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Minety 1st XV v Pewsey Vale 1st XV

Saturday 24 September 2011

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety take charge

Minety 1st XV 29pts – Pewsey Vale 1st XV 3pts

Forced to draw deeply on their reserve of players, a much-changed Minety still proved too much for Pewsey Vale.

With several players declaring themselves unavailable, Minety were forced to recall former skipper Luke Huckin at flanker and veteran Will Howse at scrumhalf. Both had excellent games, as did second team winger Luke Radcliffe, who looked perfectly at home playing first team rugby.

Pewsey were first on the board, but their early penalty goal proved to be their only points. Settling into their game, Minety began to dominate and when they won ball in their opponents’ half, it was shipped smartly down the threequarter line. Radcliffe burst through his marker’s half tackle and stepped past the fullback to score in the corner.

A catch-and-drive from an attacking lineout took the Minety pack over the try line but the ball was held up and no try awarded. From the ensuing five metre scrum, the ball was whisked out to centre Robin Greenway, who battered his way to the posts. Pinned to the upright by the defence, he still managed to stretch out and dab the ball down for a try, giving Radcliffe an easy conversion.

The visitors pushed hard from the restart and a breakaway down the left flank seemed certain to end in a try. A wild final pass spoiled the effort, though, allowing Minety to gather loose ball and counter. Running from their own 22, they passed slickly among themselves until Will Dyer took the ball on half-way and sped off for a try to make it 17-3 at the break.

Minety spent all but a few minutes of the second half in their opponents’ territory, pressing hard and efficiently wrapping up their visitors’ attempts at breaking their stranglehold on the game. Retaining ball through successive phases, they pressed Pewsey back on their line until prop Matt Hooper finished the job by crashing over for a try from short range.

The conversion was good, but Minety saved the best till last. Stealing ball against the head, they put their back line through their paces until a last-ditch tackle from Pewsey seemed to have prevented the score. The ball flew loose, but Dale Langdown was up in close support, snatching it out of the air and grounding it for the try.


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