SUTTON Benger started the new Dorset & Wilts One North season with a battling 24-22 victory away at Bradford on Avon.

Benger started strongly and after a sustained period of possession, the ball found its way to Christopher Bolter to score under the posts, with Harry Taylor adding the conversion.

The lead was short-lived as off the back of a lineout, Bradford cut through the Benger centres to score a converted try of their own.

Sutton struggled to deal with the pace of home backs in the first and they looked dangerous every time they got the ball wide – and that led to a second converted try.

The two teams continued to trade blows and it was the visitors who were next to strike as Lance Berkley popped up through a crowd of men to cross the whitewash, with Taylor adding the extra points.

However, more good running from the Bradford backs saw them score again out wide as they took a 19-14 lead into half-time.

Benger were reduced to 14 men as the second half began when captain Callum Harford was sent to the sin-bin and the hosts took the three points from the resulting penalty.

The game remained tight for most of the second half and Benger were to next to get on the scoreboard when Taylor slotted a penalty.

As the game progressed towards its conclusion, confidence grew within the Benger players and they were duly rewarded with a winning try.

Matt Rea reached out a long arm to put the ball over the line to level the scores, with Taylor kicking a crucial conversion to snatch the victory.

Elsewhere, Minety also opened up the campaign in winning fashion after beating Trowbridge 2nd 29-24 on the road.

Minety struck first with two tries inside the opening 10 minutes through Tom Claxton and Sam Hughes.

However, three tries for the hosts in the space of 14 minutes just before half-time turned the match on its head and saw Trowbridge lead 19-12.

Minety made some tactical changes at the break and they started well upon the resumption of play as Andrew Hibbard crossed for their third try.

Chris Rule then scored Minety’s fourth try soon afterwards to seal a bonus point for the visitors.

When Luke Radcliffe then crashed through the home defence to make it 29-19 in the 65th minute, the match looked to be over as both sides suffered in the heat.

A Trowbridge try gave them a glimmer of hope but two superb try-saving tackles from Duncan Simpson ensured a Minety held firm for the win.

Finally, Calne suffered a 29-27 defeat at home to Frome.

  • PEWSEY Vale began the Dorset & Wilts II North season with a dominant 69-22 victory at home to Trowbridge 3rd.

The contest was a fine demonstration of Pewsey’s ability to score from anywhere on the pitch as they ran in 10 tries in total.

Phil Vallis led the way with a hat-trick, James Haynes bagged a brace, while there was a touchdown apiece for Olly Spence, Sam Flippance, Pete Baird, Bertie Bowerman and Olly Lavis, while Tom Regan added 19 points with the boot.