Minchinhampton 25 - 13 Arietians

MINCHINHAMPTON returned to winning ways with a comfortable win over Bristol-based Arietians on Saturday, both sides knowing it was a chance to move away from the bottom of the table.

The away team came with a big physical pack and imposed themselves from the start, their big ball carriers making early ground. Unable to breach a stout Minch defence they settled for a drop goal on 3 mins.

From the kick off they attacked again, going close to the try line only for a knock on allowing Minch to clear.

A game of kick tennis was ended by a clean break from Arietians, moving the ball quickly they worked a score out wide on 20 mins to take an 8 nil lead.

Their early possession and domination seemed to tire the big Bristol pack and Minch sensed this, pressuring the kick off and establishing field position deep in the Arietians half, the ball was spun wide. A step and show of strength to shrug off a wannabe tackler allowed wing Terry Roseblade to crash over in the corner. 5-8 on 28 mins.

Now very much established in the game Minch threw everything at the away side, a series of attacks coming to nothing with some good scramble defence from Arietians.

A rare attack for the away team looked promising until an outstanding defensive turnover let Minch attack from their own 22, the ball being moved quickly up to half way were wing Ben Jones showed great pace to outstrip the defence and score what was an outstanding team try. 12-8 to Minch at half time.

Starting as they finished the first, Minch swarmed the kickoff, a knock on and an off side allowed Jake Muskett the extend the lead to 15-8.

Now the dominant side, Minch camped inside the away team's half. An excellent kick and lineout turnover led to a Minch drive and line break from man of the match Brad Gardiner to score his first of the season. The conversion was missed.

Maybe a lapse in concentration or tiredness let Arietians back in the game. Wave after wave of attacks repelled by resolute home defence. A knock on advantage pounced upon and swift hands established Minch in the Arietians half. Some big carries from the pack gave central field position, No 13 and birthday boy Oscar Adamson cut a lovely line against the grain rounded 2 and scored the bonus point try out wide with 68 mins gone.

The final 12 minutes belonged to the away team. Again Minch defending brilliantly, a knock on in the tackle presenting Arietians with an easy run in for a late consolation score.

A solid win at home, where Minch are proving very difficult to beat.