THE pre-Christmas derby between Melksham and Warminster in Dorset & Wilts One North ended in a 24-24 draw.

Visitors Warminster had the strong wind at their backs in the first half, so were the first to get the scoreboard ticking over after they grabbed a try off the back of a 5m scrum.

Midway through the first half, they struck again when a kick got the wind behind it before being hacked on for a converted try.

Full of confidence, Warminster struck again to take a 19-0 lead into half time. Carrying hard through the centre and offloading out of the tackles, they scored a third try without reply.

The change of ends brought the home team into the game and having gained field position, Chris Griffin took the ball at pace to score.

Warminster rallied, though, and put five more points on the board with a fourth try to maintain their impressive lead.

As the rain lashed in, Melksham dug deep and Ryan Brown carried hard through the defence to claim his first try of the game, converted by Connor Randall.

A game of attrition saw enforced positional changes, but the momentum Melksham now held did not falter as Luke Cador stepped his way through a crowd to lift the home team to within a converted score.

The home forwards then stepped up their game with powerful work in the visitors’ 22, with Brown determinedly forcing his way over the tryline to complete his brace and Randall slotting the extras to level the scores and earn Melksham a share of the spoils.