Try scorer, Ben Langridge
After a bright opening, which saw centre Tom Windle and winger Chris Rule held up metres from the Trowbridge line, Minety failed to sparkle on a cold and windswept day at Trowbridge, losing, against a team that they would have expected to have beaten, by 24-8.
Minety were on the scoreboard after just two minutes when scrum half Garin Garland stroked home a penalty.
A fumble from the re-start gifted possession back to Trowbridge who showed good pace on the centres and strength on the pack to push Minety back. They opened their account with a rare drop goal, the first seen in a Minety match this season.
As the game settled down, progress was limited by a combination of good cover tackling and ball handling errors. Minety’s work was often up the centre with wingers Rule and Langridge forced infield in search of the ball. Fine defensive work from full back Dale Langdown, making his first appearance of the season, halted a promising Trowbridge back move but much of the rest of the play was bitty and disjointed.
Minety’s set piece at both lineout and scrummage was secure but all too often possession was lost by the third or fourth phase of play and it need a combination of centre Tom Windle and full back Langdown to stop a fine counter attack by the homeside.
With the lineout giving quality possession, Minety pushed up field and only some desperate defensive work kept Rule and Windle out but, despite dominating territory and possession, Minety were unable to add to their score and allowed Trowbridge to play on the counter attack.
Minety ended the half on top but their only reward was a penalty from 30 metres out which drifted wide.
Trowbridge took the lead in the 43rd minute with a fine try. Having moved the ball across the field from left to right, their outside centre cut back and sliced through the Minety defence. The conversion took the score to 10-3.
At last Minety discovered some of the form that has troubled all of the top teams in the league this season. With Garland managing his forwards and centres Windle and Jack Howse driving in midfield, Trowbridge were pushed back into their 22 metre area. At last a move involving more than 5 phases paid off and winger Langridge crashed over for his second try of the season. The conversion drifted narrowly wide but the score was back to 10-8.
Minety’s chances of a win were dented in the 55th minute and extinguished just two minutes later. Missed tackles enabled Trowbridge to break free from their own line and then crucially more were missed in defence allowing the Trowbridge flanker to score. The conversion was successful.
As Minety pushed forward from the re-start, the ball was intercepted in midfield and Trowbridge’s centre ran in the deciding try from 50 metres.
The village team kept in the game thanks to try saving tackles from Langdown, Rule and fly half Adam Watts and mounted a series of attacks as the game entered the final minutes. In a move that summed up their game, the Minety forwards and backs combined to move the ball beautifully through several phases only for it to be nudged forward inches from the line.
The squad now has a two week break before returning to league action at home to Chippenham.
In the weekend’s other match, Minety 2nd XV went down 32-14 at Bradford on Avon.