ROYAL Wootton Bassett gave their hopes of survival in Regional One South Central a significant boost on Saturday thanks to a 42-33 success away at Brighton.

Despite a recent upturn in form, Bassett began the match knowing that anything other than a victory would almost certainly mean relegation.

Alan Low’s side ran in six tries, while scrum-half Rhys Floyd was perfect from the tee, to move up to 10th in the table.

Bassett generated an early chance with a rampaging run out of defence from flanker Josh McCafferty, but after that was halted it was Brighton who first troubled the scorers. Several patient phases from the hosts ended in a burly Brighton forward powering over in the corner in the fourth minute.

But rather than cracking under the pressure, Bassett responded with two tries of their own to take the lead by 14-5. Floyd gathered a well-judged punt forward to dot down once fly-half Troy Cusack had begun the fightback with an earlier score.

Bassett continued to look the better side, but Brighton’s big forwards and speedy backs always looked as though they could score. In the 33rd minute, the hosts did just that as a tap-and-go penalty ended with another forward crossing under a crowd of bodies between the posts.

The two sides traded blows once more apiece before half-time to leave the interval score at 21-19 in Bassett’s favour – Michael Clifton bagged the visitors’ third try of the day.

While the first half had been a thrilling and high-scoring affair, the second half was to exceed it.

Bassett struck first in the 51st minute when hooker Scott Parry joined the line unexpectedly and ran 20 meters to dot down in the corner for the bonus-point try. Floyd added an extraordinary long-range conversion that bounced on the crossbar before bobbling over.

After the Wiltshire side’s skipper – Ougan – was sin-binned, Brighton immediately replied once again with a converted try. With the Sussex outfit having gone gung-ho in search of another score, Bassett centre Dan Hale snaffled a loose pass before sprinting down the other end to cross against the run of play.

Brighton once again brought the score back to within two points, and with Sam Williams in the bin for Bassett, it appeared as though the tide had turned the seasiders’ way.

But a rare foray into the hosts’ half with five minutes to play resulted in the game-clinching try. Parry intercepted the ball after it had been turned over, and he fed Joe Pettit who in turn found Ougan to cross the whitewash and win the game for Bassett.

Elsewhere, in Regional Two South Central, Marlborough thumped Devizes 48-10 while Swindon lost 41-34 away at Shipston on Stour.