ROYAL Wootton Bassett’s chance of a first win of the season was thwarted by a several contentious decisions in a 21-17 defeat at Witney.

Having lost their previous three matches prior to the trip to Oxfordshire, Bassett were hoping that the tide was about to change after securing a losing bonus point at Oxford Harlequins the previous week.

But as the game on Saturday headed towards the dying minutes, controversy struck and Bassett were left with that losing feeling once more.

With Alan Low’s side 17-14 to the good, following tries from Elye Darragh and Fin Dewar, Witney were awarded a penalty try when the visitors were adjudged to have deliberately wheeled the scrum to prevent a try.

Bassett then fought their way back in an attempt to secure their first win of the campaign and they felt they had done so when prop Chris Rowland powered over, only for the ball to adjudged to be held up with the final play of the match.

“It was a nightmare,” said team manager George Loughlin.

“We have had a tough start to the season with the teams we have played and now the decisions are going against us.

“It may sound like sour grapes, but we know we have played the better rugby and to lose it’s hard to take.

“Also if you look at the corresponding fixtures from last year we lost all four of these games – and it is not going to get any easier with Salisbury on Saturday.”

While disappointed and feeling Bassett were on the wrong end of two big calls, Loughlin believes that they could have managed the game better.

“One thing we need to do is see our game management improve,” Loughlin said. “We have got to make the right calls at the right times.

“We have got an inexperienced squad and at times we just need them to calm down.

“Maybe if we had been a little calmer in the final 10 minutes and not tried to force the issue because of feeling aggrieved we might have come away with a win.”

Swindon’s suffered another disappointing Saturday as they were thumped 50-5 at home to title hopefuls Old Patesians.

Mike Panaho’s side went into the game at Greenbridge Road hopeful of securing a second win of the campaign.

However, Old Pats ran riot and all Swindon had to show for their efforts was a try from Mike Thompson.