A PATCHED-UP Minety team were soundly beaten 46-0 by Dorset & Wilts One North title challengers Combe Down on Saturday.

The villagers' winning run, stretching back to November 11, was ended as they were forced to make eight changes to the team that had beaten Supermarine a week previously, handing season debuts to front rowers Martin Coe and Craig Smith and a full debut to Bramwell Coleman.

Down started at breakneck speed and crossed the line for their first try after just three minutes - Minety's cause being further hindered when centre Jack Howse was sent to hospital with a bad hand injury within the first five minutes.

The Bath side had the bonus point wrapped up by the 18th minute but Minety, led from the front by hooker and captain Tom Claxton, steadied the ship.

Four more tries followed in the second half as Minety continued to suffer with injuries, fly-half Tom McAllister and Claxton both being forced off.

Coach Andy Grayson said: “I cannot fault the commitment of any of the lads who played – they gave everything and for large parts of that game matched a very impressive Combe Down side.

"The injury crisis at the club has hit both teams. The second XV couldn’t put out a team against Swindon and some of their players came across to bolster the firsts, for which we are very grateful.

"We now have a short break and will be hoping to get as many players fit for the final push towards the end of the season.”

Pewsey Vale coach Mick Yanes saluted his side's efforts in a 27-8 defeat at leaders Bradford on Avon.

Bradford were ahead early on as centre Murray Dewar touched down and Lewis Somerville booted the conversion, but Pewsey drove forward from the restart and gained 30 metres with a 20-phase pick and go which finally forced a penalty.

Finding touch in the corner hooker Sam Flippance hit the whitewash in the corner from the resulting lineout.

A yellow card to flanker Olly Spence at the end of the first quarter put Vale under pressure and two Bradford tries before half-time allowed them to stretch clear, wing Vaughan Conybear touching down before scrum-half Gareth Wheatley did likewise.

The second half proved a relatively even affair, Somerville and Pewsey's James Haynes swapping penalties before fly half Rob Johnson broke through off-loading to full back Pete Baird on his shoulder, who touched down between the posts only to be called back for a perceived forward pass.

Bradford rubbed salt into the wounds as back row Dean Priestman caught a kick and sent Dewar in for his second score to wrap it up.

Pewsey coach Mick Haynes said: "Played in harsh weather conditions this was a hard physical match with both teams sticking to task.

"Taking on the league leaders was always going to be a big challenge and so it proved.

"That said we were unlucky not to be rewarded more for their creditable team effort.