RUGBY: Westcliff Ladies bagged a dramatic 19-15 win at local rivals Southend Saints.

Westcliff scored with the last play of the game to clinch victory at Warners Bridge.

And coach Dave Read was overjoyed with the result and the manner in which it was achieved.

“We’re absolutely delighted to get the win, especially in the fashion it came,” said Read.

“Getting the win with the last play of the game in a local derby, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“For the ladies to dig deep and to keep fighting until the final whistle like they did, shows what this squad is all about.

Westcliff’s win moved them above Southend and into third in the Women’s NC 2 South East (East) standings.

And Read felt it was an entertaining contest.

“I thought the game was a great advert for women’s rugby,” said Read, “Southend really put us under a lot of pressure, particularly in the first half, and credit to them for making it a great contest.”

However, Westcliff were able to fight back after the break.

“We played some great rugby in the second half,” said Read.

“I thought our forwards did a great job with the scrums which gave our backs a platform to build on.

“It really feels like we’re building and developing our game week on week.

“We know we have some tough games coming up but I really feel this team will be pushing for promotion come the end of the season.”

And Kay Rees, another of Westcliff's coaches, was also delighted with the win.

"Sunday was a great display of how women’s rugby in the area has progressed and developed over the last five years," said Rees.

"Both sides played to a high standard with incredible intensity and skills on show.  

"It was a physical and closely contested battle from the first to the last whistle. 

"Credit to Southend who were the more dominant side in the first half, however, in clearly what was a game of two halves I’m incredibly proud of the performance put in by every Westcliff Lionesses during the game."

And Rees was also pleased with the effort on show.

"We never gave up and came out in the second half playing the type of rugby which has set us up well this season," said Rees.

"Each player showed the determination and drive expected of them in a Westcliff shirt and stand-out performances from Martha Smith, Aime Harcourt  and Sophie Scanlon allowed us to come away with the win.

"I am incredibly proud to be involved with such a dedicated and talented group of players who continue to grow and develop each game.  

"The emotion at the end of the game coming away with the double against your local rivals will be hard to top."