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Minety 1st XV v Tadley 1st XV

Saturday 17 April 2010

Southern Counties South

Tadley pass Minety

Minety 1st XV 24 pts – Tadley 1st XV 38 pts

Minety and Tadley finished the league season with a gleaming display of running rugby. The home side had their moments but the visitors’ handling and support play were a cut above.

After Minety missed an early penalty attempt, Tadley took over for the next half hour. Twenty minutes in, they created a gap and then slipped the ball out of the tackle to a man running through on the burst. Over he went for the try and a solidly struck conversion made it seven points to the visitors.

Ten minutes later, Tadley were at it again, sending their players looping around the ball carrier to provide support. Eventually Minety ran out of tacklers and their opponents outflanked the defence to score.

Another conversion was followed by a penalty goal, and Tadley had a 17-point lead.

When Minety flyhalf Jack Ward fielded a high clearance kick from Tadley, however, he flipped it to inside centre Max Sparrow, who weaved his way through a broken defence and then pinned his ears back for a dash to the line. Caught by two defenders, he had the strength to bundle over for a try under the posts, Ward’s goal kick making it 7-17 at half-time.

Minety started the second half in the same vein, stealing possession and feeding it to Ward. A half break and a well-timed pass to Sparrow set him away for another try.

A goal from Ward was followed by further pressure and when the ball spilled loose, Sparrow was first to pounce. Tadley scrambled their defence, but not before he’d popped the ball to prop Wes Clamp, who drove over for a try to give Minety a two-point lead.

Tadley’s immediate response was to get their threequarters running again. They generated an overlap and quick hands and great support were enough to baffle the defence, score the try and regain the lead.

Tadley slotted their conversion, but Minety missed with a penalty goal attempt that would have closed the gap.

Twice more, Tadley wove their way through for a try, and twice more they kicked the goals that gave them the extra points.

Refusing to give in, the home side fought back as best they could. A break by flanker Max Smith took him most of the way to the line and winger Andy Troughton was on hand to finish the move with a try.

Many thanks to Andrew “Nocky” Cook for these photographs.


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