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Saturday 7th Oct. – South West Division – Dorset & Wilts 1 North Melksham 20 Bradford-on-Avon 45

WITH a couple of injured players returning to the fold Melksham were able to make a game of it against visitors Bradford on Avon.

The visitors were first to strike from a strong carrying run by the number eight making good metres, with quick hands out wide for the score. But Melksham returned the pressure, forcing a penalty from the boot of scrumhalf Callum Hurn, to get the home team on the scoreboard.

A few minutes later a kick head into the visitors’ goal area from Luke Cador, just failed to touchdown as the cover defence was first to the ball. This patch of momentum saw the visitors cough up another penalty slotted by Hurn. The home team rally was dulled by two quick tries by the visitors, first from their winger running almost unopposed from a return kick, the second, from their outside centre taking the ball at full pace, and just couldn’t be stopped. Melksham responded from a quick interception by Luke Cador, for the home team to clawback some points, Hurn adding the extras. Half time 13 to 21.

In the second half the visitors stepped up a gear and Melksham were unable to hold them. Bradford’s pack and backs were combing well to score four more tries, taking the game away from the home team. Although the game had escaped them, Melksham continued to battle on and were rewarded with a late try from Luke Williams in the corner, converted by scrum half Hurn, final score 20 points to 45

John Hurn.

Saturday 30th September. Dorset & Wilts 1 North. Melksham 7 Combe Down 53

Melksham played host to visitors Combe Down on Saturday 30th September.

The hosts’ bad run of injuries continued to plague the team with upwards of 10 players unavailable and they found it tough to contain the accurate and powerful play brought by the visitors.

From the first whistle Combe Down attacked with strength and flair, ripping the ball out of a maul to score the first try. More points came rapidly as they worked the ball out wide from the ruck to the backs, running at pace and controlling their passing to defeat the rushing defence. The home team rallied in periods, but ultimately couldn’t match the visitors’ attack. Combe Down scored consistently, amassing 9 tries in the game with strong and accurate performances from both forwards and backs.

Melksham’s spirit was robust throughout and they battled away with some reward in the dying minutes with an inspired cross field kick, collected and scored by first team debutant, Luke Cador. Fly half Simon Foster converting the points to end the game 7-53.