Minety bag a bonus point win
Minety got their season back on track on Saturday with a hard fought bonus point winning victory over Calne. After a disappointing run of results, largely down to a crippling injury list, the villagers scored four tries and ran out comfortable winners after a lack lustre performance in the 1st half.
Minety were on the back foot before the match started when last week’s Man of the Match, Morgan Aubrey, injured his back in warm up and had to withdraw, Matt Chisholm being introduced from the 2nd XV.
Calne started the match playing down the slope and the new half back combination of Sam Hughes and Jack Howse were forced to kick to clear Minety’s lines as Calne’s big forwards powered their way down field.
Minety’s pack found themselves being pushed back at set pieces in the early stages and that prevented captain Andrew Hibbard from having the time and space to set up attacks and the backs, unaccustomed to playing in their new positions, often missed opportunities to make inroads into the Calne defence.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a well worked try after a period of sustained pressure on the Minety line. A clever switchback pass allowed the Number 8 to power through the Minety defence for a try near the posts. The conversion was kicked and Calne led by 7 – 0. The visitors kept up the pressure and only some strong defensive tackling from props Colin French and Andy Darrell and hooker Mark Glew kept them out. A fine double tackle from Hughes and full back Ben Langridge brought another Calne attack to an end with the Minety line in sight as the home side struggled to organise their attacking play.
Calne increased their lead in the 29th minute with a penalty after a Minety player was penalised for holding on to the ball in a ruck.
As the half neared its end Minety started to play the kind of rugby that had served them so well early in the season. Hughes was foiled by a tap tackle when apparently clean through but the ball broke to centre Chris Rule who took the ball forward before it was moved out wide to winger Ben Langridge who touched down in the corner in first half stoppage time. Hughes’ monster conversion from the touchline brought the score to 7-10 as the half time whistle went.
Ben Langridge scores Minety’s 1st try
Minety took the lead for the first time in the 48th minute after Howse had battered his way down the middle. The ball was fed back to Hughes to beat three defenders before popping the ball to winger Dave Cooke who cut back and scored Minety’s second try. The conversion sailed wide but Minety were now 12-10 up.
Dave Cooke cuts back to beat the defence and score try number 2
Hughes kicked a penalty to extend the lead shortly after a brilliant solo effort from Glew was halted on the Calne 22.
Calne struck back with a penalty of their own on the hour after Minety were caught off side at a ruck.
As the match entered its final quarter Minety went for the win and the four try bonus point. Hibbard was held up on the line as the Minety pack found their form and drove Calne back but from the ensuing scrum the elusive Hughes spotted a gap in the Calne defence and dived through to score Minety’s third try and he then extended the home side’s advantage to 9 points with the conversion.
Sam Hughes picks up and drives through for Minety’s 3rd try
It looked as if Minety’s quest for the bonus point 4th try would be thwarted by a determined Calne defence until Howse burst through in stoppage time. In the move of the match he managed to off load as he was tackled and Rule, following up, collected the ball, beat the final defender and ran in to score in what was to be the last play of the match. The conversion was missed but Minety had ended their losing streak with a solid win.
Chris Rule scores the bonus point winning 4th try
Coach Andy Grayson was pleased with the second half performance. “We struggled in the first half and made life difficult for ourselves. The scrum wasn’t working as well as usual and too many moves were breaking down at crucial times.
“Ben Langridge’s try at the end of the half was vital; it gave us the impetus to take the game to Calne and use the speed that this team thrives upon. Dave Cooke’s second try and a solid all round performance earned him my man of the match award and the final two tries from Sam Hughes and the marvellous final try from Chris Rule bought us the bonus point win I felt we deserved.”