Southern Counties South
Tackling returns to Minety
Minety 1st XV 3pts – Frome 1st XV 35pts
A much improved Minety put in the hard tackles to restrict Frome to a five-point lead in the first half. As time went on, Frome’s superior size and fitness began to tell and the visitors piled on late points.
Frome arrived with some big men, including a huge number 8 and towering winger Jake Babb. Under pressure from the start, Minety looked more determined and better organised than in previous weeks and defended stoutly. Despite giving away too many penalties in the early stages, they held out resolutely for 25 minutes until centre Max Sparrow was yellow carded for tackling an opponent off the ball and Frome kicked a goal from the resulting penalty.
But not everything went Frome’s way. Rattled when Minety came up quickly in defence, their threequarters repeatedly spilled the ball and were often penalised for forward passes at critical moments.
Despite the disparity in size, the home forwards scrummaged to good effect and consistently made ground when they formed a driving maul. Minety fullback Andy Taylor was in fine form too. Although he missed his first penalty goal attempt and was brought down after an impressive attacking run, he finally got on the scoreboard on the stroke of half-time with a long range goal kick after Frome were penalised for deliberately knocking on.
The visitors turned up the pressure, running their big men at their opponents and though Minety continued to put in some great hits, cracks started to appear in their defence. Babb crashed over twice more to complete his hat-trick and Frome added three more tries in the final stages of the game while the home team were temporarily down to 14 men following Tim Vaughan’s yellow carding.
Minety still have a lot of work to do to sharpen their attacking play, but can draw encouragement from the way they closed down such powerful opponents. Given the amount of possession they enjoyed, Frome knew they should have scored more points.
After the match, Minety coach Huw Jones was positive about his team’s commitment. “That was a fantastic effort. We stuck at it for the full 80 minutes and if this improvement continues, we will turn our season round.”
This Saturday, Minety play away against Aylesbury in the first round of the Southern Counties Intermediate Cup.