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Minety 1st XV v Chippenham 2nd XV

Saturday 25 February 2012

Pace tells in the end

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety 1st XV 13pts – Chippenham 2nd XV 30pts

A good performance from Minety saw them get within two points of Chippenham mid-way through the second half. But the league leaders showed why they’re top of the table as they pulled clear with three late tries.

Playing down the slope, the visitors dominated the early exchanges. After 20 minutes they were already 15 points clear thanks to a try, a penalty goal, and a converted try.

This last score came when a Chippenham player sprinted onto ruck ball at pace and burst through several tackles to score from 15 metres out.

After that, Minety succeeded in turning off the tap with some fine tackling and a solid 15-man game of their own. Although quick up in defence, Chippenham’s discipline let them down at times, and Minety gradually began to make inroads. A penalty goal from Minety skipper Jack Ward made it 3-15 at the break.

Injuries to players on both sides initially slowed up the second half, but as the game regathered momentum, Minety began to dominate. Coming down the slope, they exerted steady pressure while the visitors’ indiscipline and back-chat continued to give away penalties. Ward kicked another goal, typically swashbuckling breaks by centre Luke Radcliffe and prop Martin Coe took play deep into the visitors’ 22, and flanker Ashley Windle crossed the line, though an unsighted referee was unable to award a try.

When Chippenham attempted to kick out of defence, lock Matt Hooper ran the ball back at them, setting up a try for Ward to finish off from short range before adding the conversion.

At 13-15, it looked anybody’s game. Chippenham had another gear, however. Scoring in the corner straight from the restart, they increased their lead and then added two further tries for good measure.

The hosts made life difficult for themselves by attempting to run ball from their own 22 instead of hoofing it into touch. The key differences, though, were Chippenham’s speed, the quality of their support play, and a great individual performance by lock John Beacham, who landed three of his side’s five tries.


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