ROYAL Wootton Bassett carried their fight for the South West One East title into the Christmas break thanks to a 36-26 win away at Old Patesians in their final game of 2019 at the weekend.

Wet weather forced Old Pats to switch the game from their Everest Road home in Cheltenham to the Prince of Wales Stadium in the town, but the last-minute change did not affect Bassett.

Sam Davies ran in two tries for the visitors while Ethan Stock, Maikeli Volavola and Charlie Hix also got themselves over the whitewash as Bassett travelled home with the full five points to their name.

The victory was a 12th from 14 league games for Alan Low’s side this season and keeps them third in the table, just two points behind leaders Old Centralians.

Bassett head coach Low said: “It was a good result and a nice way to round off the year and what has been a very strong first half of the season for us.

“The pitch was extremely heavy but the boys coped well with it. From an attacking point of view, we did really well but, defensively, we weren’t quite as sharp as we had been the week before when we beat Marlborough at home.

“We had our captain, Gavin Ougan, missing. That was a big loss to play without his leadership but the boys did well.

“We played some really good rugby and scored a couple of absolutely fantastic tries, to be honest.

“It was a good day’s work and a good way to sign off before the break.”

Bassett claimed 10 wins and a draw from the opening 11 rounds this season before losing their unbeaten start away at county rivals Chippenham on December 7.

Since then, they have got the better of two close battles, edging out Marlborough 19-14 a week before their win at Old Patesians.

Low says picking up the full five points against quality opposition will allow his troops to enjoy their hard-earned Christmas break.

“It wasn’t the perfect performance, but it was one that we needed to get back on track after the last couple of weeks,” said Low.

“Old Pats have got a few guys back who played for them when they were a National Three side.

“They are good players, so I would certainly think we will see them improve after Christmas.”

Low could not be happier with how things have panned out for Bassett over the first half of the season.

With 12 games to go after Christmas, the Ballards Ash side will bid to keep up their momentum until the final weekend of the campaign in mid-April.

Low said: “We have gone really well so far. In the new year, we will put the focus on scoring a few more points than we have been but it has been a fantastic first half of the season.

“The credit goes to all the players. They are the ones who put the hard work in over the summer.

“We want to finish the season off as we started it.

“There is the opportunity to rest a few bodies for a week or so now and then we will get back to it on January 4 at home to Oxford Harlequins.”

Elsewhere in South West One East at the weekend, Chippenham roared to a 70-19 success at home to Trowbridge in an all-Wiltshire duel.

Marlborough fell to a narrow defeat at home to Sherborne, going down 27-22. Swindon and Swindon College Old Boys were without a fixture at the weekend as the Christmas break began seven days earlier in Southern Counties South.

That was also the case for Supermarine in Dorset & Wilts Two North.

Fixtures in the majority of divisions resume on Saturday, January 4.