Given the horrendous nature of the injury and unavailability list, Saturday’s heavy reversal at home to one of the leagues most prolific points scorers was not altogether surprising; that Minety did not slip down the table was!
The league seems to be splitting into three distinct sections: a top group made up of 5 teams; a middle group of two; and then a bottom group of 5.
League leaders Combe Down took maximum points at home to Chippenham, inflicting a huge 90 – 14 win. This is the second time this season that Chippenham have conceded 90 or more points in a game, a cause for some concern, we would imagine. Chasing Warminster defeated local rivals Trowbridge 50 – 22 while Royal Wootton Bassett kept up their impressive run of wins with a sound victory over Sutton Benger. Bassett’s only reversal this season was at home against Minety! 4th placed Melksham defeated struggling Calne, who Minety face this coming weekend. Struggling Pewsey, with players returning from injury, beat bottom club Supermarine, but at some cost – losing another set of players to injury.
The situation in Division 3 must be a cause of concern for the league. There has been at least once concession in every week of this year’s league and last Saturday half the fixtures were conceded, showing just how hard it is for club’s to be able to field 2nd or even 3rd teams on a Saturday. Given that Minety 1st XV used a number of 2nd XV players to bolster their numbers on Saturday, it seems likely that they would have struggled to put out a 2nd team. Nevertheless, the 5 points awarded to Minety push them up one place in the table to 8th with Supermarine now well adrift at the bottom of the table.
Top of the table Amesbury didn’t play which meant that 2nd placed Warminster were able to close the gap at the top to just 5 points with a good win at home to 6th placed Bradford. In the weekend’s other surviving fixture, Chippenham consolidated their hold on 4th place with a win in a high points scoring game at Bath Saracens.
Next week’s fixtures will kick off at the earlier time of 2.30pm with matches in December and January moving to 2.15pm kick offs.