MARLBOROUGH experienced their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday after being thumped 76-12 by South West One East leaders Old Centralians.

Having succeeded by a single point earlier in the season on the Common, Marlborough struggled on the all-weather pitch at Hartpury College as Old Cents racked up their 20th win of the campaign.

The hosts gave Marlborough a lesson on how to play rugby by all accounts with a fast, aggressive and attacking display on a pitch that mirrored conditions the visitors had been so successful on throughout February.

The Common outfit did manage to score two very well-worked tries, but it was never going to be enough against a rampant Old Cents.

Not only did Marlborough succumb to a disastrous result, but – after a decent period without injuries to squad members – three of their players were forced to visit A&E with serious damages.

Marlborough now have a week off before beginning their final four fixtures.

Elsewhere, Royal Wootton Bassett produced another business-like display to see of Buckingham 27-14 and keep up the pressure on the table toppers.

Bassett started well – backed by a large and vocal support augmented by some 120 attendees at the Vice President’s lunch - and former Southampton Trojans fly half Troy Cusack slotted a neat penalty for Bassett to lead 3-0 after 10 minutes.

Bassett continued to pour forward, and a period of forward pressure ended when teenage prop, Alma Volavola – a product of the Bassett youth conveyor belt – forced his way over the line.

Alan Low’s men surged further in front after half an hour when winger Sam Davies zipped away to dot down before Cusack converted for a 15-0 lead.

Though Buckingham, who had shown little until then, powered into action just before half-time.

A superb ten-minute spell had Bassett under the cosh, resulting in a try underneath the posts which was converted to cut the deficit to eight points.

Bassett, stung by the Buckingham riposte, came out of the blocks after the break determined to make amends.

From the first proper attack of the second period, Bassett’s full back Dan Hale raced over before Cusack converted once again.

The hosts continued to exert their dominance, and with 25 minutes of the second half completed, the outstanding Davies repeated his earlier effort to score in the corner.

As the game moved into added time, Buckingham showed they weren’t in any mood to give up and were rewarded with a late converted.

Meanwhile, Chippenham lost 40-26 away at Old Patesians and Trowbridge narrowly missed out on success with a 31-36 home defeat to Windsor.