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Minety 1st XV v Marlborough 1st XV

Saturday 15 November 2014

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Makeshift Minety mauled by Marlborough

Marlborough 1st XV 80pts – Minety 1st XV 0pts

Minety destroyed by Marlborough

On a bright autumn afternoon Minety travelled to Marlborough to take on an in form home side. The visitors were only able to field a makeshift side and Marlborough’s rich vein of form continued as they ran in thirteen unanswered tries.

Minety’s problems began even before the referee got things underway.  Half the pack were unavailable and Minety started the game with both first choice centres in the forwards and No 8 Andrew Hibbard at loose head prop. Despite this and with over a quarter of the team having made fewer than five 1st team appearances the visitors got stuck in. Their commitment unquestionable as they played the last 40 minutes with 14 men.

Max Smith, standing in at No 8 and playing his last game for the club put in a superb performance to lead in a very in experienced

back row. Centres Luke Radcliff and Dale Langdown put in a huge shift in the pack. Adam Watts and Fred Howe were solid against the relentless Marlborough midfield attack. Robin Greenway once again performed miracles from full back with Simon Rowe lending more than a helping hand from wing. Up front Hibbard, Will North and Matt Park weathered the inevitable early storm from Marlborough’s front row to eventually gain parity – and take one against the head. Despite no need for his kicking prowess this week Ash Windle put in an enviable performance in the engine room. The half back pairing of Duncan Simpson and Elis Garland worked wonders with what little ball they had and when the injured Pete Hazel took the field he once again put everything on the line before hobbling off just after the break.

An early Marlborough penalty was followed by a try after 8 minutes. A continued and sustained reluctance to tackle low and resulted in a further four converted tries before the penny dropped for the visitors. With body angles adjusted the final 10 minutes of the first half was their most effective. They kept Marlborough out and applied some pressure of their own. In spite of this the hosts went into the break 36 – 0 ahead.

After the break Marlborough began to cut loose, scoring tries with alarming regularity. When the referee finally brought proceeding to a close the hosts had added a further 8 tries to their tally.  When the referee mercifully brought the game to a close Marlborough were 80 – 0 ahead.

Despite the scoreline both sides played to the best of their abilities. But gulf in technical skills, organisation and physical conditioning was the difference.  With both clubs on very different trajectories, Marlborough coach Chris Budgen must be rubbing his hands glee at his player’s enthusiasm to pull on the Marlborough 1st XV jersey. At the other end of the spectrum Minety coach Huw Jones is left scratching his head.


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