DEVIZES held off a second-half charge from in-form Combe Down last weekend to record a 22-19 victory in Southern Counties South.

The Bath side was on a four-game winning streak before welcoming the Saddlebacks, who had gone two weeks without a fixture following Avonvale’s inability to raise a team the Saturday prior.

The corresponding fixture at the end of October saw Devizes come out on top in a fiery encounter. However, Devizes knew completing the double would be a tall order given they had not won at Combe Down in their past two attempts.

Devizes had the better of the first half, playing at a pace the home side couldn’t cope with. This saw Devizes bag four first-half tries and secure the bonus point through a superb hat-trick from loosehead prop Sam Holloway and one try from Dan Sainsbury.

Despite this, Combe Down had notched a try in response to bring it to 22-7 at the break.

The first-half lead could have been bigger for Devizes but the visitors had two tries disallowed.

The second half for the Saddlebacks was a jittery affair as Combe Down came back into it, chipping away at the Devizes lead to get within three points at 22-19.

Fortunately for the league leaders, Devizes managed to ride out the Combe Down fightback and extend their lead at the top of the table.

There was further delight in the Devizes camp as title-chasing Salisbury fell to a surprising defeat at Wimborne, which extended Devizes’ lead at the top to nine points; this being with Salisbury having a game in hand against Yeovil.

Elsewhere in Southern Counties South, Corsham were unable to raise a team away at Yeovil and therefore recorded defeat via a home walkover.

In South West One East, both Wiltshire outfits in action lost. Marlborough were downed 28-16 at Sherborne while Trowbridge were beaten 34-7 at Newbury Blues.

Royal Wootton Bassett’s South West Premier struggles continued after they were hammered 64-7 away at Hornets.