WESTCLIFF moved level on points with second-placed Wimbledon after a hard-fought away win.

Westcliff triumphed 36-25 at CS Stags 1863 to maintain their push for the London & SE Premier Division play-off place.

And Westcliff’s director of rugby Rick Compton was pleased with the result but not all aspects of the performance.

“It was a good result and a bonus point win away from home always is,” said Compton.

“We weren’t at our best and started a little flat after the late arrival but the lads applied themselves and got the job done.

“With the battle of the top two going the way of Sutton the final few weeks of the season are going to be very interesting.

“Sutton have put themselves in the driving seat for the title and it’s hard to see them letting that slip from their grasp.

“Second, though, and the play-off place are up for grabs and on paper we have a slightly easier run in, but as we all know rugby is not played on paper.

“It’s an interesting couple of weeks ahead of us with interest maintained for sure right to the last.

“That starts next week when we host Chingford in what maybe the final home game of the season.”

Westcliff endured a torturous trip to West London and the game kicked off 20 minutes later than expected.

However, the visitors made a slow start and found themselves 5-0 down inside the first 60 seconds.

But Westcliff’s Sam Brown restored parity in the 13th minute before the visitors went in front with a try from Rob Smith which was converted by Ben McKeith to make it 12-5 at half-time.

After the break, Greg Bannister added a penalty to put Westcliff further in front before the visitors raced clear in the final third.

Converted tries from Billy Morrant and Brown secured the bonus point and a 21 point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

The hosts soon replied with another charged down try but Westcliff responded quickly through Bannister, who converted his own try.

That ended the game as a contest and made sure of another Westcliff win.

But it was a source of mild irritation for Westcliff that in the final few minutes the hosts scored two consolation tries when the visitors were down to 14 men.

Westcliff: Bannister, Brown, Reynolds, R Smith, Merrick, McKeith, Spivey, Weston, Morrant, Lane, Scogings, Dartnell, Marsh, Hatton, J Smith. Replacements: Meakin, Maloney & H Morrant