WESTCLIFF suffered a ‘tough day’ at Bury St Edmunds in National Two South.

Westcliff were beaten 53-17 by their hosts and team manager Rick Compton felt the clash was a real eye-opener for his side.

“It was a tough day for the team and bit of an eye-opener for some of the younger lads new to the level,” said Compton.

“Although there were areas where we were competitive and the effort was unquestioned, we didn’t create enough and at times were too porous.

“Notwithstanding that there are positive things to take from the game and clear areas where we can and will improve.

“It’s been recognised from the outset that it’s hugely challenging for an amateur, essentially homegrown, first team like ours to compete in a semi-professional league.

“But it’s a challenge we are determined to confront and embrace.”

Bury started the better on a blazing hot afternoon and were soon on the front foot, racing into a 10-0 lead.

However, Westcliff then began to get a foothold for the first time in the game and their pressure forced a penalty that Greg Bannister converted.

The hosts replied with a penalty of their own to make it 13-3 but the next 20 minutes were intense and ultimately unproductive, particularly for Westcliff, who had plenty of possession but struggled to make it pay.

But the last play of the first period produced the best moment of the game so far and was a bit of a sucker-punch for Westcliff.

They had disrupted the home scrum but when the ball was moved away an incisive line taken by the full-back allowed him to offload inside to the supporting back row who scored under the posts to make it 20-3 at the break.

Bury scored two quick tries at the start of the second half to lead 32-3 after just 50 minutes.

Westcliff were now playing for pride but responded by scoring the try of the game as a length of the field effort was finished off by Elliot Croft.

Bannister converted but two more Bury tries followed when Westcliff were down to 14 men after Chris Marsh was yellow carded.

Westcliff replied with a try from Kostas Dellas but the home side had the final say with another try of their own.

Westcliff: Bannister, B. Reynolds, Smith, Whiting, Koomson, Croft, Bolton, Weston, Morrant, Binneman, Scogings, Anderson-Brown, Vandermolen, Marsh, S. Reynolds. Replacements: Dellas, Binstead, Webber, Jones & Roussouw