Dorset & Wilts Div 1 North.

Minety 10 Bradford-on-Avon 5.

DEFYING mud and bitter cold, Minety put in a gutsy 15-man performance to overcome old rivals Bradford-on-Avon.

Bradford had the advantage of the slope in the first half but slippery playing conditions made keeping one’s footing difficult and catching the ball a lottery.

When Minety spilled the ball in their own 22, the visitors quickly flicked it to full back Joe Awdrey, who skated through a desperate defence for the opening try of the game.

The conversion kick flew wide, as did every other attempt on goal throughout the match. With players slithering in their run-ups, this was not a day for kicking goals.

It should not have been a day for scoring up the slope, either, but the home side ignored that and patiently worked their way, inch by muddy inch, up across the half-way line and into the visitors’ half.

Awarded an attacking line-out, Minety executed a classic catch and drive, mauling hooker Wes Clamp over the line for a try which levelled the scores.

Playing downhill after the break, Minety swarmed all over their opponents, driving them back in the scrums and continuing to catch sweetly at the line-outs. Getting up any speed on the treacherous surface was another matter, however, and Bradford’s determined tackling ensured that, for a long while, the score stayed at 5-all.

That was until Minety gathered the ball on the right of the field and, greasy though it was, passed it back across the pitch. It ended in the hands of inside centre Michael New, who galloped down the left touchline, evading the despairing lunges of defenders, and slid in for a try.

Bradford never gave in and worked their muddy socks off to get back into the game, but Minety kept their nerve.

The final whistle sounded with the home side back on the attack, camped on the Bradford try line and only a few slippery inches from a further score.