SWINDON College Old Boys returned to winning ways in Southern Counties South over the weekend with a narrow two-point victory over strugglers Swanage & Wareham.

Their 29-27 success was a welcome return to form after back-to-back defeats for College in their last two outings.

The win was also their first of 2018, with Jack Daynes recording a try, while Nick Duckett weighed in with two.

Florin Palcau also bagged a try, and completed the club’s scoring with the boot in their first fixture for almost a month.

Head coach Mark Lea believes it was a timely victory for College, who now sit sixth in the standings.

“It was an amazing performance. We turned up and unfortunately one of our players didn’t travel and didn’t tell us,” said Lea.

“We only had two substitutes so I thought ‘here we go’ but we were superb.

“Swanage had a lot of players back from university and being in New Zealand.

“In the first half, Swanage were strong and, to be honest, I was quite worried.

“We were 17-3 down at one point but I had a word with them at half-time and I am so proud of their performance in the second half.

“For me and what I have seen of the boys this year, in terms of team spirit and putting it all out there, it was their best performance.

“It was a team performance, it was very unselfish rugby. They supported each other and I’m very proud of them.

“Swanage had a big crowd because they had a committee day, so there were 300 people and they were very confident until the last 10 minutes.

“We were really good, I am very pleased and I am a very proud man.”

However, the win did come at a cost for the visitors as try scorer Duckett looks set for a long period on the sidelines as he fractured his leg in the victory.

In the South West One East, Swindon were well beaten by the league leaders, Old Patesians, in a 57-5 defeat away from home.

Royal Wootton Bassett were also in action and failed to make it back-to-back victories as they fell to an agonising 31-29 defeat to Witney on home turf.

Phil Bardwell, Robert Cooper and Elye Darragh all got on the scoresheet, alongside Tom Fieldsend, who continued his recent scoring run, and Ieuan Clements, who registered three tries.

At the weekend, College Old Boys face Devizes, Swindon host Old Centralians, while Bassett travel to Salisbury.