RUGBY: Westcliff completed their season with a 41-22 defeat at Dings Crusaders.

A try scoring bonus point saw Westcliff move off the bottom of the National Two South standings on the final day of the campaign.

And first team manager Rick Compton looked towards the positives of the performances.

“It was a performance, despite the result, with which we were not displeased,” said Compton.

“We had to make more changes than we would have liked but everyone that came in contributed in a positive way.

“We played, at times, some great rugby scored four good tries and could, perhaps should, have had a few more.

“At the turn of the new year, we set a couple of objectives which we have achieved in the last week of the season by winning the derby game with Rochford and by not finishing the season in last place.

“It’s now time to recover, reflect and prepare.”

Conditions were good on a pleasant late April afternoon and the 4G playing surface encouraged a fast-paced game which the hosts were quick to adopt.

They opened the scoring after just two minutes when they were able to stretch the Westcliff defence sufficiently to exploit space on the short side.

The visitors appeared to have responded quickly when Sherif Lanre touched down a grubbed kick in behind, but the referee, to universal bemusement, was not satisfied with the grounding and the try was disallowed.

They continued to probe without success while the Crusaders pushed on and scored two further tries in the second quarter, one of which was converted.

Persistence though paid off though a converted try by Jack Hogarth at the end of the half and the score at the interval was 17-7.

Effectively the game went away from Westcliff in the third quarter. the hosts took control and extended the lead to a decisive 41-7 by the hour mark.

The visitors though were not going away, and in the final 20 minutes of a long and difficult season, they played some delightful and expansive rugby, scoring three further tries through Callum Lynch, Dylan Coetzee and Greg Bannister to finish the game in the ascendancy.

Westcliff: Robbins, Lanre, Hogarth, Whiting, F Doyle, Bannister, Comber, Miller, Lynch, Brown, L Doyle, Maloney, Dufficy, Hatton, Smith.

Replacements: H Morrant B Morrant Coetzee & Moss