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Sat. 19th Jan. Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts 1 North Trowbridge RFC 2nd 11 Melksham RFC 1st 15
Two local rivals went head to head in poor conditions as Melksham RFC 1st XV made the short journey to Trowbridge, hopeful of a league double over their neighbours.
Trowbridge opened the scoring from close range as some good forwards’ play saw them bundle the ball over the line for a 5-0 lead, however the conversion fell short from a fair distance.
The lead didn’t last for long, as Melksham were able to show their attacking prowess straight from the restart. As Melksham applied pressure, Lewie Simmons turned over possession in the Trowbridge 22, for Alistair Smith then to put captain David Dyke through in the corner for his first of the season. Smith then took the conversion from the touchline for it to sail just wide of the posts and the score to remain at 5-5.
Shortly after, a Trowbridge penalty made the scores 8-5. After some good defence on halfway from Melksham, Trowbridge captain G. Davis was given a yellow for persistent offences. This led Melksham’s 10 Alistair Smith to kick the Melksham attack down the 5-metre line for an attacking line-out. A well-worked routine and clever mauling from Melksham led Ben Smith to finish the inevitable and put Melksham in front for the first time, and an Alistair Smith conversion to follow; 8-12 and half-time.
It was an even start to the second-half with neither side dominating until Trowbridge were able to pull 3 points off of Melksham’s lead via a penalty kick. However, Trowbridge then went down to 14 men for the second time in the game after their number 7 was guilty of a late tackle on Alistair Smith, and not for the first time in the game either.
Alistair Smith was able to capitalise on this, slotting home from 40 metres to put Melksham 15-11 in front, with 10 minutes remaining. Some resolute defending and good discipline from Melksham in the final stages ensured the league double was completed, with the full time score Trowbridge RFC 2nd XV 11 – 15 Melksham RFC 1st XV.
It was a good day to be in any Melksham side, as there were victories for each 3 sides in their respective games, with Melksham RFC Development XV recording a 17-0 victory over Cricklade (and a second clean sheet in a row) and the Melksham RFC Social XV were in for a great night after beating Minety 2nd XV 35-7.