CHIPPENHAM squandered a winning position to lose their South West One East relegation dogfight with Reading Abbey 45-31 and slip to third bottom in the table.

The visitors looked in control of the game in the third quarter, but were stung by a fine finish from the home side, for whom winger Olly Walton scored 25 points.

An early Walton penalty gave the home side the lead before the winger held off the Chippenham defence to score the first try of the contest, adding a difficult conversion in the windy conditions.

Chippenham though took control of the scrummage and, after a period of sustained pressure, prop Luke Corbett powered over for the score, fly-half Dom Riccio adding the conversion.

Abbey responded and Ben Mitchell secured an opportunist try when Walton's penalty attempt fell short but his teammate took advantage before anyone else, Walton adding the extras.

Chippenham came back into it again before half-time as Ryan Surry dived over and Riccio converted and the visitors seized the lead before the interval as Surry brok through again, Riccio's conversion giving his men a 19-17 lead.

A dominant spell from the visitors was emphasised by Brad Doggett's try and Riccio's conversion before Abbey number eight Will Woodward's 60-metre break set up a score for skipper Sam Hallett to reduce arrears.

Chippenham though, continued to dominate and, with Abbey down to 14 men with hooker Mark Toland sin-binned, hooker John Turner crossed for a 31-24 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Abbey drew level as Walton went under the posts and converted and the game went away from the visitors as flanker Ed House plunged over for a converted score before Mitchell went under the posts and Walton's sixth conversion wrapped up the hosts' triumph.