Oxford Harlequins slipped further into the relegation mire in National 3 South West after a 34-16 home defeat to Old Patesians.

Quins’ seventh loss in eight matches leaves them eight points adrift of Malvern and safety and just one place off the bottom.

Home centre Pita Halatokoua just failed to hold a scoring pass early on.

But Patesians’ right wing Callam Kerr went over on 15 minutes, with fly half Conner Gwillam converting.

Quins No 10 Will Hilton replied with a penalty, while their lighter pack showed promise.

Centre George Hughes crossed for the visitors’ second try on 32 minutes, Gwillam converting.

Hilton slotted his second penalty before visiting No 8 James Pettigrew was yellow-carded, but Gwillam’s penalty made it 17-6 to Patesians at the break.

Quins full back Harry Whittington was denied a try for a foot in touch, but scrum half Alisdair Maspero finished a great move to give the hosts hope at 17-11.

However, Patesians pulled away with a try from lock James Strickland, converted by Gwillam, who added a penalty.

Whittington set up a try for wing Jack Briggs with a long, jinking run to make it 24-16, but Quins could not make further pressure count on the scoreboard.

Centre Lee Taylor went over for Patesians’ fourth try and a bonus point on 74 minutes, Gwillam converting.