Royal Wootton Bassett secured the league title with three games to spare after edging out Chippenham 23-21 in a nail-biting contest.

Chippenham started the better and had a couple of early attacks thwarted after conceding penalties, with it taking Bassett six minutes to launch their first serious attack. A sequence of phases saw enough space for Henry Toomer to join the line and score in the corner. Bassett had a couple of further chances, but the Chippenham defence was solid.

In the 20th minute, a Chippenham lineout led to a maul and the referee spotted head contact meaning Chippenham were reduced to 14. This could have been devastating for Chippenham, but it seemed to inspire them for the rest of the game.

Within five minutes Chippenham were ahead. A midfield penalty was sent to the corner. The resulting drive saw Chippenham go over for a try that was converted for a 7-5 lead.

Joe Pettit and Connor Tomley were both held up near the line and, eventually, the ball was released to Ollie Baycroft, who forced his way over despite the attention of a couple of defenders.

With a couple of minutes of the half remaining Chippenham conceded a penalty in their own 22 in front of the posts and Floyd slotted an easy penalty.

In added time a quickly taken tap penalty from the hosts was initially held up but a second effort saw the ball touched down near the posts and Bassett went in with the narrowest possible 15-14 lead at the interval.

Bassett immediately extended their lead when Chippenham conceded a penalty and Floyd was able to strike the ball between the posts again. Bassett then had an excellent ten-minute spell with most of the possession but were unable to add to their score.

In the 51st minute, Bassett opted for the 5-metre scrum instead of the penalty. The forward drive eventually saw the ball come to Thomas “Tucker” Blinkhorn who went over.

However, Chippenham fought back with a well-taken try following a lineout and maul. There then followed a tense finale as Chippenham looked for any score to win the match, but Bassett were able to hold firm and victory was theirs.

This is Bassett’s first title since the successful 2015/16 campaign in Southern Counties South. Bassett will certainly believe that their consistency has made the success well deserved and will be particularly pleased with the style they have played all season.