Dorset & Wilts Div One North
Combe Down 31
MINETY were made to pay for missed tackles and kicking away possession as free-running Combe Down outscored them five tries to four.
Combe Down had a surer touch throughout and when their scrum half took a tap penalty on Minety’s 22, he slipped through two tackles and dotted down for the try.
Repeating earlier errors, the visitors struggled to field the restart and the home team lost no time in hassling their way through for try number two.
Minety shored up their defence and gradually worked their way back into the game. Duncan Simpson dashed the last 15 metres to complete a fine team move he had started five metres from his own line.
Further runs and quick rucks set up Jack Ward for Minety’s second try, but Combe Down had the last word, ending the half with a try as their centre sped through a series of ineffectual tackles.
Early in the second half the hosts’ gifted three-quarters ran in two more tries while the visitors scarcely laid a hand on them.
Playing catch-up, Minety began to put together some solid phases. A well-timed pass by Gareth Peirce put Fitzcharles away for a try from 10 metres out and Simon Rowe had a try disallowed after the referee decided he had put a foot in touch.
Another opportunity went begging when Minety dropped a crucial pass a metre short of the line, but when Roberts sliced through the defence, Brown was on hand to score the final try. Fitzcharles’ successful conversion took his team’s tally to 26 points, but left them still short of Combe Down’s total.
Minety earned two bonus points, but the defeat cost them top spot in the league. Bradford-on-Avon now head the table, though third placed Supermarine are on a winning streak and have two games in hand.