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Minety 1st XV v Swindon 2nd XV

17 December 2011

Christmas cracker

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety 1st XV 30pts – Swindon 2nd XV 8pts

Minety put together their best performance of the season so far to comprehensively beat Swindon seconds.

Minety have been inconsistent of late, their rugby sometimes thrilling but at other times uncertain and disjointed. For the first half hour on Saturday, they looked as fragile as ever, starting briskly enough with a penalty goal at the second attempt but then fading away as the visitors got their act together and came at them down the slope.

Swindon levelled the score with a penalty and then notched up a try, running at pace and passing with a fluid confidence that their hosts seemed unable to match.

Kicking downhill and with the wind, the visitors dominated proceedings and would have scored again from a chip and chase but for a knock-on as the player crossed the line.

Then the game changed.

From the 22 drop-out, Minety battled their way up the hill, suddenly looking like a team. Rucking with co-ordinated conviction, they retained possession through successive phases and though the half ended with Swindon still 3-8 ahead, Minety began to look like the team on top.

The second half proved the point.

Recalled yet again to first team duties, veteran scrumhalf Andy Brown stole an interception on half way and galloped 50 metres for a try, defying the winger and fullback’s best efforts to halt his progress.

Then the home side won a scrum on the 10 metre line and whisked the ball out to the waiting threequarters. Stopping for no one, outside centre Luke Radcliffe weaved, dodged and sprinted his way over for a try out wide which lock Jack Ward promptly converted despite the difficult angle.

Further pressure and a penalty goal from Radcliffe made it 18-8.

Swindon did their best to get back into the game, but they knocked on more than they should. When they did mount an assault, they were consistently closed down by Minety’s determined tackling and well organised defence.

The hosts finished with two outstanding tries, the first scored by inside centre Dave Church, who shrugged off several would-be tacklers as he powered his way to the line.

Radcliffe added the conversion and when, late in the day, Swindon tried to kick for territory, Minety fullback Tom Fitzcharles fielded the ball and linked with his threequarters to launch a counter. Again, Church made the running, barging his way down the left touchline before releasing the ball to supporting flanker Josh Bull, who sped over for the score.


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