ROYAL Wootton Bassett suffered a second successive narrow defeat in the South West Premier following an 18-17 loss at home to Hornets last weekend.

Having lost 20-18 away at Exmouth the previous week via a last-minute penalty, Alan Low’s men were given another gut punch when seeing their brave attempted comeback against Hornets fall agonisingly short.

The visitors came firing out of the blocks on Saturday to secure the early momentum and duly slotted a penalty to move 3-0 up inside 10 minutes.

The early shock was the wake-up call Bassett needed though, and they responded via a multi-phase try to take the lead. In the 12th minute, fly-half Troy Cusack chipped over the top for full-back Dan Hale to run onto and feed winger Sam Davies, who was held up right on the line.

Bassett continued to press and hooker Scott Parry popped up to break the first tackle before forcing his way over.

However, the topsy-turvy contest swung Hornets’ way when a couple of missed tackles saw Bassett punished. The visitors ran the ball from their own half along the entire back division for an impressive score in the corner to nudge into an 8-7 lead.

Things would get worse for Bassett too before half-time as, in the 30th minute, Hornets won the ball at a lineout and ran the ball over in the corner.

Fieldsend reduced the margin between the sides with a well-struck penalty after the break, and the home side went about reducing that margin further in the 69th minute.

Scott Parry evaded a tackle before number eight, Joshua Rice charged over the line and Fieldsend added the conversion.

With the deficit at just one point, Bassett continued to press with Hornets restricted to some dangerous looking counter-attacks, but were unable to find that all-important final score to claim victory.

Elsewhere, Marlborough lost 28-33 at home to Sherborne in South West One East, while Swindon won 10-5 away at Swanage & Wareham in Southern Counties South - Swindon College Old Boys lost 21-10 to Salisbury in the same division.