Minety 1st XV v Fairford 1st XV
Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Coe pilots Minety home
Minety 1st XV 13pts – Fairford 1st XV 13pts
Aided by two tries from winger Martin Coe, Minety staged a late comeback to snatch a draw from a match they looked destined to lose.
Fairford started with the slope and a strong wind to their advantage. For all that, Minety began well, pounding the visitors’ line for 20 minutes, but without result. Skipper Jack Ward was held up across the line and an attempted penalty goal drifted away in the wind. Worse for Minety, Fairford repeatedly drove them back in the scrums.
Once the visitors had cleared their lines, they lost no time in exerting pressure of their own. Forcing their hosts back at a five metre scrum, they heeled to number 8 Chris Tanner, who picked up and drove over for a try.
With the wind behind them, Minety expected to get back on terms in the second half. Instead, Fairford winger Michael Wrona pounced on loose ball, hoofed it upfield and outpaced the defence to touch down in the corner and extend his team’s lead to 13 points.
Outplayed in the set piece, the Minety pack exerted themselves to compete in the loose and began to scavenge more and more possession. As the half went on, Minety also got the hang of using the wind to put the ball behind Fairford’s defence.
The visitors began to show the strain. They had a player yellow carded for a late tackle and, from the resulting penalty, Minety flyhalf Tom Fitzcharles kicked a goal.
With time running out, Minety got back into the attack and when the Fairford number 7 was yellow carded for handling on the floor, Minety took a quick tap and again moved it wide to Coe. His try levelled the score. A conversion would have stolen a win, but the kick fell short and the game ended in a draw.