Calne Rugby (sponsored by Bevirs Solicitors) travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett (3XV) looking to start 2017 with a win. Calne started well as they ran at the Bassett defence but failed to convert early pressure into points. Calne lost their captain Tom Morten within the first few minutes due to injury but with a strong bench, Matt Johnston slotted in at prop to great affect.
The visitors continued to dominate the early proceedings but still found it difficult to find a breakthrough and when Calne Prop Pete Brownlie crashed over the line, only to lose the ball forward, it looked like a frustrating afternoon.
Then after some powerful forward play led by hooker Dave Evans and Brownlie, Calne drove Bassett over their try line and the every reliable number 8 Alan Wicks dived for the line to score.
From the restart Calne continued to pile on the pressure and it wasnt long before they scored another try as fullback Mark Webber touched down for his first of the afternoon.
Calne were playing some great rugby as the forwards and backs combined well with number 10 Brian Hopkins bossing the game. However, it was Bassett who would score the next try after some great play themselves as they made the most from an overlap.
But it would be Calne’s day as Rhys Taylor put in a man of the match performance to cause havoc in the Basset defence before scoring.
Keith Bradley was winning lineout ball with ease and Chris McAlonan and George Fryer were winning ball at the breakdown. Adam Young broke through to score the next try and was a handful all afternoon. Despite the growing scoreline the home side put up a spirited display and it took some great tackles from Brian Hopkins, Mark Webber and Marcus Turner to prevent Bassett from scoring again.
Calne had travelled with 23 players and with further injuries to scrumhalf Dan Treacy and Brian Hopkins these replacements were needed. Liam Kearney slotted in at 10 while Cameron Davies came on for Alan Wicks and both had an immediate impact as both Kearney and Davies crossed the try line.
As the game neared its conclusion winger Jamie Palmer touched down in the corner and flanker Chris McAlonan had the final say as Calne workhorse scored a well deserved try. Final score: Royal Wootton Bassett 7 – Calne Rugby 64
(Scorers: Alan Wicks, Jamie Palmer, Cameron Davies, Adam Young, Liam Kearney, Mark Webber x2, Marcus Turner & Chris McAlonan. Man of the match: Rhys Taylor)
Chairman Chris Austin was delighted with his teams performance and said “When you travel away you always expect a tough game and even though it was a big win for us, Bassett were competitive throughout. We now look forward to welcoming unbeaten Avonvale to the Rec in our next game, we relish the challenge and i’m sure it will be a great game.