ROYAL Wootton Bassett head coach Alan Low intends to make Ballards Ash a fortress this season as they prepare for their first home fixture of the 2019-20 campaign.

Bassett were 39-24 winners away at Old Centralians in their South West One East curtain raiser last weekend and will enjoy home comforts for the first time in 2019-20 on Saturday.

Old Patesians are the visitors to Ballards Ash, with the Cheltenham side having fallen 41-32 at home to Oxford Harlequins in their own opener.

Old Pats were plying their trade a level above Bassett last season, although that turned out to be an unsuccessful campaign as they suffered relegation from South West Premier.

Low knows his team will have to on their guard for a response from their opponents, although admits any hopes Bassett have of success this season must start with a strong home record.

That is something they could count on last season as Bassett won 10 of their first 11 league fixtures at home before tailing off towards the end with back-to-back defeats.

Low said: “We have always maintained that we want to do well at home.

“Every side wants to make a bit of a fortress for themselves at their own ground, and we certainly did that last season.

“Old Patesians will be a tough game and they are possibly a bit of an unknown quantity too.

“They have been up to what was National Three level and have come back down for this season.

“It was a really interesting result for them against Oxford Harlequins last weekend. They were 32-7 up and ended up losing the game.

“What that means for us is that we really have to be on our guard from the off as we try to make Ballards Ash a fortress again.”

Elsewhere, Swindon begin life in Southern Counties South on the road as they look to bounce back from last season’s relegation from South West One East.

The Greenbridge Road side travel to Walcot this weekend.

Swindon College Old Boys also have an away fixture as they open the campaign at Frome.

Supermarine were another side to suffer relegation last season and they begin the Dorset & Wilts 2 North campaign at home to Devizes 2nd.