DEVIZES edged to within a point of Corsham in Southern Counties South after downing their Wiltshire rivals 19-12 at the weekend away from home.

The result confirmed Devizes’ double over Corsham this season, after Saturday’s visitors won 28-17 when the sides last met back in October.

Inconsistencies in both teams’ performances throughout the season have resulted in seven wins and seven losses each, with Corsham now only placed a single point above Devizes as a result of securing an additional bonus point.

Both teams remain way short of table-topping Sherborne, who have secured 69 points from their opening 14 ties and are unbeaten.

Devizes had to contend with playing up the slope in the first half, allowing Corsham to register the game’s first score.

Despite failing to cross the whitewash in the opening 25 minutes, the hosts eventually touched down as a result of sustained pressure inside the Devizes 22.

The visitors were dealt a double blow when – in the build-up to the try – Lewis Paget was sin-binned for a maul offence.

To make matters worse, skipper Brian Hopkins then had to leave the field due to a knee injury.

With Seb Hutchings coming on for his 100th Devizes cap and young Leighton Osbourne introduced to freshen up the pack after 30 minutes, Devizes finally managed to get their hands on the ball.

Second row George Starr then found a gap in the home side’s defence to record the visitors’ first try of the afternoon – kicker Chris Barter added the conversation to hand Devizes a 7-5 lead.

Losing their lead proved a huge blow for Corsham, who suffered when playing uphill in the second half and soon saw their deficit increase.

An overthrow from a lineout was snaffled by Devizes prop Josh Vizard, who dotted down to extend the lead to 14-5.

Wing Connor Scott added a further five points to the visitors’ lead after he caught an accurate crossfield kick from Barter.

That was to be the last of the scoring for the visitors, though, who conceded late on as Corsham bundled the ball over the line with the last play of the game.

Devizes and Corsham are both away this weekend, playing Yeovil and Dorchester respectively.

Elsewhere, Bradford on Avon came close to their first win of the season before going down to a narrow 26-19 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Dorchester.

Dave George’s side did at least have the consolation of a losing bonus point.