SWINDON Storm have emerged from their opening four fixtures of the season with a 2-2 record following a closely fought 17-7 loss at home to Bournemouth Bobcats.

Storm were behind the eight-ball early on after going 7-0 down in the first quarter before a safety in the second added to their woes.

The home side reduced the deficit before the break as a pass from Dan Throne was grabbed by wide receiver Iain Eastman.

But with Storm unable to drive all the way downfield again, Bobcats took advantage and ran in another score late on to take the win.

Despite tasting defeat to Bournemouth for the second time this season, Storm defensive coordinator Rich Westley was pleased with the progress he saw.

“It was a very hard fought match and we were massively better than we were when we played them a couple of weeks ago,” said Westley.

“On defence, we were far more shored up and we made sure that we kept to our assignments.

“A couple of big plays cost us, but in terms of the overall way that we played, the progress shone through.

“On offence, it was a very good day at the office, despite us not scoring many points.

“We had very few penalties given against us, which has been a problem so far this year, and the number of yards we made was another increased area compared to a couple of weeks ago.”

Defeats to Bournemouth contrast with victories over Hastings Conquerors and Jurassic Coast Raptors so far for Westley’s team.

The defensive player-coach is confident of ending the season positively though, if the level of improvement that has already been shown can continue to be produced.

Westley said: “It’s been a mixed bag so far, but what we’ve been able to see, thanks to having such a close schedule over the past four weeks, is the progression that the team has been able to make.

“If this group of players stay together and healthy, then we will compete for the rest of the season and we should come out with a winning record.”