Victory for Minety but Div 1 status still hangs in balance
11:45am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Sport
Dorset & Wilts Div 1 North.
Minety 17 Avonvale 5.
IN APPALLINGLY muddy and slippery conditions, Minety saw off Avonvale but failed to secure a vital bonus point.
Avonvale played with only 14 players for the first 30 minutes until their stragglers arrived and brought them up to strength.
Playing uphill, Minety started brightly. Awarded an attacking five-metre scrum, the pack put in a shove, the ball was slipped to fly half Duncan Simpson and he scuttled in for a try under the posts.
Inside centre Michael New slotted the conversion only to storm back a few minutes later to cap another scoring move.
This started with Avonvale on the attack in Minety’s 22. Boldly opting to run out of defence, the home side caught their opponents on the hop. Piling on the pace, Minety streamed up the slope and New finished the move with try in the corner, though he pulled a hamstring in the process and subsequently had to retire from the game.
Worsening conditions underfoot and a ball that was too slippery to handle ensured a stalemate for much of the rest of the match.
Minety failed to make best use of the plentiful possession won by their hard working pack.
A low kick down the hill in the second half proved more effective as three Avonvale defenders failed to secure the greasy ball. Lock Ashley Windle scooped it up and dived over from short range for Minety’s third try.
A fourth would have secured a bonus point, but Avonvale pressed hard from the restart. Minety had a chance to clear their lines with a penalty, but the ball slipped out of hand.
The succeeding scrum led to a tap penalty with skipper George Hobbs, burrowing over from short range for a consolation try.
Bottom-of-the-table Avonvale look certain to go down at the end of the season. With only seven wins and three games to go, Minety are just two places above them, their fate still hanging in the balance.