XV 10pts – Bradford-on-Avon 1st XV 5pts
Defying mud and bitter cold, Minety put in a gutsy 15-man performance to overcome old rivals Bradford-on-Avon.
Bradford had the advantage of the slope in the first half but slippery playing conditions made keeping one’s footing difficult and catching a lottery. When Minety spilled ball in their own 22, the visitors were onto it, scooping it up and flicking it to fullback Joe Awdrey, who skated through a desperate defence for the opening try of the game.
It should not have been a day for scoring up the slope, either, but the home side ignored that and patiently worked their way, inch by muddy inch, up across the half-way line and into the visitors’ half. Awarded an attacking lineout, Minety executed a classic catch and drive, mauling hooker Wes Clamp over the line for a try which levelled the scores.
Playing downhill after the break, Minety swarmed all over their opponents, driving them back in the scrums and continuing to catch sweetly at the lineouts. Getting up any speed on the treacherous surface was another matter, however, and Bradford’s determined tackling ensured that, for a long while, the score stayed at 5-all.
Bradford never gave in and worked their muddy socks off to get back into the game, but their opponents held their line and kept their nerve and a single sally into the Minety half was the visitors’ only reward. The final whistle sounded with the home side back on the attack, camped on the Bradford try line and only a few slippery inches from a further score.