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Minety 1st XV v Pewsey Vale 1st XV

Saturday 8 January 2011

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety’s New Year “nearly”

Minety 1st XV 24 pts – Pewsey Vale 1st XV 29 pts

Pewsey Vale came from behind with a late try to steal victory from Minety in a closely fought encounter.

After several weeks’ layoff, both sides looked a little rusty but Pewsey Vale’s passing and support play were better than Minety’s. For their part, the home team looked more composed than in their last few games, but were repeatedly let down by poor tackling and some bad decision making. Frustratingly, they also lost three more players to injury during the game. Robin Greenway left the field with a groin strain, Ben Parfitt dislocated his shoulder and Ben Scott needed attention after he was knocked out.

Martin Coe scored for Minety in the first half, and Robin Greenway looked to be about to follow suit when he was brought down by a neck-high illegal tackle for which his side were awarded a penalty try. Fullback Andy Edwards kicked the conversion but two tries from Pewsey’s outside centre John Williams, and a conversion and penalty goal from James Haynes, were enough to make the score 12-15 and give the visitors a narrow lead at the break.

Playing down the hill, Minety took the lead early in the second half thanks to a storming try from lock Matt Hooper.

For a long while after that, Pewsey hogged possession, and though their hosts on occasion tried to clear their lines with long kicks downfield, the visitors kept on running the ball back. Passing well despite the chilly conditions, Pewsey worked a gap and Haynes burst through for a try just to the left of the posts, regaining the lead for his side and then extending it with a well struck conversion.

Minety responded strongly but, despite camping for a long time in Pewsey’s 22, they struggled to convert field position into points. Grinding closer to the line, they eventually managed to retain the ball through a series of phases to set up a position from which scrumhalf Andy Brown could break the deadlock  with a snap try from a couple of metres out.

That tied the game, but Edwards’ confident conversion gave the hosts a narrow two-point lead. With the clock ticking down, Minety seemed to have done enough, but Pewsey stuck to what they were best at, running and passing the ball. Beating a series of soft tackles, Williams scampered over for his third try of the game before Haynes capped the victory with a final conversion.

Minety had to be content with two bonus points, one for scoring four tries and another for losing by seven points or fewer. Next Saturday, they play away against Fairford.


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