WESTCLIFF failed to break their losing streak against Old Elthamians as they suffered a ninth successive defeat, losing 28-10.
The visitors, who have established themselves in the top half of the table in their first season in the national leagues, were made to work hard throughout by the home side.
But they had the edge when it came to the key moments in the game. Westcliff had started well and, having already missed one opportunity, Ben McKeith converted a further penalty to give them an early 3-0 lead.
Elthamians were quick to respond though and their centre ghosted through a gap created by good phase play to give them a 7-3 lead. Undeterred, Westcliff applied pressure of their own which eventually allowed winger Seb Reynolds to go over and the conversion put Westcliff 10-7 in front.
Each side then had periods of pressure as the half continued but Westcliff were unable to breach the visitors’ solid defence while their own defensive line was breached twice.
The second occasion was crucially on the stroke of half time to put Elthamians 21-10 in front.
The second half was again keenly contested but the visitors held the edge and they were able to release prolific try scorer Renford Bennett for the only other score.
However, despite the defeat, Westcliff’s first team manager Rick Compton was to keen to remain upbeat.
“While the result was disappointing and we remain deep in the relegation zone the performance was decent against an accomplished visiting side which contained quality and experience recruited to flourish at this level,” said Compton.
“It was a performance that we can build on for the task ahead as we strive to maintain our national league status at which the clubs players can continue to develop.
Westcliff: Whelan, Dudman, Bard, Harvey, Reynolds, Mckeith, Jones, Roberts, Weller, Binneman, Edwards, Scoggins, Mckean, Cosgrove, Smith Replacements: Miller, Redding & Bannister
>THURROCK were also beaten in National Three London & SE, losing 49-13 at struggling Tring.
The defeat was Thurrock’s seventh in their last eight games.