RUGBY: Frome 18 Devizes 31

First published in Sport

DEVIZES went two points clear at the top of Southern Counties South as they claimed a bonus-point win at Frome and second-placed Sherborne lost to Wimborne.

The Saddlebacks reclaimed top spot after missing out on a game the previous week and also have a game in hand on their closest rivals.

They started off excellently due to a wayward kick off from the Frome fly-half which allowed them to establish territorial advantage.

After initial charges from James Gainger and Chris Barter, captain Tom Collins burrowed over from close range and Andy Thompson added the conversion.

A second try nearly followed as Chris Holloran charged down a clearance kick, but just failed to gather the ball, knocking it on.

However, Thompson boosted their lead with a penalty after Frome offended at the scrummage.

Frome responded with a penalty of their own before tempers flared when Craig Bryant appeared to be unluckily sin-binned after what appeared to be a good tackle.

The home side ate further into the Saddlebacks’ lead with a second penalty but Devizes roared back with their best try of the match.

A superb delayed pass by Thompson put in Mark Warburton who made good yardage.

The forwards continued the move before Thompson put Warburton in again, this time to go over the line. Thompson converted.

Just before the break, Devizes scored their third try when Gaiger carried from the base of the scrum and found Collins, who burrowed over for his second of the afternoon.

Thompson’s conversion made it 24-6 at half time.

Frome came out all guns blazing early in the second half, but Devizes’ defence held firm and 10 minutes in, Gaiger got the vital bonus-point try after a great counter attack by replacement winger Luke Rapson on the left wing, Gaiger finishing strongly and Thompson converting.

Frome beefed up their pack and hit back with two late tries, the first of which was converted, but despite spurning further chances and having Damon Murphy sin-binned, Devizes closed out the match.

RUGBY REPORTS, REACTION & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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