Win keeps Westcliff Rugby Club a point clear at top

Echo: Closing in — Buster Edwards on his way to scoring Westcliff’s fourth try Closing in — Buster Edwards on his way to scoring Westcliff’s fourth try

WESTCLIFF stayed top of the London One North table with a 39-5 win against struggling Old Haberdashers.

The victory was Westcliff’s third in succession and kept them a point clear of title rivals Eton Manor.

And that delighted their first team manager Rick Compton.

“Haberdashers came to play and were determined to get something from the game but we shut them down and imposed ourselves on them,” said Compton.

“It was another pleasing performance which, while not faultless, maintains our good run and the group are in good shape going into next week’s tough game at Ruislip.”

But, with the advantage of the breeze, it was Old Haberdashers who started strongly on Saturday as they dominated early territory and possession.

They retained and recycled the ball well with a determination and quality that belied their position at the foot of the table.

But despite the ambition and resolve, their attacks were met with solid defence but no success.

And, having defended for almost the entire first 10 minutes, Westcliff then displayed ruthless efficiency by breaking swiftly down the left and scoring the first of seven tries through winger Oliver Jones.

Although somewhat against the run of play up to that point Westcliff then began to take firmer control and further first half tries followed through Gus Martyn and Sam Reynolds.

And two conversions from the boot of Jack Jones established a 19-0 half time lead.

Now facing the elements, Haberdashers again started the half well without establishing any territorial advantage or displaying much real threat.

But after 50 minutes Westcliff created and exploited space on the left for Buster Reynolds to race over in the corner.

The hosts then began to exert sustained pressure which resulted in Sam Reynolds touching down after a well-executed catch and drive to extend the lead to 29-0 with 20 minutes still to play.

Westcliff were in full control so it was something of a surprise when a rare excursion into their half by the visitors produced a try for them to reduce the arrears.

But it was a brief moment of respite as Reynolds scored his third try of the day and Oliver Jones his second to establish the final 39-5 score-line.

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