Minety got their season off to the perfect start with a fine, hard fought 29 – 24 win at Trowbridge on Saturday.
In a match played in sweltering conditions, Minety’s new look team struck first with two tries inside the first 10 minutes from Tom Claxton and Sam Hughes. As the match settled down it was clear that whilst Minety were comfortable with the ball in close they were vulnerable whenever Trowbridge’s backs started to pass the ball out wide.
Three tries for the home side in the space of 14 minutes just before half time turned the match on its head and saw Trowbridge lead 19 – 12.
At half time coach James Irving brought on Morgan Aubrey for Matt Stone and made some tactical changes in the backs.
The opening exchanges in the second half saw Trowbridge press Minety back but the pressure was broken when captain Andrew Hibbard crossed for Minety’s third try in the 52nd minute. When fly half Sam Hughes was injured soon after Chris Rule took his place in a rearranged back line and it was the replacement who scored Minety’s fourth, bonus point winning try in the 55th minute. When centre Luke Radcliffe, making his first league appearance for some years, crashed through the home defence for Minety’s fifth try and a 29 -19 lead in the 65th minute the match looked to be over as both sides suffered in the unseasonably fine weather.
A Trowbridge try in the 74th minute gave the hosts a chance of a victory and it was only two superb try saving tackles from full back Duncan Simpson that insured a Minety win and maximum league points.
Minety II’s game was conceded by Melksham late on Friday night.
Minety 1st XV team: Colin French, Tom Claxton, Mark Glew, Matt Stone, Ben Scott, Jay Thompson, Kieran Tillotson, Garin Garland, Sam Hughes, Ben Langridge, Luke Radcliffe, Kieran James, Rob Hinwood and Duncan Simpson. Replacements: Morgan Aubrey, Chris Rule and Matt Chisholm.
Scorers: Tries Tom Claxton, Sam Hughes, Andrew Hibbard, Chris Rule and Luke Radcliffe. Conversions Garin Garland (2).