Minety overcame their Dorset and Wilts Division 1 rivals Wootton Bassett II to go second in the table in a game played in the most appalling of conditions. With a gale blowing across the pitch and driving rain making the ball slippery and the surface treacherous, Minety opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when Harry Neale scored his first try of the league season, crashing over after a fine forwards’ move. The lead was extended when Jack Ward slotted the first of two long range penalties after 10 minutes.
Ward’s kicking game and some excellent work in the loose by the forwards kept the game even until, in the move of the match, a backs’ move involving centre Matt Roberts and Ward brought play to the Bassett 22 metre line. A second phase move featuring scum half Max Sparrow and Ward lead to centre Dave Church breaking the defensive line to score Minety’s second try.
As the players struggled with the conditions, Minety pressed forward knowing they would need a good half time lead to defend playing uphill and into the wind in the second half. A succession of penalties followed before Bassett scored their first try in the 25th minute. Ward’s second long range penalty before half time extended the home team’s lead.
In a second half, played in even worse conditions, Minety repelled wave after wave of Bassett attacks until the visitors notched their second try. The conversion brought the scores to 16-12. Despite having to settle for little quality ball and being forced into some desperate defensive work, the home side battled through for a win that takes them to 2nd place in the league table.
After the game Coach Andy Ward commented, “I thought we played most of the rugby in the first half but some basic handling errors meant we didn’t have a comfortable lead at half time. In a tough second half, the boys never gave up, defended hard and came through for a good win in terrible conditions. All credit must go to Bassett for putting in a fine display.
Captain Wallace Hibberd said, “We attacked hard in the first half but were never comfortable in difficult conditions. Playing up the slope into a gale, with the rain driving into our faces, we were really tested in the 2nd half by a well organised and competitive Bassett team, but our defensive work and all round performance was excellent.”
Man of the Match: Steve Brown
Date: Saturday 14th November 2015. Kick off 2.30pm
Venue: MInety Rugby Club.
Weather conditions: Driving rain and gale force winds. Very heavy underfoot.
Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North
Man of the match, Steve Brown, at the lineout
Centre Matt Roberts bursts through
Coach Ward inspires his team!
“Who let the dogs out?”