MARLBOROUGH scrum-half Jake Williams scored a try in the dying seconds to snatch a 28-24 victory for Dorset & Wilts in their Bill Beaumont County Championship opener against Sussex at Melksham RFC on Saturday.

The Twin Counties had looked in a strong position at 21-7 ahead shortly before half-time but were made to sweat by the visitors, who scored 17 points to take the lead before Williams intervened late on to decide it.

The visitors got the scoring under way with a try from Worthing flanker Joe Spurgeon, converted by fly-half Carles Casonova, but that was soon cancelled out when Swindon wing Ollie Wilson touched down in the corner for Dorset & Wilts, with North Dorset fly-half Sam Baker slotting the conversion to level the scores.

Trowbridge flanker Andrew Twinney touched down beneath the visitors’ posts, with Baker stroking over the conversion for a 14-7 lead, and on the half-hour, Trowbridge centre Shai Bonnick capped a fine move with a try, again converted by Baker, to leave the home side well in control.

However, on the stroke of half-time, Sussex scrum-half Matt Walsh caught the Twin Counties’ defence napping and crashed over from close in from a quickly-taken penalty, and Casonova’s conversion brought the visitors back in contention.

Five minutes into the second period, with the Twin Counties reduced to 14 men by a sin-binning, Sussex made them pay with a try by Hove full-back Bryn Garrish, Casonova converting to level the scores.

As the game slowed and became a battle of attrition, in the 65th minute Casonova converted a penalty from 55m to put his team ahead.

Dorset & Wilts had enough left in the tank for one final effort, and after three attempts to drive over the whitewash, Williams picked up the ball and leaped over the top of a ruck on the Sussex line to touch down for the match-winning try, Baker landing the conversion to confirm victory.

Dorset & Wilts travel to Berkshire for their second Division Three Pool Two match on Saturday, May 19.