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Melksham rugby – winning start Melksham 1st v Royal Wotton Bassett ll 48-8

THE first game of the season got underway at Melksham’s Oakfield ground, hosting Royal Wootton Bassett ll.

The game got off to a lively start both teams playing for the first score. The home team were to strike first with quick ball out through the backs to winger Kieran Jenkins to go over in the corner. Five minutes later flanker Ollie Cooper broke from the ruck showing directness and speed for the second try of the day the conversion added by fly half Scott Simmons.

The pace slowed for a time whilst the packs fought for possession through a series of scrummages, the home team conceding a penalty for the visitors’ first points.

Having worked mid-way into the visitors’ half, quick ball from the scrum caught centre Phil Stone running directly and at pace to score. Simmons adding the extras. Melksham’s control tightened when scrum half Callum Hurn darted up the blind side from a ruck to score the bonus point try right in the corner. 24-3 at half time.

From the re-start a fumbled ball by the visitors was chip kicked on and collected by the chasing Hurn who passed out through centre Connor Randall onto winger Ben Brown to score. Simmons slotting the posts. The visitors fought on doggedly but couldn’t hold the home team. A ball taken against the head through quick hands from Charlie Radcliffe found Hurn running a cutting line, tackled but stretching for line for his second.

Rampant now, centre Phil Stone, ran in hard and direct from a collected hacked-on ball. Simmons with the extras. Connor Randall returning a clearance kick ran it back in for Melksham’s final points. The visitors never gave up and worked themselves to within five metres of the home line, their endeavour rewarded with a try scored from a quick tap and go.

Man of the match went to Matt Lawrence on his first team debut courtesy of game sponsor and club member Giles Derby. Alistair Smith making his first team debut from the bench replacing the injured Simmons.