Minety 7 Nailsea 45 2nd September 2017. Pre-season friendly
Minety’s final pre season friendly match proved to be a bruising encounter against Somerset Premier League side Nailsea and Backwell.
After the comfortable 36-0 victory over Cricklade in midweek, coaches Andy Grayson and Hywel Rees put out a relatively inexperienced team against the formidable Nailsea outfit.
Lacking a number of 1st team regulars, the Minety team surprisingly held the aggressive and well organised Nailsea team in the opening half hour. Much of the play was in the Minety half but some ferocious defensive tackling kept the pacey Nailsea backs at bay.
The opening score took to the 30th minute to arrive. A move across field saw the Minety defence stretched and Nailsea crossed the line from close in. Minety barely had time to re-organise before the visitors doubled their lead with a second try and then followed it up with a third in quick succession.
The home side clawed their way back into the game and young Kieran James brilliantly scooped up a loose ball to run in under the posts from 20 metres out after a fine flowing move involving Minety forwards and backs. Garin Garland slotted the conversion from in front of the posts.
With the game opening up Nailsea exploited a gap in the home defence to score their fourth try in the final minute of 1st half injury time.
Grayson and Rees made a number of changes to the lineup at half time, some, unfortunately forced upon them through injury, as the game was played at breakneck pace on a well grassed but nevertheless firm pitch.
Tenacious tackling from the Minety players kept the score down in the opening exchanges of the second half but then three quick tries in 10 breathless second half minutes killed the game for the home team as Nailsea ran out 46-7 victors.
Andy Grayson was upbeat after the match. “We played this game with a majority of lads who played in the 2nds last year. That meant they were up against players 4 leagues above them. We tackled our hearts out and in the end simply ran out of steam. I couldn’t have asked for more effort and I’m delighted with the commitment of our team.”
Captain Tom Claxton, himself forced off in the second half with an ankle injury, added, “Everyone turned up this afternoon. We left nothing out on the pitch. Of more importance, we know what we have to do to improve and we can work at those aspects of the game in training.”
Both Minety teams will be league action next week when the 1st team travel to Pewsey Vale while the seconds play away at Warminster.
Club training is on Tuesday night at 7pm.