Minety’s remarkable cup run was ended in the Regional Semi final played at Supermarine’s ground on Saturday. The Dorset and Wilts Vase Champions were unlucky to go down to Gosford All Blacks, the champions of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire by 10 points to 5 in a match dominated by a series of controversial decisions.
After soaking up early Gosford pressure, Minety began to exert their dominance, running the ball through the backs with inside centre Matt Roberts proving a real handful for the Gosford defence. Against the run of play, the visitors took the lead after a penalty at the scrum gave them a kick in front of the posts.
Minety struck back but the Gosford kicking game always ensured that the Wiltshire team had to mount attacks from inside their own half. Minety’s frustrations grew when an off the ball tackle on winger David Cooke, a late tackle on fly half Tom McAllister and a deliberate trip on Ben Langridge all went relatively unpunished.
When flanker Jack Ward was tackled without the ball in a clear try scoring opportunity Minety were denied the chance to go ahead but on 57 minutes a rare attacking move from Gosford saw a penalty try awarded after a tackle within feet of the touchline was deemed dangerous.
10 – 0 down and playing into driving rain and a very stiff breeze, Minety regained their composure and their efforts were rewarded when Matt Roberts ran in a try in the dying moments.
Afterwards Coach Andy Ward remained positive. “The scrum was strong and some of our passing was excellent. We enjoyed the majority of the possession and territory throughout and maintained our discipline. Of course, the lads are disappointed but we must give credit to our opponents; they defended well and employed a very effective kicking game.”
Minety captain Andrew Hibbard was also upbeat. “It was a gutsy performance in dreadful conditions. We worked hard and were on the wrong end of some harsh decisions. We had tremendous support from the touchlines and we must thank Supermarine for allowing us to use their pitch whilst ours are still flooded.”
It’s back to league action next week for Minety when they hope to entertain Swindon, subject to a pitch inspection at MInety Fields.
Man of the Match: Matt Roberts
Date: Saturday 9th January 2016. Kick off 2pm
Venue: Supermarine Rugby Club, Swindon
Weather conditions: Driving rain and stiff breeze. Very heavy underfoot. Surface water present on some parts of the pitch
Competition: Regional Cup Semi Final