CHIPPENHAM twice came from behind against Swindon Ladies on the opening weekend of Premier Division 2A action in the West Clubs Women’s Hockey League but they were still unable to prevent defeat as Chloe Lewis struck late on to snatch a 3-2 victory.

Visiting Swindon made the better start, winning three short corners in the game’s first three minutes.

At the third attempt, Swindon took the lead as Gemma Scrase managed to get on the end of a shot to divert the ball over the line and hand the away side an early marker.

A few minutes later, Chippenham found a way back into the game as Swindon goalkeeper Lex Hogarth was beaten.

First goalscorer Scrase then teamed up with Rebecca Lightbody to set up the visitors’ second as Rachel King finished the job to re-establish Swindon’s lead.

Chippenham equalised once more, but the hosts were helpless when Linda Browers’ hard ball into the D was flicked on by Lewis to snatch the game’s winning goal.

Three points lifted Swindon to second in the table after one block of fixtures, with Cheltenham 2nd, Cirencester and Yate the other teams to win their openers.

In Whitehorse Division 1, Swindon 2nd slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Devizes 2s.

Rebecca Davies, taking charge of her first 2nds game, could only watch Devizes net goals either side of half-time.

Swindon’s defeat certainly wasn’t through a lack of effort, though. Sarah Anstey made some standout saves in goal, while Emily King played well on debut.

Coach Davies was also boosted by the return of Michelle Harding, who has missed almost a year of action through injury.

Like their ladies counterparts, Swindon’s men’s first team started the season with a win as they defeated University of Exeter B 4-3 at home in the Verde Recreo Championship.

Swindon 2nd crushed North Wilts 6-2 in Central 2, but the club’s third team lost 6-1 in East Central 1 to Chippenham.