RUGBY: Sherborne 10 Devizes 18

ANDY Thompson booted Devizes a step close to the Southern Counties South title as they claimed victory at their closest rivals.

After some even opening exchanges, both sides notched a penalty, Thompson doing the honours for the Saddlebacks.

A stalemate then ensued, both sides lacking the accuracy to get ahead but when the returning James Gaiger and Thompson combined, Jorge Wadman was only denied by a last-gasp tackle.

The pressure did yield a penalty however, Thompson slotting it over, then adding his third kick for a 9-3 half-time lead.

The second half started poorly for the visitors when Sherborne exploited a mis-match in the back line and scored a converted try to go into the lead.

But with the scrum and lineout working well, the Saddlebacks reasserted themselves and Thompson landed two more penalties to put his side back in control.

Sherborne fought back, but came up against a rock-solid defence, even when Chris Lewis was sin binned for a late tackle.

But the visitors sealed victory when the pack drove 10 metres from a lineout, Warburton drove through midfield and Tom Collins found Thompson to drop a goal.

The Saddlebacks have a 10-point lead at the top of the table with just five games remaining and next host Supermarine on March 2.

FOR MORE RUGBY NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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