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Sat. 15th Feb. Dorest & Wilts 1 North Royal Wotton Bassett 20 Melksham 24
Melksham came out on top at their away fixture at Royal Wotton Bassett, winning 20-24.
Both teams had to deal with a lashing from Storm Dennis throughout the tightly contested game, giving the sets of forwards a difficult job to do in its grip.
Early points for the visitors came from centre Sam Gunstone and winger Matt Van Den Boogaard – Ali Smith converting the first with the wind at his back.
Royal Wotton Bassett fought back after doggedly working their way upfield with a try of their own. Battling the conditions, as much as their opponents, both teams contested hard for the next points. Melksham’s Sam Gunstone backing himself to cross the line for his brace, Smith adding the extras. Not to be outdone, the home team struck in the dying minutes of the first half closing to 13-19.
Ends reversed, the visitors, now kicking into the wind, competed evenly with the home team for possession and territory, the conditions intervening at times. Royal Wotton Bassett eventually getting through with a converted try to take the lead by a point. The tight contest between them engaged both teams, with no-one safe, the tension growing as the clock ticked down. Both teams battled on until a quick Melksham ball whipped out from the breakdown through the hands to Boogaard on the wing for his second try of the game and Melksham’s bonus point win.
A tough, tight contest where both players, referee and supporters, deserve a commendation for turning out in such dire conditions.