MINETY’S quest to win the Dorset & Wiltshire Senior Vase came up agonisingly short as they were beaten 36-17 by Dorset Dockers after putting in a heroic performance in the final at the weekend.

On neutral territory at Salisbury, Minety immediately showed their intent as Ben Sellick caught the kick-off and ran straight back at the Dockers defence.

Dorset opened the scoring with a penalty in the 16th minute and increased that soon afterwards when strong running set up the chance for a winger to burst through a tackle and touch down.

Minety came back strongly, but missed a chance to get on the scoreboard after half an hour when a long-range penalty dropped short, although they did get off the mark two minutes later.

The pack, led superbly by captain Tom Claxton Andrew Hibbard, won a scrum against the head and then a penalty in the Dockers 22, which Garin Garland landed for his side’s first points.

Both teams knew a score leading up to half-time could be crucial and Minety’s attempt to run the ball out of defence was disrupted by an intercepted pass, which saw Dockers claim their second try as the conversion gave them a 15-3 lead at the break.

Dorset started the second half strongly and although the villagers were able to withstand the barrage initially, it came at a cost when Sellick went off injured.

The pressure told soon afterwards as Dockers forced their way over for another converted try.

As the game entered its final quarter, Minety began to dominate territory, but the villagers were unable to turn that into points.

Against the run of play, Dorset scored next as they passed their way out of their own 22 right up to the other end of the pitch before fashioning an overlap to run in a converted try and move 29-3 up with 10 minutes left.

Refusing to let their heads drop, Minety pushed on and a move involving Tom McAllister, Duncan Simpson and Dave Cooke opened up the Dorset defence and the latter’s pass allowed Hibbard to run through to score a try converted by Garland.

With both teams tiring, the game opened up and missed tackles allowed Dockers their fifth try, but Minety were soon back on the attack to finish the scoring.

The villagers won a penalty and from Garland’s tap, the ball went to Ben Langridge, who burst through tacklers to dot down as Garland’s conversion brought an entertaining final to a close.