Colchester Rugby Club's winning run in National League division three London and South East was ended after they were beaten 18-3 at Westcombe Park.

On a wet and windy day in Kent, the visitors struggled against third-placed Westcombe Park and, despite having an even share of the territory during the game, were unable to convert their possession into points.

Their rearranged line-up, due to the loss of captain Liam Pickett and fly-half David Higgins, both having picked up injuries in the previous Saturday’s game, took some time to gel, by which time the hosts had converted two penalties in the first ten minutes.

Colchester then rallied and camped in the home side’s end for about 20 minutes but, try as they may, were unable to cross the line.

Two penalty attempts by Tom Miller were missed and then, to add to the visitors’ frustration, prop Jerone Awesu was yellow carded for blocking an opponent.

Westcombe Park seized their one-man advantage and drove out of defence.

They made their way up field through the boot of fly-half James Cameron and from the ensuing line-out drove over for a converted try, giving them a 13-point lead at the interval.

Using substitutes Joe McMillan, Ollie White and Joe Flexman boosted Colchester in the second half and, following a charge forward by prop James Mitchell, lock Robert Heath and stand-in captain Danny Whiteman, the defence committed an infringement and Colchester were awarded a penalty 22 metres out. Despite the swirling wind, wing James Crozier coolly converted putting the visitors on the scoreboard, 13-3.

A tenacious battle followed between the two teams with both trying to gain superiority but the killer blow, as far as Colchester were concerned, came when Cameron intercepted a pass between their backs, dribbled the ball forward over the try line to touch down, despite the best efforts of the chasing Colchester defence. The conversion was missed but this score put the hosts in front by 18-3.

The remaining ten minutes of the game were spoilt by the unedifying spectacle of fighting between the teams on two occasions with both number eights receiving yellow cards before the referee’s whistle ended the game.