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Minety 2nd XV v Melksham 2nd XV

Saturday 27 March 2010

Dorset & Wilts Division 2 North

Sparkling endeavour

Minety 2nd XV 48 pts – Melksham 2nd XV 15 pts

With a strong pack, bags of pace in the threequarters and plenty of replacements on the bench, Minety seconds were on top throughout this entertaining game. Melksham played their part, though, refusing to give in and running the ball whenever they had the chance.

Flyhalf Andy Edwards kicked an early penalty goal to get things started for Minety. It was his clearance kick which set up the first try too. Playing with the slope and stiff breeze at his back, he put up a high ball which failed to find touch but instead found outside centre Luke Radcliffe. Plucking the ball out of the air from between two opponents, he scooted down the hill for a try under the posts.

Edwards’ successful goal kick made it 10-nil to Minety but at this point the game changed irreversibly. Melksham, who had travelled with no replacements, were reduced to 14 men by a serious leg injury to one of their players and thereby lost all serious hopes of winning the game.

Minety resumed as before, with Radcliffe once again fielding a long kick ahead and running from half way to score under the posts.

Sensible kicking and good work by the Minety pack set up a period of sustained pressure that culminated in hooker Brendon Rice bursting onto the ball on an angled run that took him through the defence and over the line for a try.

Being a man short and 24 points down were not enough to discourage Melksham, however. Defying the odds and the slope, they showed great hands as they kept the ball alive, passing out of the tackle to set up Stuart Moore for a try on the left flank.

Edwards sold a glorious dummy before scoring Minety’s next try, but Charlie Gawthropp opted for a more direct route, powering over for a try from 10 metres out following an attacking lineout.

The sides turned round with Minety already ahead 34 points to five, but Melksham were first to score in the second half. Passing and recycling the ball, they kept things moving until they could work an overlap, at which point Paul Simmons lost no time in dashing through for a try.

The home team’s forward dominance penned the visitors back into their own 22, and with Minety winning ball against the head in the tight and mauling with ominous effectiveness in the loose, it was only a matter of time before they barged their way to the line. In the event, the final pass from a pile-up on the try line went to lock Sean Richards, who had only to fall his own length to score the try.

Scott Cameron scored a third try for Melksham when Minety failed to gather a clearance kick, but the last word belonged to Radcliffe. He completed his hat-trick for Minety with an uphill sprint from half-way for a try under the posts, Edwards’ successful goal kick making it 48-15 at the death.

This Saturday, Minety seconds play away against the Combe Down 2nd XV.


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