Parkonians 36, Ellesmere Port 12: ELLESMERE Port slumped to a third consecutive league defeat after a below-par display at rivals Parkonians on Saturday.
An injury to stand-off Dave Layder early in the match was a severe setback for Neil Percival's side and after his departure they struggled to adapt, conceding three tries in the opening 20 minutes.
A disappointed Percival said: 'It's a bad result for us, particularly as they are one of the sides we will be up against as we aim for a top-four finish.
'I think losing Dave Layder with a hamstring injury was key, as we had to re-shuffle and Parkonians took full advantage of our un-certainty.
'But we will remain upbeat and our next three fixtures are against the bottom three sides so hopefully we can get back to winning ways as soon as possible.'
Port began the match in determined fashion but the hamstring injury to Layder after just five minutes resulted in him being substituted by forward Phil Gow.
The home side took advantage of Port's lack of organisation and raced into a 17-0 lead courtesy of three rapid-fire tries and one conversion.
However, Percival's side have made a habit of comebacks this season and they slowly worked their way back into the match with Paul Watkinson grabbing a try on the half-hour mark.
Five minutes later they reduced the home side's lead to just five points when Phil Gow converted after Gareth James stormed over the line for a well-worked try.
With Parkonians leading 17-12 at the interval, the visitors began the second period in the ascendancy and were unlucky not to level the match after a series of strange refereeing decisions prevented them from pushing home their dominance.
But despite the impressive displays from the Port forwards they began to tire and the home side took advantage by scoring three more tries with two conversions to clinch an emphatic 36-12 victory.