Dorset & Wilts Div 3 North
Minety II 31
Melksham III 25
BOLSTERED by some excellent young Academy players, Minety seconds came from behind to win a lively encounter with Melksham thirds.
Playing down the hill in the first half, Melksham strode into an early lead with three tries while their hosts struggled to get their scrum in order.
Taking control of his pack, Minety No.8 Gareth Peirce began to instil order in the scrum and the home side finally won some ball. Their backs responded by running it enthusiastically up the hill and a solid team effort was capped by Tim Vaughan crossing the line for a try. Minety Academy’s Garin Garland slotted the conversion to make it 7-15 at the break.
Changes to the line-up and a vigorous talk from skipper Milo Hartley got Minety into still better shape for the second half. Coming down the slope and at last enjoying a reliable supply of ball, the three-quarters broke the visitors’ defence and set up Academician Mark Glew for a try. Garland again converted, bringing his side to within one point of the opposition.
When Melksham had a player yellow-carded, following repeated warnings by the referee, Minety made the most of their man-advantage, pinning their opponents back into their own 22.
The forwards got the bit between their teeth and drove for the line. Twice, Melksham determinedly held them out, but the third time Peirce went over for a try.
Garland kicked the conversion and added a penalty goal to make it 24-15.
Inside centre Dellam Murray then showed his pace, running in a try from his own 22 to set up an easy conversion for Garland, who duly kicked the goal.
With the home side tiring, Melksham made the most of their plentiful supply of replacements, bringing on fresh legs and adding two late tries, but it was not enough to catch their hosts.
Minety’s man of the match was Academy player Will Reynolds, making his senior debut for the club. Normally a centre, he had a fine afternoon at flanker and tackled magnificently.