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It was a close contest that went down to the wire at Avonvale’s ground, with Melksham taking the win with a last-minute try.
The game started with an even contest between the two teams; Melksham first on the scoreboard with a penalty from fly half Connor Randall. The home team replied minutes later with their scrum half diving in from a ball off the back of the scrum. The lead was to change again from a scrimmage ball, won against the head, quick hands out to Callum Gillard stepping the defenders from the 22, taking the score to 5-8 at half time.
Ten minutes after the restart, scrum-half Rory Mulgrew fly hacked on to touch down and extend the visitors’ lead. With both teams competing hard, Avonvale capitalised from a reversed penalty decision, kicking to the corner to set up a catch and drive from a line-out, pressure finally telling and scoring. Their tally was reinforced minutes later from another penalty to level it up 13-13.
The pressure for the next score heavily increased, the home team going three points up from a penalty in the dying minutes of the game to regain the lead. Melksham, rallying to the moment, kicked deep into the home team half, chased up by Brad Wilkins, possession won, the ball taken out wide across the pitch to Matt Van Den Boogaard to score a game-winning try. Final score 16-18 in Melksham’s favour.
Sam Gunstone making his first team debut for the visitors.