MINETY went down 39-0 at Marlborough despite defending bravely for 80 minutes in the teams’ Dorset & Wilts 1 North clash.

On a pitch still partially covered by snow, the visitors put themselves under pressure early on by spilling a catch from kick-off, but they managed to stand firm before forcing a turnover which eventually allowed them to clear they lines.

Their resilience didn’t last long and 10 minutes later Marlborough scored a try in the corner after a series of forward-dominated attacks. Kicker Nathan Morgan missed the conversion but his side continued to press, running in a further unconverted try despite the visitors’ determined tackling.

The Minety pack maintained a solid scrum platform and a tidy lineout, with their efforts posing the Marlborough jumpers all sorts of problems. Prop Andy Hurley tackled well, there was some tough rucking and scrummaging from Craig Smith and tireless energy from Pete Hazell.

Among the backs, academy graduate Mike New impressed with a mature display at fly-half, while Jason Cole expertly marshalled the defence superbly.

Minety scrum-half Tom Fitzcharles had a chance to get his side on the board but pushed a penalty goal attempt wide, leaving the score at 10-0 at the break.

The home team continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and territory in the second half, but Minety kept their shape and continued to tackle manfully.

The effort took its toll and in the last quarter of an hour Marlborough ran in a flurry of tries to make it an emphatic 39-0 at the final whistle.

In Dorset & Wilts 2 North, Fairford overcame Cricklade 15-10.