Minchinhampton RFC is in rude health, writes Andrew Huntly.
Forty players pulled on the Green, Black and White of Minch RFC on a historic weekend for the club and Saturday, January 8th is a date that the club will look back on fondly as an excellent day of rugby for the club, breaking two records.
Minch 21 Stroud 20
Minchinhampton 1st XV, led by Jonny Acton, played Stroud 1stXV at home following a tough 49-5 loss earlier in the season.
This fixture was a far closer affair. It was a physical and competitive game across all areas of the field with the whole Minch team playing well throughout. In addition to a traditionally strong Minch scrum, the lineout provided a good source of ball for an exciting backline. This excellent forward play resulted in a push-over scrum try for Niall Kimber.
Stroud were determined throughout the game and threatened regularly with powerful runs in open field, providing the momentum needed to score 4 tries. However, regular points from the boot of Ben Pope set up an exciting close to the game as Minch were within one score (14-20). In the last play of the game, Pope kicked to the corner, setting up a lineout close to Stroud’s line. The Minch forwards mauled the ball in field with Kris Norman scoring the try, Pope crucially adding the conversion for the win. Final score 21-20 to Minch. In a game where all players played well, John Stewart was named Man of the Match.
Cainscross 10 Minch Rams 37
Steve Davies captained Minchinhampton Rams (2nd XV) to their first win over Cainscross 1st XV in the club’s 30-year history.
After securing good early possession James Pugh glided over the line to score the first try of the match for the Rams and his first for the club. Cainscross responded strongly, pinning Minch in their own half for several passages of play. After breaking out of this pressure Marc Avery crossed the whitewash. Cainscross kicked to clear their line and James Lanfear ran the ball back with intent and began a chain of offloads resulting in James Pugh scoring his second try. With two minutes left on the clock George Burfoot burst through a gap and galloped across the line in a style only a lock forward can. Ending the half 22-0.
The second half was tighter with Cainscross fighting back scoring 10 points of their own as Mike McDonagh, Jamie Weaver and Jonno Lawrence all scored for Minch. Final score 37-10 to Minch. James Pugh was named Man of the Match.
The Rams cemented 2nd place in the league with their first win over Cainscross.