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Mixed emotions for Westcliff after defeat
Westcliff were left feeling both frustrated and encouraged following a 21-14 defeat at high-flying Dorking.
Westcliff were pleased to pick up a losing bonus point against their third-placed hosts.
But their first team manager Rick Compton also felt his team could have picked up more.
“We will reflect ruefully on the five minutes each side of half time when two players found themselves spectating and 12 points were conceded,” said Compton.
“However, we take some comfort in their bonus point and also in the progress we have made since losing 56-0 to the same team at the same stage last season.”
Dorking went in front in the 19th minute with a routine penalty but three minutes later Westcliff replied with a penalty of their own from Ben McKeith.
In reply, Dorking kicked two more penalties to lead 9-3 and the last of those also led to number eight Gus Martyn being yellow-carded.
Four minutes later, Ben Jones joined his team mate on the side-lines and, despite some uncompromising defending, Dorking squeezed a body over the line in the final play of the half to lead 14-3 at the break.
Westcliff were very much in the game as they now had the slope on their side.
But the home side were able to use their numerical advantage to go further ahead with another converted try to make it 21-3.
Westcliff continued to battle though and, with 15 men back on the pitch, Rob Smith was able to spot a gap and score a well-worked try.
Two penalties from McKeith then cut Dorking’s lead to 21-14.
Dorking repelled the Westcliff attacks that followed but as the penalties mounted up the referee kept his cards in his pocket and the visitors were unable to get the score they needed to level the game.
The defeat saw Westcliff drop to fourth from bottom in the table but this weekend they will be hopeful of picking up more points at home to the team just above them in the table, CS Rugby 1863.
Westcliff: Roberts, Redding, Binneman, S Jones, Edwards, Scoggins, Dartnell, Martyn, B Jones, Harvey, O Jones, R Smith, McKeith, Reynolds, Bannister. Replacements: J Smith, Cosgrove & Bard.