WARMINSTER continued their perfect start to 2019 in Dorset & Wilts One North with a 42-14 win at home to Sutton Benger.

The Amber and Blues started strongly, and it was not long before Dan McIntyre spotted a gap in the defence as a quick change of direction saw him sprint under the posts, converted by Jason Sprangle.

Warminster quickly added another score, this time Ross Williams diving over the line after a perfectly-judged crossfield kick from Sprangle, who also added extras.

Good running by McIntyre created an overlap for a third try and a well-timed passed to Ollie Pinnell allowed him to score as Sprangle again converted to make it 21-0 inside 20 minutes.

Benger soon began to assert pressure themselves and they got their first points on the board after barging over the tryline.

The visitors’ tails were up, and they put together good passages of play, and it was not long before Benger scored again, this time after good carries from the pack.

Both tries were converted and Benger were back within seven points, but Pinnell was able to score his second try just before half-time to give Warminster the bonus point and a little more confidence.

Rain began to fall as the second half began and the changed conditions dictated the game.

Benger kept the ball tight and attempting to batter through the defence, but the Amber and Blues thwarted every attack.

The hosts were able to ease the pressure through carries from Dom Davey and Dean Preistman, and the pressure resulted in Reid Curtis diving over the line, only to be held up.

Daniel Harris was solid under the high ball and began to attack with the ball at any opportunity, which resulted in the next score for Warminster.

Harris found Jamie Verden, who broke through the tiring defence before offloading to Gavin Pratt, and when he was brought down, Williams was able to navigate his way through six defenders to score under the posts.

There would be one more score before the final whistle after a break from Curtis saw him offload to McIntyre to sprint to the line.

Sprangle added both late kicks to make it 100 per cent with the boot for the day.

Elsewhere, it was a tough day for third-placed Melksham as they suffered a first defeat of 2019, going down 34-10 at home to a strong Avonvale side, who are one place above in second.

Avonvale took the lead after 10 minutes and did not look back. By half-time, they had built up a 24-0 lead.

The second half continued in a similar patter and the visitors scored again not long after the restart.

However, Melksham then started to play the rugby they are capable of and Ryan Brown was able to get over the line for the home side’s first points.

However, a yellow card for Jamie Shipman meant that Melksham were down to 14 men, and the increased Avonvale press allowed them to stretch their lead to 34-5.

The visitors were shown a yellow card of their own in the closing stages and Melklsham capitalised as Nick Suter crashed over the line, but it was much too late to alter the final outcome.