High flying Minety fell to a surprise 10-5 loss at lowly Trowbridge on Saturday. In a match switched to Trowbridge after the Minety pitches were again deemed unfit, the home side, 9th in the table and with just three victories all season, launched an impressive and ferocious assault upon the Minety line in the first 15 minutes of the match. Seemingly able to handle the driving wind and slippery ball much more effectively, Trowbridge didn’t allow Minety out of their own half. With a forward pack dominating the scrum, the hosts belied their league position.
It was entirely against the run of play that Minety opened the scoring. A good kick through from young fly half Tom McAllister pushed Trowbridge back into their own half and a superb move through the backs left winger Ben Langridge to cross the line wide out on the left for the opening try. Scrum half Will Mason was unable to add the conversion.
Minety’s try merely stirred the dominant Trowbridge pack onto greater efforts. Time and time again MInety players had to pull off try saving tackles but the pressure told in the 26th minute. A mix up in a lineout close to their own try line saw the ball break free to allow a Trowbridge forward to score. With the conversion missed in the swirling wind the scores were level.
Minety enjoyed their best spell of rugby in the lead up to half time. For once the ball started to move along the line although the two wingers had precious little opportunity to run with the ball. Centre David Church made a number of forceful breaks but follow up play was ragged and disjointed.
After Mason missed a long penalty attempt on the half time whistle the teams swapped round at 5-5.
The second half mirrored the first. Basically handling mistakes, a misfiring lineout and failure to capitalise in thescrum left Minety defending desperately. In the 49th minute Trowbridge scored the decisive try. A lost ball at the scrum deep in their own 22 metre area was picked up and driven over the line by the Trowbridge pack.
Minety pressed forward in the final minutes, beginning to show some of the rugby that had taken them to 2nd in the table, but in the end it was too little and too late.
Although they were able to pick up a losing bonus point, the loss now ends the villagers’ chances of catching league leaders Combe Down, and they now find themselves mired in a four way battle for a chance at a possible promotion place with Melksham, Wootton Bassett and the fast improving Corsham all hot on their heels. Next week’s game at Royal Wootton Bassett will be a crucial game in defining MInety’s season.
Man of the Match: David Church
Date: Saturday 13th 2016. Kick off 2.30pm
Venue: Trowbridge RFC (match switched from Minety due to unfit pitches)
Weather conditions: Cold and wet. Driving cross field wind
Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North