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Westcliff Rugby Club beaten in Guernsey
WESTCLIFF failed to return from their first ever visit to Guernsey with the victory that recent encouraging performances suggested might be obtainable.
Instead it was a case once more of having to settle for a losing bonus point as they suffered a 19-13 defeat.
And that was not enough to hide the fact that their position just above the relegation zone is perilous with league leaders Barnes next to visit.
The trip to Guernsey presented a long day for the players and, after a delayed flight out of Gatwick, they could have done without facing a howling wind for the first half.
Yet, for the first quarter of the half, they defended effectively and repelled the well drilled home side.
But Guernsey were not to be deterred and, fielding their strongest side of the season, they achieved a double breakthrough in the 23rd and 30th minutes to give them a 12-0 lead at the break.
Westcliff required a good start to the second half but they suffered a double blow when firstly Elliott Harvey was sin-binned and then the home side took advantage of the numerical advantage to score a converted try.
With 48 minutes gone and a 19 points deficit Westcliff were faced with an uphill task and suddenly the long day was apparent in their legs.
Although they defended well and pressed hard they lacked any penetration and carried little genuine threat.
However, McKeith slotted home a well-earned penalty and then another after an extended stoppage for injury to bring the score to 19-6 but it was not until deep into injury time when hooker Patric Redding crashed over, to give McKeith the chance to convert for a bonus point which he duly did.
But Westcliff’s first team manager Rick Compton remained frustrated at the final whistle.
“In truth the side did not play as well as it had in recent weeks which was disappointing,” said Compton.
“It was due in some part to the well drilled and staffed home side and also as well to the long journey but that can be neither consolation or excuse.
“We must now turn their minds to the difficult games ahead in the coming weeks and find ways to create more opportunities to score points.”
Westcliff: Roberts, Redding, Binneman, Jones, Barnett, Jim Smith, Dartnell, Cosgrove, Parmenter, Harvey, Dudman, Bard, Mckeith, Reynolds, Bannister.
Replacements: Jack Smith, Scoggins & Marsh