DEVIZES maintained their pursuit for Southern Counties South glory with a 48-14 victory over Swanage and Wareham last weekend.

Following a potentially-devastating loss against title rivals Salisbury the round of matches before, Devizes knew they had to win with a bonus point in order to keep their hopes of landing first place alive.

And win convincingly they did, racing into a 24-0 lead thanks to four first-half tries inside half an hour.

Lewis Dodds cut a superb line through the Swans’ defence to initiate proceedings, before Lewis Paget smashed through the home defence to extend the score.

Dodds then bagged a second, before number eight Henry May got in on the act with a try of his own.

The second period went the same way, with Devizes finding holes in the Swans’ defence and opening them up, playing at some tempo.

Hooker Kieran Hiscock finished off a well-worked try, before returning man Gus O’Connor dotted down to bring the score to 36-0.

Swanage did come back into it with two tries during their best spell of the match late on, but Devizes were soon back on top after Dodds rounded off his hat-trick prior to Scott Martin’s late cross.

The excellent victory proved to be all the more important after it was discovered that Salisbury beat Dorchester 97-12 to remain four points ahead of the Saddlebacks at the top.

Elsewhere in Southern Counties South, Swindon received a home walkover against Corsham.

Meanwhile, in South West One East, Chippenham edged past Grove 34-32 in a thriller.

Trowbridge lost 38-24 away at Windsor while Marlborough went down 30-22 against Bracknell.

In South West Premier, Royal Wootton Bassett suffered a 41-18 defeat against Old Redcliffians.