Minchinhampton 25

Bishopston 17

MINCH moved towards Gloucester Two safety with a narrow victory over Bristol-based Bishopston.

After surviving a few Bishopston near misses, man-of-the-match Oli Davis carried strongly to put the home side within five-metres, a series of pick-and-goes to a cheeky snipe from winger Curtis Taylor, who was denied his try by an unsighted ref.

The resulting five-metre scrum was marshalled brilliantly by scrum-half Jack Corry, driving Bishopston quickly backwards allowing No8 Niall Kimber an easy touch down for a five-nil lead.

The score sparked the away side into life, strong ball carries from their big second-rows and good feet from the Bishopston 12 ran in a try on 24 minutes, the conversion embarrassing missed from straight in front of the posts. With Minch dominating scrums and Bishopston having the ascendancy at line out time the away team went to the boot at every opportunity. Pinning Minch back against their own try line. Strong home defence was finally broken following a line out drive on 38 minutes, conversion missed 5- 10 to Bishopston at the half-time break.

Buoyed by their strong finish in the first, Bishopston started the second at full-pace. The away 10 and 12 now asserting some midfield pressure. A long down field from Minch gave the away team the chance to score a try that went through eight pairs of hands and started in their own 22, an excellent team try, scores now 5-17 to the away team on 45 minutes.

Like their opposition in the first-half, Minch responded immediately, winning three points to reduce the arrears on 47 minutes, 8-17.

Now having the wind at their backs and increased confidence in the line out Minch established themselves in the Bishopston 22. With patience, ball retention and putting 10-plus phases together Minch worked their way to the away teams five-metre line. Strong away defence held strong until a Minch scrum gave the increasingly influential Jack Corry a chance to throw and sell a dummy to score out wide, conversion made it 15-17 on 56 minutes. The home side now looking the more capable side, Minch again pressured Bishopston into an easy three point penalty, taking the lead back with 19 minutes left, 18-17. Bishopston responded again and put Minch under a lot of defensive pressure, cleared following a knock on. Bishopston attacked again, going wide they missed the chance to score with poor hands but allowed winger Tim Lee to hack up field, gather and make 40 yards before the scrambling defence pulled him down. Minch remained calm and played several phases in the Bishopston 22, going close through the pack and dragging in the flagging away defence Minch moved the ball wide for Tim Lee to score a well deserved try on 75 minutes, the conversion from No 13 Lewis Mckissick increasing the lead to 25-17. Minch finished strongly repelling Bishopston to see out the clock. An outstanding team come back from the 17 involved. With 14 points from the last three games Minch have established themselves in a strong position to climb a very tightly packed league table.

Next week away to Chelt Civil Service in a rearranged league game.