WESTCLIFF began life at their new Gables base with a 22-17 win against Esher.

The triumph pushed Westcliff up to 13th in the National Two South standings.

And first team manager Rick Compton was thrilled to bag a victory on a memorable day for the club.

“It was another excellent performance and the side started life at the new Gables as they had finished it at the old one, by deservedly beating illustrious visitors,” said Compton.

“The team was better balanced this week, but it was a big occasion for the club and that can sometimes be a burden.

“But it wasn’t on Saturday and the lads were on their game from the first minute to the last. For a while we got on the wrong end of the penalty count and invited pressure but we defended those situations magnificently and when we forged opportunities of our own, we took enough of them to deservedly win the game.”

And Compton was further boosted by Westcliff moving up the league table.

“The result moved us out of the bottom three, albeit by only the slimmest of margins,” said Compton.

“It confirmed once more that we can mix it up and compete with the company we are in. Next we visit Barnes in what will mark the halfway point of the season.

“We will go there with confidence and in the highest of spirits.”

Westcliff started well at the weekend and raced into an early lead when Kostas Dellas collected his own charge down to score the first try at the new Gables ground.

Esher hit back with a penalty and a try to lead 10-5 but the game remained highly competitive.

Westcliff replied with a penalty of their own from Jack Jones and the hosts remained 10-8 down at half-time. The first 10 minutes of the second half were dominated by the visitors, who controlled possession and enjoyed the territorial advantage.

But Westcliff gave no quarter and then began, once more, to ask questions of their own.

Determined and patient drives at the visitors’ line forced the space and opportunity for Jones to exploit and touch down before also adding the conversion to put the hosts 15-10 in front.

Six minutes later, Westcliff extended that lead through a well-executed try by Joe Vandermolen, who took the ball on the charge from a midfield break and a delightful offload from Rob Smith.

Jones added the extras to establish a 22-10 lead and daylight, for the first time, appeared between the two teams.

Esher threw caution to the wind and with 12 minutes remaining they scored a converted try but Westcliff hung on for a memorable win.

Westcliff: Bannister, Hogarth, Campey, Smith, Radzevicius, J Jones, Bolton, Weston, Morrant, Dellas, Vandermolen, Dartnell, Marsh Webber, Reynolds

Replacements: B Jones, Barrett Meakin, Hopkins & Johnson