RUGBY: Avonvale 7 Minety 24

MINETY combined their first and second teams to pull off a much-needed Dorset & Wilts One North win against Avonvale.

With a host of players injured or unavailable, Minety had to withdraw from their second team fixture and concentrate their limited resources.

A sloping reserve pitch, gusting winds and driving rain made handling difficult, Minety scrum-half Duncan Simpson pulling off a last-ditch tackle to prevent an early Vale try.

After that, the visitors gradually began to dominate, their lightweight front five managing to hold their own in the set piece.

A threatening run from Dale Langdown and a penalty by Phillip Stephens narrowly failed to put points on the board, but when Simpson got good ball from an attacking scrum, the visitors were under way.

Fly-half Stephens slipped a pass to Milo Hartley and he offloaded to Robin Greenway, who sped away for a well-worked try which Andy Edwards converted.

Avonvale missed a penalty attempt, but their bigger forwards began to get the upper hand in the final 10 minutes of the half and when scrum-half Joe Pugh picked up from a ruck, he was able to wriggle through for a try which centre Steve Retford converted.

Edwards missed a penalty early in the second half but sustained pressure enabled the visitors to move ahead as a tap penalty and two quick passes released skipper Tom Fitzcharles for a try under the posts.

Edwards made no mistake with his conversion and a penalty extended the lead.

Then lock Dave Church, normally a centre, piled through for a try, the successful conversion sealing victory.

FOR MORE RUGBY NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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