Man of the Match: Ben Sellick
Andy Grayson’s Minety 1st XV travelled to local rivals Supermarine on Saturday determined to build on the fine win at Royal Wootton Bassett.
Without regular half back pairing Garland, injured, and McAllister, university bound, coach Grayson paired Sam Hughes with the hugely experienced Jack Ward at scrum and fly half.
Already down to just 16 fit players, Minety suffered the loss of 2nd row Ben Collins to a back injury in the opening exchanges and promoted Gareth Peirce into the team for his first outing of the season and it was the debutant who opened the scoring in the 5th minute, ending a fluent move involving Hughes and forwards Andrew Hibbard and Mark Glew.
Flanker Ben Sellick scored his first try 3 minutes later, bursting through the home defence to touch down near the posts after Ward and Hibbard had made ground in midfield. Ward’s conversion was successful and Minety led 12-0.
After a period of pressure from the home side, Minety broke free and when Supermarine were caught off side, Ward slotted the penalty to extend the lead to 15 points.
Supermarine opened their account in the 26th minute with a marvellously opportunistic try. When Ward kicked to the half way line to relieve pressure on the Minety line, the Supermarine full back collected the ball and kicked it high back into the Minety half. The ball bounced perfectly and he was able to bat it over the advancing defence, catch it and then race away under the posts. The conversion was successful.
Minety struck back immediately, Hughes breaking through before off-loading to Sellick for the flanker’s second try. Ward kicked the conversion and Minety led 22-7.
The bonus point winning 4th try came in the 30th minute. Full back Duncan Simpson broke the line before passing to Ward, whose perfectly timed off load to centre Chris Rule saw the latter over the line. The conversion extended Minety’s lead to 29-7 with half time looming.
Minety continued to play at pace as the half ran down. Solid in the scrum against a heavier pack and dominant on their own lineouts, the village team were quick and confident in attack and resolute in defence.
The second half was a minute old when Sellick scored his third try. Ben Scott took the lineout and Hughes rifled a long pass to Ward. The fly half’s quick pass to Sellick saw the flanker through the defensive line at pace and then it was a question of whether he could outpace the stretched defence. Ward’s conversion extended the lead to 41-12.
Supermarine’s third try came in the 55th minute after more forward based incursions into Minety’s 22.
Minety’s speed and all round fitness told in the closing quarter as they ran in 5 tries. In the 60th minute outside centre Jack Howse burst the line to touch down beneath the posts.
Three minutes later the quick thinking Hughes spotted a gap, raced through and released Sellick for the flanker’s 4th try of the match.
Minety’s 8th try came when flanker Matt Stone seized on a loose ball before passing to Howse. The centre drew the defence before passing to winger Ben Langridge who scored wide on the left.
Minety’s 9th came after a move that started back in their own 22. Stone took a high ball and then a move involving prop Colin French, Hibbard, Ward, captain Tom Claxton and Hughes ended with full back Duncan Simpson racing away to score beneath the uprights.
Ward completed the scoring in the 79th minute, shrugging off defenders to register Minety’s 11th try. His conversion ended the scoring with the village team emerging 74-17 winners.
Man of the Match, Ben Sellick for his 4 tries and dominant performance all around the pitch.
Minety’s win takes them to 4th in the table behind early season pace setters Avonvale, Combe Down and Warminster.
In the day’s other game, Minety 2nds went down 62-10 at top of the table Combe Down.
Next week both Minety teams will play at home for the first time this season on their newly drained pitches with the 1st entertaining newly promoted Sutton Benger and the 2nds up against Melksham.