Winchester matched unbeaten London 2 South-West opponents London Cornish for much of their clash at North Walls - but were eventually beaten 32-3.

Winch needed an improved performance following a couple of defeats and they provided that – competing throughout the game and totally dominating the opening 20 minutes.

They forced three kickable penalty opportunities during that period but chose the kick-to-touch option which failed to reap points.

However Winchester continued to take the game to Cornish and turned around just 10-3 down following a penalty kick from Connor Breen. They did cross the line just before whistle but the ball was held up.

Again Winchester had their fair share of the game after the break but Cornish went into the lead with a driving maul before the home side’s Rob Rees was given a yellow card.

Winchester remained committed but Cornish struck with three unconverted tries in the final quarter.

Winch coach, Darren Kingham-Scott, praised his side for their efforts against the runaway leaders. He said: “Arguably, if we had been putting in that effort all season, then we would be one of the teams going up.”

Andover came away from basement side Warlingham with a 36-29 win and now have a couple games left to reel in fourth-from-bottom Portsmouth who face second and third-placed Camberley and Old Reigatian in their last two fixtures.