Muddy hell as Avonvale RFC are beaten at Minety
After conceding two tries while waiting for a player to get through traffic, a full-strength Avonvale RFC side staged a good recovery against Minety but still lost 17-5.
The visitors had to start with just 14 men on the muddiest pitch they had encountered for some time but competed well, only to be undone by a rare mistake from the referee.
He missed a knock forward across the try line and awarded an attacking scrum. Minety – with the heavier forwards and in the favourable conditions – picked up from the base and a short feed allowed their scrum-half to cross.
Vale pressed deep into the Minety 22 in response but the home backs regained possession and found a gap in the visiting defence to score in the corner.
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The late arrival brought Vale up to full strength just before half-time but they were prevented from closing the gap by desperate defending and a number of mud-enforced errors.
As the pitch worsened, the game appeared to be heading for a dull conclusion before Vale gifted their hosts with a third score when three defenders were unable to gather a low kick and the Minety wing slid across the line.
The visitors were determined to come away with something, though, and spent the final minutes attacking with force.
Stand-in prop Mark Davis crossed in the dying seconds but the mud and bodies prevented the referee from seeing the grounding.
He did award a short penalty, however, and skipper George Hobbs took the quick tap before scrambling between the bodies for a deserved consolation.