WOOTTON Bassett slipped to ninth place in Southern Counties South following a 31-12 defeat to high-flying Wimborne at Ballards Ash.

Bassett started well, with Josh Jeffreys taking advantage of a break by David Martin to carry both the ball and his marker over the tryline.

The hosts maintained their lead through until the interval, as both sides struggled to find a fluency and rhythm, with handling errors plaguing proceedings.

After the break, however, the tide quickly turned in Wimborne’s favour.

Since losing their opening two games of the campaign, the third-placed side had won five in a row in the league and though Bassett limited their free-scoring guests to less than 40 points for the first time in that period, they were unable to handle Wimborne after half-time.

Bassett were not completely overwhelmed, and made good progress through Nick Parker and Jon Clarke, but on the occasions individuals were able to break the Wimborne line they did not receive the necessary support to turn territory and possession into points.

Late in the game the home side grabbed a consolation score as Mark Trowbridge stripped the ball from a Wimborne forward and offloaded to winger Hamish Keith, who streaked down the touchline to touch down.

However, the damage had already been done.

Elsewhere in Southern Counties South, struggling Supermarine remain winless and pointless after losing out 66-9 at home to Devizes.

In Dorset & Wilts 1 North, injury-hit Minety were beaten 24-0 at home by Melksham.

Coach Huw Jones had to be coaxed out of retirement to help the club fulfil both their first-team and second-string commitments, and his side were unable to cope with their promotion-chasing guests.

Minety conceded 12 points in each half to lose for the fifth time in six games.

Skipper Tom Fitzcharles said: "Prior to the game, I don't think any of us thought we had that performance in us.

“I certainly limped off the pitch proud of each man's effort and knowing that I could not have asked for any more."

Elsewhere in the division, Marlborough beat Trowbridge 2nds 70-5 and Swindon 2nds saw off Avonvale 45-8.

In Dorset & Wilts 2 North Cricklade won 39-15 at Corsham 2nds, Wootton Bassett 2nds enjoyed a 53-7 success at Melksham 2nds and Fairford beat Swindon College Old Boys 2nds 32-26 away from home.

In Dorset & Wilts 3 North, Minety 2nds slipped up 24-7 to Bradford-on-Avon 2nds and Supermarine 3rds beat Swindon 3rds 19-7.