MINETY stayed neck and neck with co-leaders Bradford on Avon in Dorset & Wilts One North – but were left to rue a lost opportunity to take a bonus point.

Fine first-half tries from Jack Ward and Tom Fitzcharles gave Minety victory in their last home game of the season but dropped ball and opposition spoiling prevented them from adding to their tally.

Sound tactical kicking by fly-half Ward pinned the visitors back into their half and it was his kick to touch which set up an attacking lineout just five metres out from the line.

The home forwards securely gathered and although Ward was brought down just shy of the line on his first attempt, his pack patiently recycled the ball and the second time he made no mistake, adding an easy conversion.

Experienced Minety forwards Martin Coe, Andy Hurley and Craig Smith are all due to retire at the end of the season, but made their presence strongly felt in their last appearance on home turf.

Smith was forced to retire injured after 30 minutes, but though Devizes attempted to disrupt the set piece, it was to no avail as Minety launched from the base just outside the visitors’ 22.

Tom Fitzcharles slipped through two tackles to score under the posts, and Ward slotted the extras.

Minety struggled in the second period, despite scrum-half Ben Thomas creating havoc and forwards Tom Windle and Max Smith putting in good runs.

Devizes managed a consolation score, breaking from deep in their own 22 and creating an overlap to put Ali Broughton away for a long run in for the try.