ROYAL Wootton Bassett claimed a last-gasp 20-18 victory over Bournemouth last weekend to give themselves the best possible chance of survival in Regional One South Central.

With Bassett now having completed their league schedule and sent themselves four points clear of the drop zone, the Wiltshire club will survive unless Banbury beat Bournemouth and secure the bonus point win and Brighton secure a bonus point of any king against Camberley.

Bassett’s players and supporters knew that nothing other than victory would give them any chance of retaining their league status, but despite the significant pressure, Alan Low’s men immediately took the game to Bournemouth.

In one of several early attacks from the Wiltshire side, a Bournemouth player was sin-binned for illegal handling at the breakdown, and Bassett’s Rhys Floyd slotted the penalty to settle the visitors.

Later in the half, Bournemouth lost a prop to a yellow card for a similar offence to his teammate, but this time, Bassett’s attacking scrum ultimately led to a try. Scott Parry was tackled meters from the line, but the ball spilled sideways to winger Elye Darragh who went over in the corner.

The conversion was missed, but Bassett went on to add another seven anyway before the break. Dan Hale received the ball on the wing, and he was able to dissect the Dorset side’s defence before crossing under the posts.

Having been totally out-played in the first 40 minutes, Bournemouth reacted with aplomb in the second half.

Following a 55th-minute penalty, the hosts scored two tries – one of which was converted – within a 10-minute period to level the score at 15 apiece.

Momentum was firmly on Bournemouth’s side of the ball, and they then added a penalty to take the lead for the first time all afternoon with just seven minutes remaining.

But Bassett – buoyed by a sensational second half of the season – are made of sterner stuff these days and fought back to win it with two minutes remaining.

An attacking line-out saw a maul drive forward, and Parry was credited with the try under a huge pile of bodies.

Bassett now face a nervous wait to see if their heroic efforts are enough to retain their Regional One status.