SWINDON warmed up to their South West Counties Final showdown against Wellington this weekend with a gritty 36-17 victory over Combe Down in Southern Counties South on Saturday.

Seven games into an eight-game stretch of fixtures played in their hometown, Swindon initially struggled to bat away a hardy Combe Down side who had arrived at Greenbridge Road with just 15 players at their disposal.

But when tired legs and minds began to play a part in the latter stages, Nick Brooks’ men turned a 17-17 game convincingly in their favour with a handful of late tries.

Now just four points behind table toppers Grove – having played a game extra – Swindon remain in the hunt for an unforgettable double in their 125th year as a club.

Reflecting on their most recent match though, coach Brooks said: “Combe Down came to us with 15 players, and they came out and threw the kitchen sink and everything else they could find at us.

“It was close at one point, but we did run away with the game in the end and it was a good result.

“We broke them down in the last 20 minutes and eventually took the game away from them by asserting our dominance.”

Though the pair are based just 41 miles apart, Brooks maintained there is no real rivalry between the two clubs.

A couple of incidents broke out following breakdowns, but the Swindon coach insisted the competitive nature of the game never went too far and the two teams were able to share a drink in the Greenbridge Road clubhouse afterwards.

Brooks said: “It was a good, competitive game that was played with great ferocity I would say, and we came up trumps.

“It got a little bit heated at times, but nothing untoward. We stuck to our game plan and dealt with what they had to throw at us.”

“They’re quite a destructive team, they were very good at getting to the breakdown quite quickly which put us under a lot of pressure.

“It took us a great deal to pull ourselves out of the trenches and come away with the victory.”