An interesting, and potentially controversial, weekend in Dorset and Wilts Division 1. Minety’s fine win on the road at Chippenham was a much needed return to form for Tom Claxton’s team. With mid week predictions suggesting that the club would do well just to be able to field one team, it was somehting of a miracle that sufficient players were found to put out two!
The potentially controversial matter relates to the table, as published by the league on Saturday night. Minety scored 5 tries on Saturday (Garland, Thomas, McAllister, Murray and Howse) yet we appear not to have been credited with the “4 try” bonus point. We are on to the league even as this is being written!
With the fight for a top 4 slot come the end of the season so tight between Minety and Warminster, every point is vital and since the two teams went into the match equal on 51 points it’s difficult to appreciate how we might have slipped a further point behind. Elsewhere, Bradford tightened their grip on top slot with a fine win at home over second placed Combe Down, the latter now 4 points behind and having played one more match than Bradford.
Third placed Avonvale kept up their fine run of form with a convincing win over Supermarine. Minety travel to Bath to play Avonvale next week, looking for a chance to get revenge on a narrow home defeat when the newly promoted Bath outfit visited Minety earlier on in the season.
Pewsey kept their slender chances of capturing a top 5 place alive with a big win at bottom of the table Swindon while Warminster picked up a bonus point win in their match against Melksham.
In Division 3 North much credit must go to all of the players who played for the Minety 2nds on Saturday. With playing resources stretched to breaking point it looked at one stage last week as if the 2nds wouldn’t be able to field a full team, but they did. The loss at Supermarine was a blow because the fight for a top 5 slot is so tight and Matt Stone and his team will have to re-group before taking on 5th placed Bath Saracens in Bath next week.
Elsewhere, top of the table Corsham defeated second placed Warminster and are now firm favourites for the automatic promotion place. Third placed Trowbridge squeezed past Bradford while 4th placed Chippenham defeated 5th placed Bath Saracens. Swindon beat bottom of the table Melksham in the other match.
With the season coming to an end these are the all important fixtures for the Minety 1st and 2nd XV’s:
1st XV; Avonvale (a), Swindon (h), Melksham (a) and Pewsey Vale (h)
2nd XV: Bath Saracens (a), Corsham (h) and Warminster (a)