Dorset & Wilts Div 1 North.
Trowbridge II 5 Minety 3.
In A low-scoring but uncompromising encounter, Minety’s hopes of going into the Christmas break with a win were dashed by a last-minute try from Trowbridge.
Missing several regulars but benefiting from the return of their university students, Minety travelled to Trowbridge with a full team and the unaccustomed luxury of two replacements on the bench.
And it was Minety who struck first when student Ellis Garland slotted a sweetly-struck penalty goal before the game was more than two minutes old.
The visitors went on to dominate the half, securing plenty of ball and making a series of good breaks. Playing his last game for the club before moving to Kent, lock David Hazell made his customary robust contribution before retiring with a knee injury, and student Cameron Smith gave an excellent account of himself at prop.
Brimming with confidence, Minety repeatedly opted to tap and go when offered kickable penalties, decisions which seemed right at the time but which, with hindsight, probably cost them the match.
For Trowbridge defended brilliantly and, despite their abundant possession and territorial advantage, Minety could not break through.
The home side brought on a replacement prop in the second half and his strength in the set pieces and pace with the ball began to turn the game in Trowbridge’s favour.
Now it was Minety’s turn to defend their slender lead and, with great determination, that’s what they did until the 78th minute of the match.
Finally running out of steam and becoming less and less effective at the breakdown, the visitors conceded a line-out in their own 22. Trowbridge caught, fed and spread the ball wide. Diving for the corner, their winger appeared to spill the ball just short of the line, but the referee awarded the try, effectively settling the contest and leaving Minety little or no time to fight back.