DEVIZES lost 17-14 in a mid-table battle against Newbury Blues in Regional Two South Central last weekend.

After a sobering defeat to Wiltshire rivals Swindon the Saturday before, the Saddlebacks had their sights set on responding with a win at Chivers Field.

But their quest began poorly with a the third of three penalties being successfully converted by Newbury fly-half, Dan Thorne to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

Newbury's centre, Kris Ford, then dotted down before Thorne's conversion pushed the advantage to 10 at the break.

Devizes upped the ante in the second period, though, and roared on by the 250-strong crowd, the hosts eventually scored a try of their own.

A five-metre scrum and consistent pressure enabled Rhys Harries to explode off the back of the pack and cross the whitewash to make it 10-7.

Just as it appeared momentum was with the hosts, Newbury roared back by bagging a try against the run of play, and the 10-point gap was re-established.

The topsy-turvy contest continued until the last, when a penalty against Newbury resulted in a try five meters out.

After a significant push and subsequent scrum collapse, a penalty try was awarded to make it 14-17.

Unfortunately for Devizes, the final play occurred after the klaxon had sounded and the Saddlebacks were left without reward for their efforts.

Elsewhere in the division, Marlborough recovered from 10-0 down and an early player in the sin bin to beat struggling Shipston-on-Stour 39-17 and continue the club's 100 per cent record.

In Regional One South Central, Royal Wootton Bassett ran third-place Havant close at Ballards Ash but ultimately fell 24-17.

They remain bottom of the table and eight points away from 11th-place Sutton & Epsom, who they play this weekend.

Meanwhile, Chippenham thumped Gordano 59-10 in Regional Two Severn.