RELEGATION from South West One East might have already been confirmed for Swindon, but that did not stop Mike Thompson’s outfit from delivering a standout performance against Chippenham at the weekend.

A penalty kick in the closing minutes of Saturday’s Wiltshire derby ensured the hosts recorded their fourth win of the season, and player-coach Adam Westall says a firm but fair team talk at half-time inspired the club’s 41-40 triumph.

The win has lifted Swindon onto 27 points – still 23 points short of safety – and placed them five points clear of basement club Stratford-upon-Avon.

To avoid the wooden spoon, Swindon must either secure a single point against play-off chasing Marlborough in this weekend’s final fixture or hope the Warwickshire outfit fail to secure five league points against Newbury Blues.

That latter seems unlikely, given Blues have lost just once all season.

Westall said: “There isn’t a lot left in the league for us, to be honest.

“We’re looking towards next year. We will have an ambition to come back up, but we want to come back up properly.

“We don’t want to go down a level and play their style of rugby, we’ve got to stick to what we do best and be expansive.

“There’s more work to be done on our fitness and establishing a structure that helps us to win games well.

“I had a few choice words during the break, and the boys came out and played some good stuff in the second half.”

A lack of fitness appears to be Westall’s biggest grudge against his players, and the key reason behind Swindon’s first relegation to Southern Counties South in eight years.

Heavy defeats to Marlborough, Newbury, Old Centralians and Oxford Harlequins set the tone for Swindon’s poor season.

And re-installing that element of fitness back into the players is key for Westall if his side is to make a prompt return to the sixth tier of English rugby.

He added: “We would do a lot more running. We spent too much time in the summer focusing on structure.

“We weren’t fit enough, that’s across the club – not just the first-team guys.

“We need to get on and do the hard graft, some will like it and some won’t. But the fact is a good and fit side is competitive, whether they’ve got structure or not.

“Getting that fitness back into us now is key.”

Elsewhere in South West One East, Royal Wootton Bassett’s laboured conclusion to the season continued as they were beaten by second-placed Old Centralians 24-17.

And in Southern Counties South, Swindon College Old Boys picked up a handy 22-17 win against Devizes.