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Minety 1st XV v Sutton Benger 1st XV

Saturday 22 October 2011

Second-half comeback

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety 1st XV 34pts – Sutton Benger 1st XV 8pts

Minety came back strongly in the second half to outplay a tiring Sutton Benger.

Fielding a new combination of forwards and yet another selection of threequarters, Minety took a long time to settle. Sutton Benger capitalised on their opponents’ disorder, intercepting a loose pass and running the length of the field for a try when the game was barely three minutes old.

Drop-kicking a penalty goal after quarter of an hour, the visitors looked comfortably set, but instead Minety began to get into the game. For a while, they couldn’t quite pull it together, undermining promising positions by surrendering turn-overs and aimlessly kicking away possession, but a long spell in their opponents’ 22 signalled a new determination and promised better things to come.

Those things arrived when flanker Luke Huckin fielded loose ball in his own half and began an energetic counter for Minety. Flyhalf Ryan Dowling ran on to within 10 metres of the line before releasing the ball to 17 year old Academician Josh Bull, who sprinted over for a try to make it 5-8 at the interval.

Sutton Benger’s speed on the break threatened to pose problems after the restart but when one of their long clearance kicks failed to find touch, Minety seized the opportunity. Setting off on an angled run, scrumhalf Tom Fitzcharles outpaced all comers on his way to the try that gave his side the lead.

Dowling kicked the conversion and shortly afterwards slotted a penalty to make it 15-8. After that, it was all Minety. The forwards ran in relays, with Matt Hooper putting in outstanding work and Max Smith looking lively with the ball in hand. Elsewhere, winger Ellis Garland, Minety’s other 17 year old Academy player, was calm under the high ball and a constant threat in attack.

Reliving his glory days as a wing-threequarter, prop Martin Coe galloped a full 60 metres to score a try in the corner.

When excellent support play and some deft passing put the ball in Dowling’s hands, he rounded the defence and then cut back inside for a try by the posts and an easy conversion.

Sound tactical kicking and some great chasing kept the visitors on the rack. The home side swarmed forward until Bull could finish the job with his second try of the afternoon. A sweetly struck goal from Dowling made it 34-8 to Minety at the death.


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