ROYAL Wootton Bassett secured a potentially-significant five-point haul against Regional One South Central relegation rivals, Sutton and Epsom courtesy of a 26-5 win on Saturday.

Heading into the weekend’s crunch clash, Alan Low’s men were eight points away from the London club with only eight fixtures remaining.

But tries from Scott Parry, Oli Baycroft, Gavin Ougan, and Jamie Murray – three of which were converted by Rhys Floyd – cut that gap between the bottom pair to just three points.

Although it turned out to be a glorious day for the Wiltshire side, their afternoon could hardly have started any worse when the hosts scored after just five minutes. A deep line-out was won by Sutton before the ball was passed along the line to the corner, and winger Robbie Martey went over.

Bassett hit straight back, though, and were ahead just four minutes later. A quick tap-and-go penalty was seized upon by the visitors and, following a series of momentous phases, Bassett hooker Parry crashed over as Sutton ran out of numbers in defence. Floyd kicked through to put the visitors ahead – a lead they would never lose sight of.

A Sutton & Epsom player received a yellow for tackling within 10 meters of a penalty, and Bassett took advantage of the extra man midway through the first half. Ougan went on an outstanding run forward but was held up near the line. He selflessly offloaded to Baycroft, and the flanker was able to cross for his debut first-team try.

With Bassett in full control at 12-5 up, Low’s men were disappointed to see a pair of wasted jaunts forward fail to result in a third score prior to the break.

An even start to the second half set nerves jangling once again, but the Wiltshire side managed to nab a third try in the 55th minute. A long period of Bassett pressure eventually resulted in Ougan crashing over following an excellent angled run towards the line.

Given Bassett’s relegation troubles, Low’s men knew they had to score a fourth try for the available bonus point. With time running out, a simple penalty goal was eschewed in favour of another tap. The first two attacks were defended by Sutton, but – for the second week in a row – Murray darted through to dot down and give Bassett a much-needed bonus-point victory.

Apart from Swindon, every other Wiltshire side saw their game postponed last weekend due to a frozen pitch.

The Greenbridge outfit were thankful to be in action though, as they squeezed past Witney 10-7 on home soil.