Minety cannot hang on to early lead against Chippenham

First published in Sport

Dorset & Wilts Div 1 North.

Minety 7 Chippenham II 43.

MINETY started brightly but their hopes of causing an upset faded in the second half as league leaders Chippenham pulled ahead with a slew of late tries.

Awarded a penalty after three minutes, Minety kicked for touch deep into the visitors’ 22 and then secured clean ball from the line-out. Off it went to outside centre Dale Langdown, whose explosive pace took him clattering across the line for an early try.

A solid conversion gave Minety a seven-point lead, but a subsequent penalty goal attempt flew wide.

Chippenham also missed a pot at goal, but this proved only a temporary setback. When Minety attacked, the visitors dispossessed them and hoofed the ball up the slope. The home team failed to gather it and one of Chippenham’s chasers took control and ran in a try.

This time the kick was good and the scores were level.

Chippenham squandered two further scoring opportunities, missing a penalty and then dropping the ball on the line, before they eventually ran in their second try, this one scored in the corner by their left winger after swift hands had moved the ball across the width of the pitch.

The critical moment for Minety came with the score at 7-12. A fine break by Ellis Garland and a determined finish by Ashley Windle saw them apparently get back on level terms. But the referee was too far away to see the touch down and awarded a five-metre scrum instead.

Minety never really recovered. Chippenham had the advantage of the slope in the second half, and although the home side kept them at bay for 20 minutes, once the visitors had scored a try by the left corner flag, they began to pull away with increasing ease.

The nimble Chippenham scrum half ran through a series of ineffectual tackles to score from the 22. Then a series of swift passes set up a try from a line-out 30 metres out.

Visibly tiring, Minety missed further tackles as their opponents ran in two more tries, the last of these being landed by the right-hand corner flag in the closing minutes of the game after a characteristic Chippenham sprint down the touchline.

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