Pewsey Vale 1st XV v Minety 1st XV
Pewsey press forwards
Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North
Pewsey Vale 1st XV 24pts – Minety 1st XV 17pts
Led by their impressive pack, Pewsey narrowly outplayed Minety in a hard-fought and thrillingly close encounter.
The home forwards were big, young and strong and had Minety pinned back into their own 22 for the first quarter of an hour. Stretched to the limit, the visitors defended a series of five metre scrums until their hosts put on a final drive for the line. Scrumhalf Andy Brown dived on the ball as it crossed the whitewash but the referee judged it a foul and awarded a penalty try, which Pewsey easily converted.
Realising that they were outmatched in the set pieces, Minety went for a more expansive game and soon discovered that their threequarters were swifter than their opponents. Counter-rucking effectively and working quick ball, Minety came into their own and when centre Jonty Messer made a break, number 8 Jack Ward was on hand to take up the running. He unloaded to Tom Fitzcharles who was tackled just short of the line but popped the ball to Luke Radcliffe, who scored.
A successful conversion levelled the points but a try-scoring run out wide by Pewsey’s powerful and surprising nimble hooker made it 12-7 at the break.
When Minety were reduced to 14 men in the second half after Ward was yellow carded for infringements at the ruck, Pewsey scored twice. One of these tries went to their hooker, repeating his first-half run and bursting through the visitors’ defence.
Back to full strength, Minety dominated the final quarter of the game. Awarded a penalty five metres out, they opted to tap and pass. Lock Matt Hooper came steaming through onto the ball and Pewsey couldn’t hold him as he crashed over for the try.
Awarded another penalty, the visitors opted to kick for touch, playing the short game from the resulting lineout and exchanging quick passes among the pack. Hooker Wes Clamp finished the move at pace but his try was unconverted.
With the clock ticking down, Pewsey managed to clear their lines and ended a sporting afternoon with a well-deserved win.