GEORGE Crouch’s hat-trick helped Swanage & Wareham move into the top-four of Southern Counties South, after a 34-17 win at Avonvale.

Victory gave the Bestwall outfit their 10th success in 17 league games.

Swans started brightly and claimed the opening score following a line-out. The ball was moved along the threes to winger Crouch, playing in only his second appearance for the club’s 1st XV, who went in at the corner.

The visitors increased their lead after 16 minutes when, from a drive, captain and prop forward Nick Audley touched down to make it 10-0.

Avonvale responded and, after 22 minutes, scored in the corner but three minutes later, a move by Swans to Crouch had him running round to score under the posts. Matt Spencer added the extras

Avonvale reduced the arrears with another score of their own, with Swans leading 17-10 at the break.

And the visitors showed no let-up, from Swans’ first attack in the second half, once again the ball was moved along the three-quarters to Crouch who crossed out wide to secure his hat-trick.

Swans seemed to take charge and after 62 minutes opposite winger Rory Ferguson scored an individual try in the corner.

And with 10 minutes left, Swans replacement second row Charlie Joynt powered over the try line under the posts. Centre Steve Woolley converted to extend the lead further.

In the last minute, Avondale managed a consolation try close to the posts, which was converted.