MELKSHAM crossed for a last-gasp try and conversion to snatch a 19-19 Dorset & Wilts One North draw at county rivals Minety on Saturday.

With the slope in their favour in the first half, the visitors pinned back their hosts in the opening stages, but it was Minety who grabbed the lead when the visitors were penalised for handling at a ruck and Garin Garland converted the penalty.

But Melksham hit back straight from the kick off as, despite excellent defensive work from full-back Duncan Simpson and flanker Rob Hinwood, a clever cut-back from flanker Phil Stone sliced through the defensive line.

Minety had captain Tom Claxton held up on the line but their tactics of running the ball at the centre of the Melksham defence played into the visitors’ hands and Melksham extended their lead when full-back Nick Suter entered the line and crashed over for a try converted by scrum-half Callum Hurn to take the score to 12-3.

Minety reduced the arrears with a Garland penalty deep into first-half stoppage time and the village side took the lead in the opening minute of the second half.

Garland ran a clearance kick back at the Melksham line, first Claxton and then Tom McAllister were held up inches from the line but, from a ruck, Garland fed Chris Rule who thundered over for his first try in for the first team, Garland adding the extras before extending the advantage to four points with as further penalty.

Garland added another kick midway through the second period but the game opened up in the final 10 minutes.

Garland’s long-range drop kick sailed narrowly wide and set up a breathtaking finale in which Melksham launched one last attack down the left wing, Hurn eventually outrunning the defence to touch down and adding the extras after a break from replacement Jordan Wakeley.

Elsewhere, Pewsey Vale inflicted a 37-10 defeat on promotion-pushing Warminster, who took the lead with a breakaway try from centre Lai Vinakadina, scrum-half Jason Sprangle adding the conversion.

At the end of the first quarter a reckless Warminster tackle gave Pewsey captain James Haynes a penalty shot which he landed.

Five minutes later hooker Jeremy Horton, with a fine individual effort, drove for the line from 20 metres out and Haynes added the extras.

Fly-half Gavin Pratt added a penalty for the visitors before half-time, with the score tied at 10-10, but Vale pulled clear in the second period.

Four second-half tries, two converted plus a penalty, sealed the game.

Two minutes after restart turnover ball from a lineout was driven forward, Horton on the receiving end of the final pass to crash over in the corner for his second try.

In the next ten minutes Haynes added a penalty, then good lineout ball from flanker Bertie Bowerman, had the forwards fanning across the pitch, moving the ball to flanker Olly Lavis who strode in for the score.

At the end of the third quarter, wing Tom Flippance outpaced the visitors’ defence and Haynes added the extras before replacement hooker Sam Flippance finished the scoring, converted by Haynes..

Bradford on Avon head coach Dave George was delighted to see his men bounce back from their first defeat of the season at Warminster as they comfortably defeated Avonvale 42-7 at Ashley Lane.

The home side fell behind to a penalty try, but it was one-way traffic after that as the forwards set up the platform for the three-quarters to make hay.

Left wing Murray Dewar crossed for a hat-trick of tries, while centre Josh Felix touched down twice and added two conversions and a penalty.

Full-back Tom Park and Leo Robertson, switched to fly-half after a hamstring injury for Sam Jones, also touched down for the home side.

George said: "It was a cracking performance. The backs scored all the tries but it was the forwards that paved the way.''