WESTCLIFF cut the gap on table-topping Wimbledon to just two points with a convincing 42-7 win against CS Stags 1863 at the Gables.

Second-placed Westcliff had suffered a shock defeat at Bedford Athletic in their previous London & SE Premier Division outing.

And Westcliff’s director of rugby Rick Compton was delighted to bounce back from the setback.

“It was an excellent response to the previous week’s disappointment, all the more so considering the changes forced upon us,” said Compton.

“The lads that came in were outstanding and all made a strong case to retain their place.

“There were one or two as well who under different circumstances might have been rested due to niggling injuries but who stepped up and did a great job.

“Our aim now is to take this form to Chingford next week.

“We are a tough nut to crack at home but we have been found wanting in our two most recent away games and we want to put that right.

“With Wimbledon losing at Sutton we have made up ground on them and things at the top remain tight as the last two games of the year approach.”

Despite the final scoreline, the Stags enjoyed the majority of possession early on but were unable to make any significant inroads into the home defence.

However, Westcliff had no such troubles and opened the scoring with Henry Morrant touching down.

Stags soon hit back with a try of their own to make it 7-7 but, just moments later, Westcliff regained the lead when Oliver Jones was on hand to finish off a swift counter attack.

His younger brother Jack added the conversion before Westcliff were awarded a penalty try to make it 21-7 at the break.

Westcliff added a fourth try at the start of the second half with skipper Chris Marsh touching down before Rob Smith also broke the defensive line to go in for another try to make it 35-7.

However, Westcliff were still not finished and the hosts sealed their win 10 minutes from time with a try from Josh Stol which Jones converted to maintain his 100 per cent record.

Westcliff: J Jones, Brown, Reynolds, R Smith, O Jones, McKeith, H Morrant, Weston, B Morrant, Lane, Scogings, Anderson-Brown, Marsh, Hatton, Vandermolen

Replacements: Binstead, J Smith & Stol