WESTCLIFF fought back from 14-0 down to win 36-28 at Old Redcliffians.

The victory moved Westcliff 10 points clear of the National Two South relegation zone.

And Westcliff’s first team manager Rick Compton was delighted with the character shown by his side.

“Being 14-0 down after 15 minutes on a boggy pitch after a four hour coach ride is not a good place to be,” said Compton.

“It’s a hole that takes a lot of getting out of and the lads showed a strong mentality as well as tremendous effort, commitment and at key times, quality.

“It was an excellent performance and an excellent result that puts a little space between us and the bottom three although with so much of the season still to go it’s a gap that offers a degree of encouragement but no more.”

The hosts hit the ground running and, with 15 minutes on the clock, Westcliff trailed 14-0 and their prospects looked bleak in a game they needed to win.

Respond they had to and respond they did, after 21 minutes Jim Smith was on hand, as he often is, to apply the finishing touch to a sustained series of drives. The conversion from Jack Jones was successful as it was just a few minutes later when converting from the touchline his own try, one created by a crunching tackle and subsequent turnover from teenage winger Jack Hogarth.

The game was now was a fierce contest and one which ebbed and flowed in each side’s favour. But no further scores occurred until the final minute of the half when Joe Vandermolen crashed over to give Westcliff a half time 14-19 lead. Westcliff took control of the game in the third quarter, scoring two converted tries.

First Jones broke a tackle made ground and fed Chris Bolton on an inside support line and he touched down under the posts.

Then as the home side forced a pass in an attempt to respond Jake Campey picked it off and run in under the posts.

Both tries were converted, and Westcliff had scored 33 unanswered points to lead 14-33 after the poor start. The hosts hit back with a try of their own before Jones added another penalty which secured the win - despite another try from Redcliffians.

Westcliff: Bannister, Hogarth, Campey, Cummins, Bean, Jones, Bolton, Weston, Morrant, Binneman, Vandermolen, Dartnell, Lynch, S Reynolds, Smith. Replacements: Morrant, B Reynolds, Dellas, Johnson & Marsh