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Minety 1st XV v Trowbridge 2nd XV

Saturday 1 March 2014

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North


Minety 1st XV 24pts – Trowbridge 2nd XV 12pts

Minety put in a barnstorming second half performance to turn a 12 point deficit into an emphatic 24-12 win over top of the table rivals Trowbridge seconds.

Weeks of rain on the Minety clay had produced a slippery playing surface but with a superior lineout and scrum and excellent driving play, Trowbridge dominated much of the first half.

Attacking down the hill, they put together a string of mauls that forced their hosts back into their own 22 and set up a try after 10 minutes as their ball carrier broke from the melee to power over the line from two metres out.

A penalty kick to touch on the half hour mark set up Trowbridge’s next score, as their pack secured clean lineout ball and drove it confidently over the try line. A good kick secured the extras and Minety were 12 points down.

When swift passing and good pace put Minety flyhalf Jack Ward across the line just before the end of the half, things seemed to be looking up for the hosts, but he stumbled in the mud and a dropped the ball left the scoreboard untroubled.

The second half was a different story. If Minety have often played better, they have rarely played with greater passion and purpose.

Under pressure, the visitors’ discipline began to falter and when their number 16 felled an opponent off the ball but right in front of the referee, he was promptly yellow carded. Taking a quick tapped penalty, Minety darted right, were blocked, and then moved the ball left down the threequarter line. Inside centre Dave Church piled over for the try and Minety were finally under way.

Further forays kept the visitors on the back foot but a magnificent try by Tom Windle, who bundled through four attempted tackles on his way to the line, gave Ward a conversion attempt to level the score. He kicked the goal and, mid-way through the half, the teams were level pegging.

A kick and chase nearly resulted in another Minety try but the ball went dead. Kicking to the other end of the field, Trowbridge attempted another catch and drive for the line but conceded a penalty to their hosts instead.

When Minety’s Ashley Windle was forced to retire with a knee injury, his place taken by the experienced Max Smith.

Offered the narrowest of blind sides, scrumhalf Max Sparrow caught his opponents off guard by squeezing between the remnants of a maul and the touchline before sprinting 60 metres down the touch line for a try in the corner.

Disappointed by the score, one of the Trowbridge props decided to put Ward in a headlock, a move which prompted the referee to yellow card Ward in a decision which baffled many spectators.

Another unstoppable run from Tom Windle secured the fourth, bonus point, try and Tom Fitzcharles’ successful conversion brought Minety’s tally to 24 points.

Minety coach Huw Jones was quick to commend his players: “That was a superb performance. Having been 12 points down at the break, we kept them under pressure for the whole of the second half to secure a four try bonus point win.”


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