WESTCLIFF’S lead at the top of the London One North table has been cut to just a point following their 42-27 defeat to Luton on Saturday.

The reverse was Westcliff’s third in their last five games.

But first team manager Rick Compton felt his team got what they deserved.

“Luton were perhaps a little flattered by the score but they were better side and produced a fine all round team performance which was too good on the day for us,” said Westcliff.

“We battled but were never at any time at our best.”

Luton capitalised on that by racing in to a 12-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes but Westcliff responded well to the setback.

As a result, a period of sustained pressure on the visitors line saw skipper Rob Smith score under the posts and just a few minutes later open side Chris Marsh evaded several would be tacklers to score a great individual try and make it 12-12.

A drop goal put Luton 15-12 up at half-time but Westcliff started the second half strongly with Chris Dudman touching down.

Marsh then repeated his earlier heroics to put the home-side 24-15 ahead.

However, Luton continued to battle and a converted try of their own brought the score back to 24--22 as the last quarter arrived.

Critically as the game entered this decisive phase Smith received a yellow card for an offence at the break down and Luton made the extra man count to devastating effect with an immediate converted try to retake the lead 29-24.

Westcliff managed to reply with a penalty to bring them back within range at they still enjoyed the benefit of an extra man and managed a further converted try with just minutes to go.

Late in the day and now with a nine point cushion the cause looked lost.

Nevertheless Westcliff attempted to force another score but were hit on the counter and punished with another try under the posts.