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Minety left to rue missed chances

Warminster 10 - Minety 0

Huge domination of territory and possession usually ends with a comprehensive win, but that was not the case for Minety at Warminster on Saturday. Two tries on either side of the half time whistle secured the points for hitherto unbeaten Warminster and condemned Minety to their second loss of the season.

The village team started the match strongly with both lineout and scrum working well but Warminster’s fast defensive line speed kept the village team at bay. In blustery conditions and with the wind predominantly at their backs, it took nearly 10 minutes for the home wide to gain any sort of possession in Minety’s half. Strong tackling in midfield from fly half Kieran James and prop Colin French pushed the home side back.

Minety should have opened the scoring on 22nd minutes but a penalty 22 metres out was run, unsuccessfully, when a kick would have been a more pragmatic and productive outcome.

Hard running back Luke Radcliffe was always a threat but Minety lost centre Del Murray to a head injury soon after, prop Andy Darrell replacing him as coach Andrew Irvine was forced to make major structural changes.

A chance wide on the left went begging when the ball broke free as flanker Kieran Tillotson and captain Andrew Hibbard both went close and Hibbard was held up over the line shortly after.

Warminster’s first real threat came after 25 minutes from a free-flowing backs’ move but the ball was spilled in a tackle. Full back Chris Rule was resolute in defence, bringing off a try saving tackle in the 30th minute as the home side stepped up the pressure. James and prop Mark Glew were called upon to hold up a Warminster attack over the line but missed tackles left Warminster’s scrum half through for their first try in the 1st minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half. There was still time for Minety to mount another attack but the bounce of the ball was unkind and the chance lost.

The second half started disastrously for Minety. Trying to run the ball out of their own 22 from the kick off, the ball was lost and after a number of attacks held up near the line, the ball found its way out left for the Warminster full back to touch down for their second try.

As Minety sought a score they were caught out by swift counter attacks and Garin Garland and the defensive line were called on to make some telling tackles.

Radcliffe’s break after 60 minutes was halted by a last-ditch tackle and from the ensuing plays Garland and French were halted inches from the line.

A fine backs’ move involving James, Ben Langridge, Glew and Dave Cooke saw the winger break deep into the Warminster half but the defence held steady and the attack broke down.

As the match entered the last 10 minutes Darrall was thwarted close to the line after a break from midfield and Matt Stone and Matt Chisholm both went close.

Even when Warminster were reduced to 13 men with two sent to the sin bin for high tackles, Minety could not break through and the match ended with Warminster taking the points to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and coach Irvine scratching his head, wondering how to fire Minety’s attack.

Team: Colin French, Jay Thompson, Mark Glew, Matt Stone, Ben Scott, Matt Chisholm, Kieran Tillotson, Andrew Hibbard, Garin Garland, Kieran James, Dave Cooke, Rob Hinwood, Del Murray, Luke Radcliffe and Chris Rule. Replacements: Andy Darrall and Ben Langridge.


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