NICK Tuckett ran in a hat-trick of tries as Swindon College Old Boys got back to winning ways in Southern Counties South with a 38-18 success away at second-from-bottom Thatcham at the weekend.

After narrow back-to-back defeats at home to top-three sides Sherborne and Yeovil, College returned to top form on their trip to Berkshire and Jamie Barrett’s side are now up to fifth in the table.

The visitors held a slender 10-6 advantage at the break, but a scintillating spell just after the restart when they ran in three quickfire tries took the game away from Thatcham.

Tuckett led the way for College with a treble and Eoin Crean, Liam Rowe and Dan Cooper also got over the whitewash to make it a bonus-point victory, while Charlie Grabe converted four of the six tries.

Head coach Barrett said: “We are really pleased with the win as we went there expecting a difficult game. We knew that Thatcham have been improving in the last few weeks and it is always a tough place to go.

“It was a very competitive game in the first half and there wasn’t much between the two teams.

“We got everyone together at half-time and had had a chat about a few things, and we came out in the second half and scored three tries in seven minutes. That really set us on our way.

“Conditions in the first half were very difficult and we couldn’t really get a foothold in the game, so the guys did really well to come into the break having built up a narrow lead.

“In the second half, we raised the tempo and the guys played some really good stuff to get a convincing win in the end.”

All divisions now take a weekend off from league action and Barrett hopes to make the most of the chance to revitalise his troops before further fixtures prior to the festive break.

Barrett said: “We will try to take advantage of the weekend off and let the guys have some well-earned rest and then we can come back in refreshed for hopefully another strong push towards Christmas.”

Elsewhere, Royal Wootton Bassett moved up to second in the South West One East table with a 24-21 victory at home to Beaconsfield.

Bassett now have eight wins from their opening nine league fixtures, with unbeaten leaders Newbury Blues the only side ahead of them.

At the other end of the table, Swindon remain at the bottom after their winless start was extended to a ninth game in a 57-14 loss at Trowbridge.

In Dorset & Wilts One North, Supermarine are also winless having lost 36-14 at Sutton Benger at the weekend.