A week after their heavy Vase semi final defeat, Minety 1st XV travelled to top of the table Melksham on Saturday and came within minutes of ending the home team’s unbeaten record this season.
With injury time being played at the end of a bruising encounter, Melksham kicked the penalty that won them the match by 9 points to 6.
In a game played in heavy rain and a blustery wind the home side had the better of the opening encounters and enjoyed a 6 point lead after just 8 minutes from two successful penalty kicks. Undeterred, Minety fought back and were level at half time, care of two Jack Ward penalties.
In the second half, playing into the face of driving rain, Minety matched Melksham and began to exert pressure through the scrum. Three long range penalty attempts went wide as Minety surged forward. Injuries to Ward, hooker Tom Claxton and man of the match, Pete Hazell forced coach Andy Ward to reshuffle his resources and a draw seemed the right score before Melksham snatched the game with the injury time score.
Club Chairman Davie Peirce felt that Minety were desperately unlucky. “The draw would have been a fair result, but I thought it was a great all round performance from the lads in dreadful conditions.”
Minety’s inspirational captain, Wallace Hibberd, praised his whole squad. “I thought we had an excellent second half and I can tell you that all the players in that dressing room are desperately disappointed, and the bonus point that we won is of little consolation. But we have a week off, and that will give us time to get our injured players back. This is a really good squad of players and I feel confident about the rest of our season.”
Date: Saturday 24th October 2015. Kick off 3pm.
Venue: Melksham Rugby Club.
Weather conditions: Driving rain.
Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North
Jack Ward converts 1st half penalty to bring scores level at 6 -6 before half time.
Minety pack pushes Melksham back in 2nd half.
Man of the Match Pete Hazell is helped from the pitch after injuring his knee.
Max Sparrow tackles his opposite number late on in the game.