Minety’s chances of a top six finish in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 look remote after they were subjected to a nine try mauling at the hands of Melksham team on Saturday.

The village team came into the match with a young and inexperienced team hoping to surprise third placed Melksham.

It was Minety who dominated the early exchanges with new half back team Mark Glew and Dave Cooke spreading the ball out wide and debutant Will Seaton made darting runs on the wing.

Forwards Andrew Hibbard, Cameron Smith and captain Tom Claxton all made inroads into the Melksham 22 as Minety pushed for the opening score.

The illusive Jack Howse was hauled down close to the line but then Melksham were caught offside but Cooke’s penalty attempt crashed against the near post and bounced to safety.

The let off spurred Melksham into the type of form that has seen them as the only team to really challenge Combe Down and Avonvale at the top of the table. After a series of cross field moves a chip kick over the Minety defence saw the winger collect and touch down beneath the posts.

Melksham doubled their lead in the 20th minute, another fluent move across the pitch enabling the No. 8 to touch down under the posts.

With Howse proving a handful in midfield and strong running from his fellow centre Chris Rule and Mike Scott, making his first appearance of the season, Minety matched Melksham as the half wore on until they extended their lead with a long range penalty in the 30th minute to take the score to 17-0.

Rule was almost through shortly after as Minety pressed forward but the Melksham defence was well organised and the attack fizzled out.

As the game entered stoppage time at the end of the half Minety chose not to kick a penalty and ran the ball at the Melksham line.

Winger Matt Stone looked to have broken through but a last gaps tackle dislodged the ball and the chance was lost. It was Melksham who finished the half with a try after a break out against the run of play.

Coach Andy Grayson introduced Matt Roberts at the start of the second half after Mike Scott was injured but the experienced back could do nothing to prevent Melksham’s fourth try in the opening minute; a fine move across field ending with a touch down by the right hand flag.

Minety lost Howse shortly after, replaced by Sam Trinder.

The sheer weight of the Melksham attacks were taking their toll on a hard pitch. Rather than slowing the game down to try to catch their breath,

Minety showed their inexperience by trying to up the tempo and all too often the ball was lost to a Melksham side growing in confidence.

Melksham kicked their second penalty of the match in the 53rd minute and from the kick off only a fine tackle from Roberts prevented another Melksham try.

A minute later it was Roberts on the attack, his kick and chase thwarted at the Melksham line but as Minety tried to re-organise the ball went out wide on the left for the Melksham winger to run in the fifth try from 60 metres out.

The long range conversion was successful and Minety were down by 37 points.

Matters went from bad to worse seconds later. From the kick off Melksham burst through to run in their sixth try under the posts.

Howse, pressed back into action after Cooke was injured, was the recipient of a late tackle shortly after and had to be carried from the pitch.

Melksham’s seventh try came in the 68th minute, again after a back’s move that the visibly tiring Minety defence simply could not manage.

Grayson’s side picked themselves up after this latest set back and Matt Stone was on the end of a good move set up by Rule and Colin French to touch down wide on the right for Minety’s first points.

Melksham ended the match with two further converted tries to leave the final score 65 -5.