MINETY Academy defeated Wootton Bassett in their Division 2 North clash at Ballards Ash.

The two teams, both unbeaten in league fixtures this season, were evenly matched in the opening exchanges although the Minety lineout and forward play soon began to exert pressure on the Bassett line.

A series of clever, probing kicks by scrum-half Ben Thomas pinned Bassett in their 22 amid ferocious exchanges in the back lines.

A brilliant kick ahead and chase by the fleet-footed Minety fly-half Elis Garland saw him touch down for the opening try.

The physical battle up front intensified and the home team struck back in the 20th minute when Tucker Blinkhorm crashed over beneath the posts for the first Bassett try which he then successfully converted.

Minety used their dominant pack to good effect in wearing down the home team and after a flowing back movement orchestrated by Garland again, the forwards took over and forced their way over for a try by hooker Reece Kinnett right on the stroke of half time.

Minety’s half-time lead, however, was shortlived.

Bassett punished a defensive error for Josh Auditt to score a try in the 52nd minute before yet more wizardry from Garland saw Minety recapture the initiative, the elusive fly-half touching down for his second try of the match.

Bassett struck back at the heart of the opposition and Blinkhorm scored a brilliant try, converted by Greg Davies, after they moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other through their backs.

With just 12 minutes to go, they led 19-17, but Minety struck back and in the last play of the game.

Aseries of forward thrusts brought them up to the Bassett line before the ball was worked out along the line, Alex Goff timing his pass to perfection to allow winger Rob Hinwood to crash over in the corner to secure the victory.

Garland kicked the conversion to secure his man of the match award.

Minety Academy: Jonnie Shepherd, Reece Kinnett, Ashley Windle, Josh Gainey, Tom Windle, James Bayes, Josh Bull, Will King, Ben Thomas, Elis Garland, Will Hinton, Sam Thomas, Alex Goff, Rob Hinwood, Kieran Evett, Joe Kidner, Harry Sharpe, Olly Thomas, Callum Harford.