Calne Rugby (sponsored by Bevirs Solicitors) welcomed Melksham 2XV to the rec and from the kickoff turned up the heat on a bitterly cold afternoon.
With Melksham having a few players unavailable the home side were always going to be favourites to claim the win and it wasn’t long before Calne’s forward pressure and dominance in the scrums and lineouts paid dividends. Calne’s Bruce Harper and Keith Bradley were stealing line out ball on a regular basis and broke through gaps in open play. Alan Wick was a continuous threat from the advancing scrums as the regular front row of Pete Brownlie, Dave Evans and captain Tom Morten marched forward towards the Melksham line.
Mid way through the first half an injury in the Melksham front row meant the rest of the match would be played with uncontested scrums which disrupted the flow of the game.
Calne’s ever reliable fullback Mark Webber put in some great tackles to repel any attacks from the visitors and with scrum half Dan Treacy and fly-half Brian Hopkins running the show, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the visitors.
Centres Adam Young and Marcus Turner burst through gaps and were a constant threat throughout. Flanker Chris McAlonan put in a man of the match performance both in attack and defence to score twice. Simon Walker worked hard at the breakdown all afternoon and Liam Kearney had a solid game, both with ball in hand and with his boot, slotting conversions from all positions.
Due to the cold conditions it was inevitable that there would be injuries from both teams and Calne used their bench well to maintain their dominance. Melksham to their credit continued to mount their own attacks and were rewarded with a try after being awarded a penalty five metres from the Calne line. The quick tap penalty was played of the knee and touched down under the posts. Despite this minor setback Calne established control and the match finished 47-7.
Calne scorers: Pete Brownline, Dan Treacy, Liam Kearney, Jay Watkin, Marcus Turner and Chris McAlonan (TWO).
Man of the match: Chris McAlonan.
Chairman Chris Austin commented: It was a bit scrappy at times and freezing for the spectators and subs but we are pleased with the win. There were so many stoppages due to injury which disrupted both teams. We now look to next Saturday and another home match against Trowbridge 2XV who are second in table. We then have a home southern counties cup final on the 25th Feb against Berkshire Shire Hall and this is something everyone connected to Calne Rugby is looking forward to.