INACCURACIES hurt Royal Wootton Bassett at the weekend as Alan Low’s injury-hit side lost 29-13 at home to promotion hopefuls Marlborough in South West One East.

Bassett have watched their surprise hopes of promotion gradually fade since the turn of the year, with the club now 14 points short of the play-off frame – currently occupied by Old Centralians.

Defeats to Chippenham, Beaconsfield and Banbury in recent weeks have dashed the club’s realistic hopes of making the step up into the region’s top tier, but Low took encouragement from his younger players’ ability against a determined Marlborough.

He said: “Marlborough are a strong side, and we knew where we stood before the game with regards to injuries.

“I can only say I was proud of the efforts that my team put in. We didn’t play as well as we could, we know that.

“When we came off, we were disappointed with how the first half went and how inaccurate we were.

“There were three points in the game where we built up to scoring opportunities, but were inaccurate and either turned the ball over or knocked it on when under pressure.

“We knew we let scores go before half-time, and there were a few more inaccuracies in the second half.

“We didn’t take our chances as well as we could have done. Marlborough scored tries at the end, and it probably made the result a bit worse for us than it actually was.

“We changed things, but we gave a try away at the end.

“I can only say I was proud of the guys that played and stepped up to the task.

“Marlborough applied pressure and caused us problems.”

Bassett’s position means they require wins against Newbury, Old Centralians and Oxford Harlequins in their three concluding league fixtures, while also hoping results for Old Centralians, Banbury and Marlborough work in their favour.

Low pin-pointed injuries as being his biggest problem in the second part of the season, but admitted this season has been only a pixel of the club’s bigger picture for the future.

He added: “We were second going into December, and the injuries and absences have been difficult for us.

“But, we’re trying to grow the squad in the right way to put us in contention in the next two or three years so we can be in a position to push on when the gym is ready.

“The learning element for our young players at the weekend was fantastic.”

Elsewhere, second-from-bottom Swindon were thumped 89-0 by Banbury, who remain in third place.

The result epitomises the season endured by Mike Thompson’s side. With only three wins from 23 fixtures, Swindon sit 23 points short of 11th placed Trowbridge – who will confirm their status in the division for next season with one more win.

There were better fortunes for Swindon College Old Boys in Southern Counties South as they defeated Corsham 46-19 to move ahead of Walcot into sixth place with 49 points secured from their 20 games.

Finally, Supermarine lost 18-15 at Calne in Dorset & Wilts One North.