Dorset & Wilts Division 1
Minety 1st XV 5pts – Melksham 1st XV 5pts
Minety got their league campaign under way with a hard-fought draw against well matched opponents.
Minety enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half but early season errors saw them squander scoring opportunities, including a very kickable penalty.
Melksham also took a while to get into their stride but after half an hour, everything finally clicked. Gathering cleanly at a lineout deep in their opponents’ half, the forwards got their heads down and drove over for the opening try of the game.
For the first hour, the host’s attacking game failed to match the quality of their defence and Melksham easily read their well telegraphed moves. Sticking to the task, however, Minety continued to press and looked more dangerous as the second half went on.
Their reward came just as Melksham seemed to have broken their stranglehold and launched an attack of their own. Gathering ball in his own 22, Minety’s Dale Langdown hoofed it back over the heads of his opponents and initiated a spirited kick and chase back down the pitch. Following up en masse and at pace, Minety’s runners eagerly harassed Melksham’s desperate defence and when the last defender failed to secure the ball, Luke Radcliffe was on hand to snap it up and pile over the line for the equaliser.
His conversion attempt fell short, and the game ended as a draw despite a strong and determined finish by the hosts.