LONDON TWO NORTH: Ruilslip 18 Westcliff 13
A much needed first League win for Ruislip at a warm West End Road on Saturday.
The home side were strengthened by the return of experienced locks Paul Askew and Garth Hall and veteran tight head Lee Smith.
A motivated Ruislip team quickly imposed themselves on the newly promoted Westcliff side who had started London Two rugby with two very credible performances against Letchworth and Staines.
Early pressure was rewarded with a straightforward penalty by Mike Forster, bravely playing despite a injured knee. Playing down the slope, Westcliff started to get into the game and drew level with a well taken penalty.
They took the lead with a very well worked try that went through a number of phases, with their flanker scoring in the corner.
Ruislip responded well and a few half chances were missed before good work by flankers Jack Lawlor and Wayne Blumerick created space for fly-half Phil Grehan to dance over for a great try under the posts.
Forster converted to bring the scores level at 10-10. Westcliff made it 13-10 with a penalty just before half time.
Despite the dehydrating conditions Ruislip looked lively after half time, and again had most of the ball and territory but again were denied by a bad bounce or great defence from the visitors.
Lawlor again featured, as, in a head to head with the Westcliff fly half - who was probably three stones heavier - it was the bigger man who had to be helped from the field and a psychological blow had been struck.
Forter kicked another penalty to level the scores, then, after a period of sustained pressure, new winger Daniel Cullen finished of a flowing move with a great score in the corner.
It came at a cost, however, as Cullen dislocated his shoulder in grounding the ball. He left the field in some pain.
The last 10 minutes were nail-biting for the large support, as Westcliff fought to the bitter end, but a determined Ruislip side defended their line with some character.
Coach John Lacey was 'delighted with a great win full of character but losing Daniel sums up our season to date - for whatever good news we have there seems to be a contrary piece of bad news'.
He continued: "Last week we lost new signing Ryan Owens, who looked very sharp, and again, today Daniel was making a good impression on his debut for the first XV."
Attack coach Dave Samuel was pleased with how the attack was taking shape.
He said: "Grehan also adopted a very clever kicking game in the second half which in the main meant we played most of the second half on the front foot."
THE Second XV beat London Cornish in the Canterbury Leagues 24-23,with two tries for Keith Jones, and one for Adam West.
West featured well at fly-half andJones and Bennett were the pick of the pack.
The 3rd XV went top of the Merit Table after a 53-3 demolition of Barnet thirdss.
And the fourths made it a clean sweep for Ruislip with a great win over Albanians fifths, 26-5
Rugby manager,Neil Edwards, was delighted with the four wins.
He said: "We have had a tough unsettling summer and the amount of injuries are at record levels, so to get four sides out today and to win all four is a tribute to the respective managers, coaches, captains and players.
"It's also good to see players like Mike Forster playing, despite carrying an injury.
"It's the sort of character needed during tough times."