WESTCLIFF returned to the top of the London One North table after winning 27-15 at Brentwood.

The victory was Westcliff’s second in succession after four defeats in six games.

And it was also enough for them to climb back above title rivals Eton Manor, much to the delight of their first team manager Rick Compton.

“This was another really satisfying performance from the lads following on from the Colchester match,” said Compton.

“The lads worked really hard and applied the game plan particularly well in the second half.

“There really was only one winner as the game wore on and keeping a good Brentwood side pointless throughout the second half in heavy conditions demonstrated that.

“We have made good progress in recent weeks since having a dip in form pre-Christmas and returning to the top of the table, as we did with Eton Manor not playing, is just reward for the lads.”

Playing up the notorious Brentwood slope in the first half against a stiff breeze with heavy and muddy conditions underfoot, Westcliff forced their way into the hosts’ 22 and their patience was rewarded when their pressure produced a short-range penalty which stand-off Jack Jones converted after just five minutes.

Brentwood made good use of the conditions in their favour and exerted pressure of their own through their larger ball-carrying forwards, which Westcliff did well to repel.

It was therefore a disappointment for the visitors when a kick out of defence was fielded and run back by the home side through a gap that was not closed down and the ball was scrambled to the wing and run in for the game’s first try.

A penalty shortly after gave Brentwood an 8-3 lead but Westcliff hit back when Buster Reynolds was fed by brother Sam and forced his way over in the corner.

With the match all square at 8-8, Westcliff were a little frustrated not to have made more of their opportunities, so they were then doubly disappointed when Brentwood forced their way over from short range on their next visit to Westcliff’s 22 to earn a 15-8 half time lead.

But, at the start of the second period, the visitors gradually applied pressure and began to dominate territory and possession.

Sam Reynolds soon went over to bring Westcliff back to within two points at 15-13 and, on the hour, Buster Reynolds went over for his second which Jones converted to put Westcliff 20-15 in front.

Sam Reynolds then went under the posts to secure the try-scoring bonus point and, by virtue of the successful conversion, a well-earned 27-15 victory.