6:00am Wednesday 19th December 2012
By Ned Payne
MINETY’S hopes of going into the Christmas break with a victory in Dorset & Wilts 1 North were dashed by a controversial last-minute try by Trowbridge 2nds.
Missing several regulars but benefiting from the return of their university students, Minety travelled with a full team and the luxury of two replacements on the bench.
It was the visitors who struck first when student Ellis Garland slotted a sweetly-struck penalty with the game no more than two minutes old.
Minety went on to dominate the half but opted to tap and go when offered kickable penalties, decisions which arguably cost them the match.
The home side brought on a replacement prop in the second half and his strength at set pieces and pace with the ball turned the game in Trowbridge’s favour.
Now it was Minety’s turn to defend their slender lead and, with great determination, that’s what they did until the 78th minute.
At that point the visitors conceded a lineout in their own 22, which Trowbridge spread wide.
Diving for the corner, the winger appeared to spill the ball just short of the line, but the referee awarded the try.
In Dorset & Wilts 2 North, Cricklade were on the end of a 51-0 thrashing by fellow high-flyers Chippenham 3rds.
The game of Chippenham’s first team was postponed meaning the third team was strengthened as a result.
The visitors ran in three tries in the first 15 minutes and Cricklade’s possession was brief throughout the first half.
Chippenham made much better use of the ball and consequently the try count continued to climb and a 37-0 half-time lead was established.
After the break, Cricklade brought on Steve Baldwin and veteran Paul Howse in an attempt to tighten up and retain possession longer.
The scoring rate drastically reduced and the addition of Dan Bown at full-back curbed the effectiveness of the visitors’ backs.
However, Chippenham already had the game sewn up and made wholesale changes to give everyone a run-out.
Elsewhere in the division, Fairford crushed Bath Saracens 52-7 to keep their stranglehold on top spot.
In Tribute Western Counties North, Cirencester lost 19-6 at home to league leaders Hornets.
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