FITNESS and a dogged defence helped Eastleigh keep the leadership of London 3 South-West as opponents Weybridge Vandals hoped to take a top scalp.

The Surrey side, playing on their own patch, were competing one tier higher last season and made their Hampshire visitors earn every single point of their 12-6 victory.

Vandals were 6-0 up at half time but never managed to get on the scoreboard again as a defiant Eastleigh pounced to touch down twice before defending their line time and again as the home side mustered wave after wave of attacks.

Eastleigh had worked hard for their points though and were not about to give their lead up lightly.

Their first success came from a huge boot up field from flyhalf Phil Baldwin. It was fielded cleanly but the ball was stolen from a following ruck and passed to Will Todd in space who found Tom Willoughby and he touched down before Baldwin converted.

That put Eastleigh a point in front and the advantage was increased when Russell Smith went over in the corner following a turnover.

Eastleigh were forced to defend for the remainder of the game and showed just how to do it with discipline as Weybridge threatened the line time and again. However, they were repelled by an equally determined Eastleigh side who are the only unbeaten side in SW3.

Try scorer Russell Smith said the victory highlighted the club’s strength in depth after winning with 10 changes – unavailable players and positional changes – from the side that beat former leaders Farnham the week before.

The second row said: “There was a lot of pressure on us as they are doing relatively well. There were 10 changes out of the 18 which just goes to show how strong we are and I don’t think we will field a weak side this season.

“It was nice to score as I think I have only scored one try this year but a lot of the lads have had a laugh and joke as it was out on the wing.”

Trojans matched hosts Battersea Ironsides try-for-try but lost out to the Londoners and unfortunately failed to secure a losing bonus point.

Both sides crossed the line three times but Battersea’s three penalties and 100 per cent conversion rate gave them a 30-19 home win.

Trojans started well with a couple of chances to score in the first five minutes, including Mark Greenhalgh popping the ball over the line but was deemed to have bumped into the referee on the way.

However, from the ensuing scrum the ball was swept wide for Joby Kochanowski to run into the far corner with Toogi Long kicking the long range conversion.

Chris Boyd also touched down before half time but Battersea held a 13-12 lead at the interval.

They went further behind to a penalty and try but got back into the game when Joe Milton, in his first senior appearance, touched down and Toogi Long converted.

However, the chance for a comeback, or losing bonus point was lost when the Ironsides touched down for the final time on the whistle.