WEYMOUTH & Portland’s hopes of promotion suffered a minor setback as Puddletown claimed a superb 20-18 win at Monmouth Avenue.

The Seahorses remain third with 11 games played, now five points off leaders Blandford.

Rich Bament’s men had to contend with an outstanding individual performance from Puddletown fly-half James Elwood, who ran the show for the visitors.

Weymouth & Portland went 5-0 up thanks to Matt Savage’s opening score but Elwood kicked a penalty after a series of infringements by the hosts.

While Weymouth dominated the scrum, play remained hotly-contested up to half-time with neither side able to add to their tally.

READ MORE: Oakmeadians 10-34 Weymouth & Portland - match report

Elwood proved influential after the break when, after numerous battering rams against the hosts’ defence, his crossfield kick unleashed debutant Brad Harris to outpace the cover and score, Elwood converting for 10-5.

Weymouth had little joy against the Puddletown defence and conceded a gift of a try when Elwood intercepted a pass before sprinting solo to the line from inside his own half, later converting.

Undeterred, Weymouth & Portland scored the try of the match when Andy Bowditch finished off a flowing move after a flurry of offloads, Ryan Lewendon converting for 17-12.

After kicking a penalty apiece, it was the hosts who sensed blood as Lewendon kicked a penalty, but the stout Puddletown defence would not be breached in the final five minutes as Weymouth fell to defeat.

Speaking to Echosport, Bament said: “It was disappointing, I think we just had a complete off day.

“Puddletown are not to be underestimated, their commitment is 100 per cent. Things didn’t go our way in the way we executed certain plays that we talked about in the week.

“The guys just need to be aware that sometimes the game plan needs to change a bit – and when to change it and trust themselves.

“It’ll come, it’s just one of things that happens. You can’t do anything about it, Puddletown deserved to win and we didn’t.”

Weymouth & Portland now host bottom side Salisbury Seconds on Saturday (2pm).

He said: “It doesn’t matter if you score 100 points or 20, if you score four tries and win, you still get five points on the league table.

“It will be more about the performance as a whole and doing things in the rights area of the pitch – when to do things and not.

“Hopefully we can put last week’s result behind us and get the win, which is the most important thing.”