FAIRFORD suffered a first defeat of the New Year against the well-drilled perennial title contenders Chippenham.

Dorset & Wilts Div One North

Fairford 9

Chippenham II 31

Fairford started with a real intensity and there strong carries from the pack as the visitors struggled to leave their half.

Fairford were rewarded with two penalties, neither of which were converted.

Chippenham then showed why they are usually in the upper echelons of the table as they played at a pace the hosts could not match with with a strong offloading game.

After conceding four first-half tries, Fairford rallied to put in a strong second-half performance. Strong scrummaging and some slightly sterner defence limited Chippenham to fewer chances and the visitors were fortunate to score two further tries.

Good pressure from Fairford allowed full back Andy Waite to score three penalties.

The second-half was far from dull, however, as several skirmishes ensured there were no fewer than six yellow cards shared between the two sides.

Despite the result Fairford can be pleased with a much improved second-half performance.