RUGBY: Melksham 5 Minety 32
MINETY concluded their Dorset & Wilts One North campaign with a bonus-point triumph that left them just short of lifting the title, but should secure them a promotion place.
Entering the day level on points at the top with Supermarine and Bradford on Avon, the villagers needed a bonus-point win to stand any chance.
But although they delivered on their end of the bargain, so did Bradford, whose superior points difference earned them the crown, while Supermarine lost at another title contender, Trowbridge 2nd.
Two scintillating tries from winger Duncan Simpson and one each from lock Tom Windle and flanker Steve Brown wrapped up victory at Melksham.
Three conversions and two penalties from skipper Jack Ward completed the job for the visitors, Rob Bailey touching down for Melksham.
Minety finish their outstanding season with a tour game in Plymouth on Saturday 26 April, followed by the Minety Sevens Festival on Saturday, May 3.
Bradford on Avon’s ample supply of able replacements proved too much for a tiring Minety second string, who lost 25-5.
The home team were first on the score board with a try just five minutes in, but the visitors soon struck back when Gareth Roberts intercepted and galloped away for a try.
The game remained evenly balanced until the half hour mark, when Minety had a player yellow carded and Bradford scored for a second time.
Fresh legs made the difference for the hosts in the second period, in what was the last game for Minety stalwart Milo Hartley and injured team captain Ben Scott.
MORE RUGBY REPORTS, REACTION & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD