Workington Finches suffered their seventh defeat of what has become a frustrating season as they went down 14-5 to Littleborough Pink Warriors at The Ellis Sports Ground.

For once, the recent dreadful weather – which had already postponed two successive Finches fixtures – gave way to bright sunshine, albeit allied to a sharp, chilly breeze as both sides delivered 80 minutes of tense, well-balanced rugby.

It was Littleborough who put early pressure on the Finches and after a short period of play managed to breach the hitherto solid Finches rearguard to score under the posts before adding the simplest of conversions.

However, Workington fought back and after weathering further attacks with firm, strong and effective scrummaging, began to gradually step up a gear by launching their own surges into Littleborough territory.

Captain Charlotte Cammack once again called the shots and Elsa Whelan, Claire Pooley, Hannah Thornbery and Rachael Cairns all gave the opposition cause for concern with their tenacious efficiency.

It was only a matter of time before the Finches would score and they did just that shortly before half time when Cammack and Whelan combined to send Pooley on her way to bolt clear and touch down for an unconverted try.

The second half saw the Finches determined to take the lead, but they were thwarted by a strong Littleborough defence who clearly learned their lesson after conceding that try.

Midway through the second half, Nicole Stewart delivered her signature solo run that covered almost the length of the pitch and she offloaded the ball to the equally speedy Whelan, but she was agonisingly held back by a split-second tackle with the try line winking at her.

This acted as a wake-up call to Littleborough, who threw off their defensive chains in order to secure the points and, after a short spell of pressure, succeeded in scoring a try and conversion five minutes from time.

Once again, The Ellis witnessed another debutant as Saskia May made her bow in Finches colours and despite the result, she acquitted herself well and will be a valuable asset for the rest of the season and beyond.

Workington drop to seventh – third from bottom – of North 2 West and will be hoping to get back to winning ways this Sunday when they travel to Oldham, who sit below them one point behind.