WARMINSTER and Melksham will start the new year in the midst of a promotion push out of Dorset & Wilts One North after rounding off 2019 with a win apiece.

An empathic 65-17 victory at home to Trowbridge 2nd was Warminster’s ninth from 11 league games this season and keeps them second in the table.

Melksham are just one point and one place below the Amber and Blues in the standings after signing off for the Christmas break with a 30-12 success away at Marlborough 2nd.

By contrast, Bradford on Avon face a fight to stave off relegation and will need a dramatic improvement in form over the second half of the season.

Bradford will start 2020 at the bottom of the table and remain on just one league win this term after going down to a heavy 50-5 defeat away at Frome 2nd.

Melksham’s victory over Marlborough was built on some strong early pressure and a powerful range of attacks yielded three penalties in quick succession, all of which were calmly slotted through the posts by Ali Smith.

All the play was headed in one direction as Melksham continued to pile on the pressure. Ben Brown forced his way ahead before passing to Alex Cox, whose power could not be contained by the Marlborough defence.

Again, Smith was successful with the kick to take the half-time score to 16-0.

The change of ends sparked hope for home team and an intercepted pass saw them cross the whitewash for their first points of the day.

Adam Davies swiftly readdressed the balance for the visitors, setting off on an elusive run and side-stepping defenders to score. Smith added the extras once more.

Brown was next over the tryline for Melksham, receiving the final pass in a good passage of play following strong yards gained by Matt Glover, again converted by Smith.

Marlborough plugged on until the final whistle and were rewarded with a converted try but it did little to alter the final outcome.