PEWSEY Vale's pace and bruising defence proved the difference as they clinched a 36-20 triumph at Melksham in Dorset & Wilts One North on Saturday.

A minute’s silence in memory of Melksham's Paul McQuillan, who died after a second-team match last month, was held before kick-off with McQuillan's immediate family present and daughters carrying on the match ball to start the game.

Melksham opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour as scrum-half Callum Hurn landed a penalty but Pewsey hit back immediately as prop James Campbell gathered the ball from the restart.

A resulting scrum produced quick ball to centre Ben Bowman who burst through before slipping a pass fellow centre James Haynes who dotted down between the posts and added the extras.

Vale then added two more tries to take the lead out to 21-3, hooker Jeremy Horton going on an unstoppable drive before number eight Olly Spence sprinted in unopposed from halfway, both scores being converted by Haynes.

Melksham rallied and worked their way into the visitors’ territory and from five metres out, captain Charlie Radcliffe scored from the back of the scrum, Hurn adding the extras.

A penalty apiece from Hurn and Haynes followed in the third quarter but with 15 minutes remaining, wing Tom Flippance went over in the corner.

The home side came back as Callum Gillard cut a perfect line at pace around the scrum to receive a pass and score, Hurn adding the extras.

But from the restart Pewsey drove forward, Campbell crashing over the line from 20 metres out and Haynes added the extra points

Vale coach Jamie Balls said: "For a side that felt it under-performed and still to come away with a bonus-point win away from home is a side that is on the up.

"Next week’s game (at home to Warminster) is a crucial one in our development.''

Minety kept in touch with the top four as they put Swindon 2nd to the sword 41-3, scoring six tries.

They opened the scoring with a fine team try in the fourth minute, scrum-half Garin Garland, fly-half Adam Watts and centre Jack Howse and winger Ben Langridge combining before flanker Josh Bull ran in unopposed under the posts, Garland converting.

Full-back Tom McAllister collected his own high kick ahead and passed to winger Dave Cooke who burst through for the second and Garland collected the third try in the 17th minute, picking up from the base of the scrum 30 metres out and beating off four defenders to touch down.

Swindon reduced arrears to 21-3 with a penalty but Garland replied with a kick of his own before half-time.

Centre Matt Roberts touched down after replacement Jack Ward's break after the interval, before Ward himself added the fifth and then the final try after a fine dummy, Garland converting.

Coach Andy Grayson said: “We played some good rugby and looked really dangerous when we used our full back line and we played an expansive game and off - well out of the tackle.”