OXFORD Cavaliers were knocked off top spot when falling to a 42-40 defeat at previously winless Swindon St George.

The hosts had the final say in a free-scoring contest to condemn the side to their first loss of the West of England League season.

It saw Oxford drop to second on points difference after Somerset Vikings beat Bath 40-34.

Swindon took advantage of early Cavaliers errors, but the visitors were still able to head into the break with a 24-20 lead in a first half which included eight tries.

Garin Nicholls, Robert Tyreman, Reiss O’Callaghan Howard and Will Carroll crossed for Oxford, with Louis Richards adding four conversions.

Momentum continued to swing between the two sides in the second period, but Swindon earned a narrow victory.

Tyreman, Carroll and Nicholls, Richards converting twice, scored Oxford’s tries after the break.

Cavaliers will bid to bounce back when they host third-placed Reading Raiders, who have won both of their games, at Merton, near Bicester, on Saturday.