RUGBY: Minch rue slow start and sluggish finish

First published in Sport

MINCH put up a spirited display against league leaders Old Elizabethans who were ultimately flattered by their winning scoreline.

Gloucester Div Three

Minchinhampton 8

Old Elizabethans 31

Minch conceded early, the Old E's centre breaking through the defence to set up a try from deep, shortly followed by an excellent backs' move which placed the full back into space to complete another score.

A Sam Hester penalty put Minch on the board, defences tightened with Tom Goulding imposing himself on the midfield, and some better possession began to build a platform for the backs to attack.

Breaks from Allen, Hester and Humberstone were snuffed out by a well organised Old Elizabethans' defence, whose upper hand in the set piece forced turnovers and another score before the turnaround.

Minch rallied after the break and struck straight away with a Hester try and the hosts began to dominate the second half. Repeat offences at the breakdown left Old E's seeing yellow but Minch couldn’t turn pressure into points, their frustration leading to turnovers and some poor decision-making.

Having weathered the hosts’ storm, Old E's regrouped and a good kick and chase led to a try in the corner with five minutes remaining; frustratingly for the hosts, Old E's then posted a further try in the last move of the game.

Minch were disappointed to concede so many points in the first and last five minutes of the game, but can take a great number of positives from their performance in the intervening seventy.

Firsts debutant Matt Bell performed well, and scrum half Tom Hiatt put up an excellent display.

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