LONDON TWO NORTH: Welwyn 5 Ruislip 16
Ruislip got away with a less than impressive performance at Welwyn as they ground out an important win over the league's bottom side.
The Maroons failed to click but they were gifted a try in the first half and Phil Grehan's boot kept them clear after the interval.
A second successive win was all-important and it took Ruislip into a much healthier mid-table position although they are still only one point above the relegation zone.
Welwyn started well and put a lethargic Ruislip pack under immediate pressure yet against the run of play Ruislip opened the scoring when Welwyn failed to clear a speculative kick through and winger TJ Okeshola took a good pass from Garth Hall and sauntered over for an early try.
The majority of the first half though, was dominated by the hosts who kicked well to the corners and employed a predictable but effective pick and go tactic to put the tame Ruislip pack on the back foot.
The result was a series of penalties from an over-officious and inconsistent referee, a couple of which resulted in spectacular misses by the Welwyn fly half although he did manage to convert one.
That was evened out by a well-struck effort from stand-in kicker Joe Baker, who had to cover for Grehan because he was on the sidelines having been sinbinned after being caught offside.
Ruislip held a narrow 10-6 lead at half-time and with the wind and slope in their favour they dominated the second half and started to play some decent rugby.
Two tries were disallowed as refereeing decisions continued to go against them but Grehan added two good penalties to secure an important two points.
Coach John Lacey said "I was frustrated by our inability to go through the phases - the ref didn't help but we made lots of individual errors.
"Hopefully the players will consider the quality of their own performances and improve going forward.
"We have an opportunity pre-Christmas to make progress up the league and have a good cup run so we need to be on top of our game.
"We're keen to make a mark in the county cup this season.
"The draw hasn't helped us over the last few seasons but this season we are determined to give it a good go."
Ruislip host Finchley in the Middlesex Cup on Saturday. [25a0] The improving Twos produced a fine display to reverse a 20-point loss to Old Albanians II earlier in the season as they turned a 14-12 half-time lead into a 44-12 win.
It was one-way traffic in the second half as the Ruislip backs clicked and
ran in some great tries, the pick of them by Max Bunce after great work by Joe Grehand and Simon Kalafurz.
They start their North West Middlesex Cup campaign on Saturday with a home tie against OMT I.