CHRIS Patterson’s hat-trick helped Royal Wootton Bassett return to winning ways in South West One East with a hard-fought victory at home against a surprisingly durable Marlow side who belied their position at the foot of the table.

Bassett were beaten at home by Chippenham and away at Grove in their previous two outings, so team manager George Loughlin was thrilled to claim a 39-17 success that sees his side climb up to seventh in the table with one week to go before the Christmas break.

“After a couple of defeats, there was definitely a good mood in the changing room after the game,” said Loughlin.

“We did very well against Chippenham, who are a good side, but then we had a real nightmare against Grove. It was an appalling game that we somehow managed to lose.

“It was important to get moving in the right direction again against Marlow and although they are bottom of the league, they are a lot better side than their league position suggests.

“We were all pretty pleased to come away with the win and pick up the bonus point as well. It gets us back on track.”

Marlow put Bassett under early pressure at Ballards Ash and went over for a converted try in just the third minute.

The hosts responded immediately and a sequence of drives resulted in flanker Phil Bardwell crashing over near the corner to reduce the deficit.

Marlow continued to hold the lion’s share of possession and added a penalty to move 10-5 to the good.

Bassett gradually began to get a foothold into the match and a Tom Fieldsend penalty and a brace of tries from second row Patterson, one converted by Fieldsend, saw them head into half-time with a 20-10 lead.

After the restart, the home side came out determined to build their score and added the bonus-point try when determined pressure allowed Patterson to pirouette through the Marlow defence to complete his hat-trick, with Fieldsend converting.

Marlow hit back with a converted try of their own to reduce the gap to 10 points once more but the visitors soon began to tire, allowing Bassett two further late scores.

A quick tap penalty from full-back Fin Dewar released Josh MacCafferty through the visiting defence for a try converted by Fieldsend.

Then in added time, Dewar went on a mazy run of his own and outwitted the Marlow defence to touch down and round off the win.

Loughlin added: “In the first 20 minutes, Marlow put us under quite a bit of pressure and we had to work really hard to get on top. It was a little bit easier in the second half but it was still a tough game.

“Marlow are a decent side with decent players. We are really surprised at how low they are in the table.”

It was not such an enjoyable afternoon for Swindon as they suffered a heavy 64-12 derby defeat at home to second-in-the-table Chippenham.

Jack Badminton and Ken Hodgson touched down for Swindon at Greenbridge Road, with Adam Westall adding one conversion.

Elsewhere, Swindon College Old Boys missed out on a third straight victory in Southern Counties South as they were beaten 19-17 at home by Yeovil, although they had the consolation of a losing bonus point.

Finally, Supermarine fell to 10th in the Dorset& Wilts One North table following a 27-12 defeat away at Trowbridge 2nd.