Minety’s run in the cup came to an abrupt and painful end on Saturday when they were soundly beaten by a well organised Bradford on Avon team 38 points to 5 at Minety Fields.
The two teams had faced each other in a Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North fixture at Bradford the previous Saturday, the home team eventually running out 32-24 victors.
Minety’s cup team showed 9 changes from the last match, largely due to an extensive injury list with only McAllister and Cooke as regular backs.
After an even 1st quarter of the game, where Minety enjoyed the majority of the possession and territory, the tide began to turn as Bradford exerted pressure through their forwards and opened the scoring in the 19th minute when flanker Jonathan Bates crossed the line from close range and fly half William Slark converted to put the visitors 7-0 up.
Minety’s defence was breached again in the 21st minute when full back Tom Bartlett finished off a fine move involving backs and forwards out on the right touchline. Slarks’ excellent long range conversion extended Bradford’s advantage to 14 points.
Minety hit back in the 32nd minute when their backs collected a defensive clearance kick and spread the ball wide. 2nd row forward Tom Windle drew the Bradford defence from a ruck and allowed flanker Josh Bull to score.
The home team’s hopes of a late first half comeback were dashed when influential flanker Stephen Brown was yellow carded for an unsafe tackle and the home team were forced to end the half with 14 players.
The 2nd half started evenly although Minety’s impressive full back, Robin Greenway, was called on to make a number of fine tackles to prevent Bradford extending their lead.
When Slark slotted home a penalty in the 57th minute Bradford were 12 points clear and that was further stretched when No. 8 Andrew Twinney broke through for the visitors’ 3rd try on the hour after a tap penalty exposed holes in the home defence.
With a 19 point cushion and time running out for the village side, Bradford’s well organised defence handled all that Minety could throw at them and when the home forwards lost control of the ball on the half way line in the 72nd minute Bradford capitalised and Slark burst through to score under the posts from 30 metres out.
Minety’s desperate attempts to add to their own score were held up time and time again in the closing minutes and they were unfortunate when Bradford cleared their lines and latched on to a loose ball in midfield to allow centre Charles Burwell to run in a try from distance, which Slark converted to end the game 38-5 in favour of the visitors.
For Minety this was a desperately disappointing result and their inability to put out a settled team is showing in their results this season. Coach Rich Hall can only hope that performances and results pick up as Minety return to league action next Saturday with a home league match against Chippenham.