WESTCLIFF are celebrating their first win in 17 months after beating Bedford Athletic at the Gables.

Westcliff triumphed 55-32 in Regional One South East.

And skipper Greg Bannister - who scored a hat-trick of tries - was thrilled to lead the side to their first victory since beating Rochford Hundred back in April 2022.

“It was more a relief to finally get that monkey off our backs more than anything else,” said Bannister.

“There is probably still a bit more to come from us this year so this is a good start.

“Hopefully we will start to get some momentum together after the win and I have no doubt that will bring more good results our way.”

The victory moved Westcliff off the foot of the table and up to 11th in the standings.

And Bannister was pleased with the consistency of the performance.

“It was good,” said Bannister.

“It’s probably the closest we have got to an 80 minute performance this year.

“We let in a couple of soft tries but we managed to score some good ones and get the win and that’s the main thing.”

Alex Thompson scored two tries in the victory while Alex Thompson, Joe Saunders, Matt Barrell and Jack Hogarth also touched down.

And Bannister now wants the win to kick-start Westcliff’s season.

“No-one plays sport to lose every week,” said Bannister.

“To be fair the boys always kept morale high during that time but now we are looking forward to the rest of the season and see where we can go this year.”