BRADFORD on Avon coach Dave George saluted his side’s first-half efforts as they returned to the top of Dorset & Wilts One North with a 41-0 over neighbours Melksham on Saturday.

The home side took a four-point lead over previous pole-sitters Combe Down, whose contest against Pewsey Vale was postponed.

Wing Murray Dewar led the Ashley Lane charge, scoring four tries as fly-half Sam Jones and replacement Oli Bilton also touched down, Josh Felix adding three conversions and a couple of penalties.

George said: “The first half especially was a cracking performance because it wasn’t very nice up there, very squelchy.

“It was tempered a bit because Jack Rutland, our second row, sustained a fractured fibula but I think we just came out firing in the first half and scored within four minutes.

“I was pleased with the nil because we have worked on the defence and that’s showing. We’ll probably have a weaker side out this week (against Pewsey) because we’ve got a few missing.’’

Warminster’s recent slump continued as a 24-12 reverse at Royal Wootton Bassett 2nd condemned them to their fifth defeat in seven games.

Bassett’s early dominance paid dividends as they ran in two quick tries and, as the amber and blues never managed to get in the Bassett 22 in the whole of the first half, a third made it 17-0 at the interval.

The second half started much better for Warminster and they pulled a score back when wing Kieran Plummer went over in the corner.

A second scored followed as number eight Lai Vinakadina spotted a gap through the centre of a ruck and raced downfield, scrum-half Gavin Pratt’s conversion reducing arrears to five points.

However, Bassett fought back and nearly scored in the corner but for a superb covering tackle from Vinakadina before sealing the game with a fourth try.