WESTCLIFF moved off the bottom of the National Two South standings with a 18-14 victory at Old Albanians.

Westcliff recovered from a slow start to secure their second win of the season.

And first team manager Rick Compton was delighted with the spirit on show.

“It was a terrific result for us,” said Compton.

“Considering the terrible start we had the way we dragged ourselves off the floor was fantastic.

“Our defence won the game for us, the lads really put a shift in and put themselves on the line for each other time and time again.

“It’s tempting to say this was a turning point for us but the truth is we turned the corner a while ago and this result is just the latest consequence of that.

“We have tough games to come and we are not about to climb up the table, but we are no longer bottom of the pile and can look forward to the rest of the season with confidence.”

Despite the result, things started in the worst possible way for Westcliff as they failed to collect the kick off which was recovered by the hosts. At the first breakdown they forced a penalty and kicked to the corner, the driving maul from the line-out was brought down, and the referee was in no doubt.

Two minutes gone and Westcliff had conceded a penalty try and a yellow card in the front row. The hastily rearranged scrum soon conceded a penalty which gave Albanians good field position to attack from, and they squeezed over in the corner.

Seven minutes gone, 14-0 down on the scoreboard, a man short, and playing into a strong breeze, things were not going well.

Westcliff though have showed plenty of mettle of late plus significant improvement and development.

Despite playing into the wind and being rocked on their heels they buckled down, grafted their way back into the game, and began to build platforms from which they created opportunities of their own.

Eventually as the half began to wind down they got over from short range, out wide, through Oliver Walker after a series of drives. They returned to the hosts’ twenty-two immediately and spent the final few minutes of the half banging on the door but not quite managing to break it down.

However, Westcliff scored again within the first 10 minutes of the second half, again from short range, this time through George Maloney.

A well struck conversion from Bannister reduced the arrears to 14-12 with half an hour to go and all to play for. Both teams strove for a decisive breakthrough but Westcliff were determined in defence and kept the home teams thrusts at arm’s length.

With a little over a quarter of an hour to go a drive up field produced a penalty for Westcliff and Bannister calmly slotted it over to put the visitors 15-14 ahead.

Old Albanians threw themselves into attack sensing the game slipping away but Westcliff refused to buckle. As the game’s final moments arrived, they forced the home team deep back into their own half and in their desperation to escape coughed up a further penalty. Again, Bannister stepped up, and with the game’s final act sent the ball sailing through the uprights to secure a hard earned but well deserved victory.