Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Marlborough flourish in Minety mud
Minety 1st XV 5pts – Combe Down 1st XV 32pts
Missing several experienced players, Minety put in a spirited performance in muddy conditions but couldn’t contain their stronger, fitter and faster opponents.
Marlborough made the perfect start with a try from Nick Clarke before the game was two minutes old.
Minety held solid for the next half hour, even crossing their opponents’ line, though they spilled the ball in the process. They needed to tackle lower, but their young players performed with great heart and no little skill, especially Academy flanker Rob Hinwood. Playing out of position on the left wing, he looked perfectly at home in the senior side and caught the high ball with aplomb despite the slippery conditions.
Morgan missed a difficult conversion, but a basketball-style overhead pass inside soon put Taniela Delaitamana away for Marlborough’s third try, and this time the kick was good.
Minety skipper Tom Fitzcharles missed an easy penalty goal late in the half but promptly made up for it with a skilfully executed try after Minety were awarded a scrum on the visitors’ 22.
The sides turned round with the score at 5-20, but Minety soon lost Ben Scott with a dislocated shoulder and were forced to draft in Lee Patterson from the second XV game on a nearby pitch.
Repeating the pattern of the first half, Marlborough scored early, this time from a simple move off the back of an attacking five metre scrum. Dave Lemon claimed the try and Morgan added the extras.
Minety played some of their best rugby in the final half hour. They kicked away too much attacking ball, but their forwards were dominant in the set scrums and several times came close to scoring.