RUGBY: Fairford lose out in thriller at Melksham
4:41am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Sport
Dorset & Wilts Div 1 West
FAIRFORD were the masters of their own demise as they suffered their first loss of the season.
Melksham started better, being superior at the breakdown and quick thinking allowed them to score first after a quick-tap penalty.
Fairford showed good character, reacted well, and were soon level – centre Ben Crocker setting up his midfield partner Paul Allan in what was a fine display.
Fairford upped the intensity and were soon in front. Despite ruling out a wonder try from Crocker, Fairford took the earlier given penalty to allow lock George Lawson to score a more straightforward try as he battered the opposition over the line. Andy Waite added the extras.
At half-time, Fairford started trying to kill the game off: Waite added a penalty; 'Beamer' Chambers scored a try which was duly converted; stand-off Tom Robinson also added a rare drop-goal.
From there, however, Fairford capitulated. They were too often found guilty of giving away silly penalties and with less than ten minutes to go squandered a nine-point lead. After confusion over the scoreline from the referee, Melksham opted to go for a try from a penalty. Poor defence at the line-out allowed Melksham to score with almost the last play of the game.
Virtually on the whistle, Fairford were awarded a penalty. Skipper Ben Goodey bravely stepped up from 45 metres but was unable to slot the kick.
A point against a perennial top-four team would have pleased most sides but Fairford’sexceptionally high standards meant they were left thinking what could have been.