TROWBRIDGE endured their toughest afternoon in South West One East this season on Saturday as they were thumped 104-3 away at Banbury.

The Doric Park side triumphed at home to Wimborne in their previous match on November 23, so the two-week break between fixtures certainly did them no favours.

Banbury currently sit third in the table, just two points off top spot, so Trowbridge were always likely to be up against it in Oxfordshire.

Still, the manner of emphatic scoreline will be difficult to swallow and the Wiltshire side will want to see a drastic improvement in their final two fixtures before Christmas, starting at home to Buckingham this weekend.

Elsewhere, Chippenham produced a superb second-half display to claim a 28-13 victory at home to Royal Wootton Bassett and end their Wiltshire rivals’ unbeaten league record this season.

Bassett were out of the blocks quickly and early pressure resulted in a 5m lineout, from which Josh McCafferty rumbled over for an unconverted try.

Chippenham had the opportunity to open their account from a penalty but Tom Douglas sent his kick wide.

Bassett promptly won a penalty of their own and Troy Cusack made no mistake to push the lead to 8-0.

A moment of magic got Chippenham back into the game before half-time as Tom Fogerty sent a deft chip ahead that was gathered by Oli Alcorn, who raced over for a try converted by Douglas to trim the deficit at the break to 8-7.

Again, Bassett started the better of the sides after the change of ends and it was not long before they grabbed their second try as Scott Douglas touched down out wide, although the conversion was missed.

Chippenham regrouped and played with pace and power to work Bassett around the pitch. Spaces were soon found and, after a break by Adrea Vasuitoga, the ball found Fogerty to score, with Tom Douglas adding the extras to put the hosts 14-13 up.

The pressure continued and from a Chippenham scrum, the ball found its way to Joe Thomas, who released Alcorn to carve through the Bassett defence and score. He also took over kicking duties and duly added the extras.

The spirit within the Chippenham team was sky high and Vasuitoga was unlucky not to get over the tryline after another jinking run after the referee adjudged the final pass to have been forward.

However, it was not long until the fourth and bonus-point try arrived. Bassett had defended resolutely but could not hold back the tide of Chippenham attacks as captain Matt Dickens crashed over. Alcorn added the conversion to round off an emphatic win for the hosts.

Marlborough returned to league action for the first time since November 16 but a depleted side lost 34-25 at home to Oxford Harlequins.

The hosts started well but squandered early chances and found themselves 12-0 down with 25 minutes gone and Rob Robanakadavu off the field due to injury.

To add to Marlborough’s issues, captain Jack Lynd was then shown a red card for a high challenge.

Russ Westcott took over the captaincy and the hosts started to claw their way back. On the half-hour, Kapeteni Filipe finished off a nice move which had started from a lineout on halfway, with Jake Williams adding the extras.

Harlequins then capitalised on some poor defending to score again but Manasa Cakau hit back with a good individual try for Marlborough just before the break to cut the deficit to 17-12.

Two minutes into the second half, Williams kicked a penalty to bring Marlborough within two points of their visitors.

The home side were giving a good account of themselves despite only having 14 men, however, as they chased the game, Oxford scored a further three tries.

Marlborough managed to claw back two tries through Viliame Naivalu and Williams, so the hosts at least had the consolation of a bonus point at the final whistle.