SWINDON have renewed hope of a top-three finish in South West 1 East after securing an impressive 22-12 victory away at rivals Reading.

Twelve points separated the Greenbridge Road side in fourth and their third-placed opponents prior to kick-off, but tries from Sam Wells, Mike Thompson and Dave Cox cut the gap to only eight, while Swindon still have a game in hand.

Neil Loader’s men hadn’t been in action for three weeks due to the recent bad weather, but scrum-half Connal Knott was impressed with the way they managed to execute the attractive brand of rugby they have been working on for the last two years.

“We had two disappointing results straight after Christmas, but we came out strong and played our style of rugby which was important, and we were lucky with conditions because it was quite dry considering the weather we’ve had recently,” he said.

“Reading play the same way, and we were getting good quality ball from the forwards who played brilliantly in the first-half. We could have been 50-0 up.

“But a few little mistakes crept in because we haven’t played for a little while, and they came back a bit in the second half, but we managed to get the win.”

Knott believes top two Bracknell and Old Centralians are out of Swindon’s reach, but thinks finishing third in the league would be a just reward for they work they have put in during their second season of South West 1 East rugby.

“We still have a game in hand on Reading now, and as a squad we want to finish third,” he said.

“We have accepted the top two are out of our range, but after finishing fourth last year we just want to go one step further. It is certainly possible.

“This is our second season in the league and we are improving, and we are definitely a better side now so we need to keep on improving.”

Swindon College Old Boys also enjoyed an impressive victory, as they beat lowly Harwell 48-8 in the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier.

Head coach Mark Roshier was pleased with what his side were able to do, describing it as their best team performance of the season.

“It all went to plan because the guys put everything we’ve worked on in training into action, and it was probably the best team performance in the two seasons I’ve been with the club,” he said.