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Minety 1st XV v Sutton Benger 1st XV

Saturday 29 January 2011

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety squander opportunities

Minety 1st XV 7 pts – Sutton Benger 1st XV 9 pts

Showing terrific grit and determination, Sutton Benger edged Minety out of this close encounter despite being reduced to 14 men for most of the match.

Benger had travelled with no replacements on the bench and when one of their props was forced to retire with a knee injury early in the game, they had to fight on with only 14 men. Facing downhill in the first half, they played sensibly for position and then capitalised on Minety’s mistakes by kicking two first-half penalty goals to establish a six-point lead by half-time.

The hosts for their part were slow to start but their pack gradually came to dominate the set pieces. Missing Coe, Dowling and Dixon from the previous week, though, the backs looked laboured and predictable, running laterally when they got the ball and passing without much confidence or thought. Minety’s lack of a tactical kicking game continually put them under pressure in their own half and made it difficult for them to establish a platform from which to attack.

Playing with the advantage of the slope in the second half, Minety soon went on the attack. Sutton Benger defended well, but the home side retained possession through several phases and eventually scrumhalf Andy Brown was able to wrestle the ball down on the line for a try.

Flyhalf Tom Fitzcharles’ neat goal kick gave Minety a narrow one-point lead but Sutton Benger came straight back up the hill from the restart and, when Minety again offended, kicked another penalty goal to regain the lead.

Minety had plenty of chances to score in the remainder of the game, but though Fitzcharles and centre Dale Langdown both had some good runs, they could make no headway against the visitors’ defence. Sutton Benger were very quick to the breakdown and rucked superbly. Their number 7 in particular had an excellent game and their combined efforts made them worthy winners in chillingly cold conditions.

This Saturday, Minety play a tough away fixture against Supermarine.


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