A CHRIS Tomes try double was not enough to prevent Swanage & Wareham suffering a 24-21 defeat in a thrilling Southern Counties South clash against Devizes.

Swans were up against it within two minutes at Bestwall when a mistake in the backs allowed Devizes to break through and score a converted try close to the posts.

However, the hosts' response was swift. From a scrum, Tomes gathered the ball and crossed the whitewash, with Phil Graves adding the extras to level the scores.

Midway through the first half, a drive by the Swans forwards put the visitors on the back foot and from a scrum close to the line, Tomes again found his way over.

This time, fly-half Steve Woolley kicked the conversion and the home side led 14-7.

Devizes reduced the advantage with a penalty and just before half-time, a converted try gave the Wiltshire outfit a 17-14 lead.

Another converted score after the restart put Swans under further pressure.

But the home side set up a nerve-jangling finale when with 10 minutes to go, replacement full-back Adam Smith forced his way over. Graves's kick saw the Devizes lead cut to just three points.

However, for all their efforts, Swans were condemned to defeat.

Swans: Bobo (Smith, 53), Barton, D Elford, Graves, Parry, Woolley, Tomes, Sheldrake, R Elford, Audley (Wyburgh, 48), Penney, Collins (Wright, 65), Oliver, Large, Jones.

There was better news for Swanage II, who banked a 10-5 win over Sherborne.