SWINDON picked up their third successive away victory with a 29-22 win at Bletchley, closing the gap on third-placed Reading to only three points in the process.
The Greenbridge Road side made the most of the difficult conditions to run in four tries, with Adam Westall and Gary Williamson touching down before Charlie Vine added a brace.
While one half of the pitch was boggy the rest was fit for play, and Westall was impressed with how his side were able to cope after losing playmaker Cameron Brown to injury in the first half.
“We have often been called a home team, but we have been working on our away form and have made some good improvements,” he said.
“The pitch was very heavy and it was hard to play our rugby, and it has been the same on most pitches since October. Everything flowed really well in the first 20 minutes before Cameron got injured, and that changed the way we played a fair bit.
“He is a distributor at 12 and losing him meant we had to grind it out, but we got sorted and kept them out to go on and win.”
Swindon were able to close the gap after Reading lost 35-10 at leaders Bracknell, giving them renewed hope of a top-three finish.
“We are okay in fourth, and there is everything to play for now and we are looking to sneak into third,” Westall said.
“We have Salisbury at the weekend which will be a good battle of the county game, and if we win we could sneak up a place.”
In Southern Counties South, Wootton Bassett furthered their survival chances with a 24-8 triumph at home to Weymouth.
Young wing Hamish Keith touched down early on and David Hogg converted, before the latter added a penalty to give the hosts a 10-0 lead.
Weymouth crossed the whitewash themselves in the lead-up to half-time but the conversion was missed.
However, before the interval prop Rhys Cadogan scored from close range and Hogg added the extras.
A penalty for the visitors made it 17-8 at half-time.
In the second half Jon Clarke counter-attacked and found Phil Bardwell in support, who raced under the posts. Hogg added the extras.
Elsewhere in the division, Supermarine lost 35-10 at home to Corsham while in the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier, Swindon College Old Boys triumphed 36-13 at Phoenix.
In Dorset & Wilts 1 North, Minety ran in three first-half tries to defeat Swindon 2nds 21-5.
Centre Dave Church pounced to grab the first, before wing Robin Greenway scorched down the touchline to score in the corner.
Full-back Tom Fitzcharles sliced through the Swindon defence from 40 metres out for number three. All three tries were converted by Michael New.
Swindon got a try of their own after the break but it was too little, too late.
In Dorset & Wilts 2 North, Cricklade were defeated 17-12 by Melksham. Skipper Danny Harris scored a second-half try for Cricklade.