WESTCLIFF suffered a third defeat in succession, losing 50-17 against Leicester Lions at the Gables.

Westcliff have taken just one point from their opening three games of the National Two South season.

But first team manager Rick Compton felt the latest setback was tough on the players.

“It was a tough afternoon for the lads,” said Compton.

“The final score was a little harsh but the visitors were worthy and convincing winners.

“It’s frustrating not to pick up the bonus point our efforts merited but there were some definite positives, not least encouraging debuts for Tom Dufficy and from the bench Regardo Pedro.

“It’s clear that the medical staff will once again be busy throughout the week, the long lay off and the attritional demands of the level contributing to a high level of injuries.

“When the dust settles on that we will see where we stand for the visit to Barnes next week.”

Injuries and unavailability enforced changes to half of Westcliff’s match day squad at the weekend but the hosts started the game in the best possible way.

Running the ball through hands from their own 22 they marauded downfield with the ball kept alive by a series of offloads, the last of which released Joe Sexton in sufficient space to canter over the line.

Greg Bannister added the conversion but, from the restart, Leicester caught the home side napping.

They recovered their own kick off and as Westcliff scrambled to regain shape forced the pace and soon created sufficient time, space, and the necessary support to cross on the far left.

The rest of the half was keenly contested with neither side giving quarter easily but gradually the visitors gained ascendancy and were more clinical.

In doing so they were able to score two further converted tries and at the very end of the half converted a penalty to lead 22-7 at the break.

Westcliff started the second half with a try from Jim Smith but the visitors replied around the hour mark when the left winger crossed for the bonus point converted .

That was immediately followed by a yellow card for the Westcliff scrum half and in his absence, Leicester turned the screw and took the game out of sight with two further tries to lead 43-12.

As the game entered its final stages Westcliff made determined progress up field backed up with patient short range phase play.

This culminated in a second try for Smith, and if the game was gone, there was suddenly a sniff of a try scoring bonus point.

Both sets of players were tiring and the game had become increasingly open.

But it was Leicester who scored the game’s final try, also converted, to make the score 50-17.

Westcliff: Bannister, Hogarth, Parmenter, Cummins, Ford, Sexton, Richmond, Lane, Lynch, Weston, Webster, Scogings, Reynolds, Dufficy, Smith Replacements: Miller, Dane, Meakin, Regardo & O’Brien