Minety 1st XV put the disappointment of their Regional Cup semi-final loss last week behind them as they overcame a spirited Swindon II team by 25 points to 7 at Minety Fields on Saturday.
Second in the table Minety chose to play downhill in the first half on a pitch that barely passed a pre match inspection. The decision looked a wise one when, after just 2 minutes, scrum half Will Mason fed fly half Tom McAllister whose kick over the Swindon defence was chased down by man of the match, inside centre Jack Ward.
Ward was instrumental in Minety’s second try in the 9th minute. Ripping the ball from Swindon in midfield, Ward passed to flanker Stephen Brown who timed his pass to winger Luke Radcliffe perfectly. Radcliffe’s turn of speed left the away team’s defence in disarray as he burst through to score near the corner flag.
When Mason chipped over the Swindon defensive line and collected the ball to score under the posts in the 17th minute, Minety were well on top.
Swindon re-organised and hit back hard, pushing the home team back into their 22 yard area. The home team held out well under increasing pressure from a large Swindon pack but lost their influential outside centre Matt Roberts and flanker Pete Hazell to injury before the half was out.
Ten minutes into the second half Minety scored their 4th try to secure a valuable bonus point as they hunt down league leaders Coombe Down. Once again, Ward broke free in his own half, beating two defenders before drawing the full back and passing to winger David Cooke, who raced in from 25 metres out to touch down.
Swindon hit back late on in the game with a try from a scrum but a Ward penalty with minutes to go ended the scoring with the home team maintaining a winning run in the league stretching back to October.
Captain Andrew Hibbard was understandably pleased with the result. “We knew we had to get off to a strong start. They were a big team and the conditions were so heavy underfoot that we had to take maximum advantage in the first half. We scored our three tries but then lost a little focus. We defended well in the second half and absorbed a lot of pressure. The bonus point helps us keep tabs on runaway leaders Coombe Down. Make no mistake, we will not be satisfied with second place in the league.”
Man of the Match: Jack Ward
Date: Saturday 16th January 2016. Kick off 2.15pm
Venue: Minety Fields, Mintey
Weather conditions: Cold but clear. Pitch very wet
Competition: Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North
Jack Ward attacks early on in the game
Jack scores Minety’s 1st try
Luke Radcliffe scores Minety’s 2nd try
Will Mason chips over the Swindon defense …
… and scores near the post for Minety’s 3rd try
David Cooke scores Minety’s 4th try