Saturday’s hard fought win over Calne arrested Minety’s slide after a run of losses in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North. The team, led in Tom Claxton’s absence by Andrew Hibbard, snatched a valuable bonus point with the last play of the game and that result, allied to Trowbridge’s defeat at Royal Wootton Bassett means that Minety are just two points behind Trowbridge and 6 behind Bassett in the race for the 5th spot in the table.
It seems likely that 5th place will be the best that Minety can hope for as the season enters its final quarter, the top four being well clear of the chasing pack. Of some import is the fact that Minety’s win has put them firmly back in the positive for the points scored / points conceded column!
Combe Down put over 100 points on Pewsey for the second time this season and extended their lead on Avonvale who were unable to grab a bonus point in their tough away win at 4th placed Warminster. Melksham’s quiet move up the table continued with a narrow win over Chippenham.
In the other match in Division 1, Sutton Benger heaped more misery on Supermarine, winning and maintaining their league poistion, although they are now 12 points behind Minety.
In Division 3 Minety’s 2nd XV put a great show against a strong Swindon outfit and gained a losing bonus point (for their 4th try). The team presently sit in 8th place, 5 points behind 7th placed Swindon but 20 points clear of the basement club, Melksham. Supermarine’s withdrawal from the league leaves just 9 teams in the division.
Elsewhere, Amesbury maintained their winning streak with a walkover over bottom club Melksham. 15 points clear of 2nd placed Combe Down, promotion in their first season looks an almost certainty for the Amesbury outfit.
2nd placed Combe Down overcame Bath Saracens in a battle of the Bath teams while 5th placed Chippenham defeated 6th placed Bradford.
It’s a blank weekend in the fixture calendar next week. Certainly Andy Grayson will hope that his battered squad can recover and strengthen in time for the crucial run in to the end of the season.