East London suffer upset at home as Upminster run off with win in try-scoring feast
PUBLISHED: 14:30 17 January 2018
East London were upset by Upminster in their London Three Essex clash at West Ham’s Memorial Ground, falling to a 48-29 defeat on Saturday.
An absorbing contest produced 12 tries in total, as both sides coped well with a heavy pitch, but the hosts were not at their best.
East London began well, but had an early effort ruled out for not being grounded.
They did open the scoring on 11 minutes, though, as number eight Dan Bracken finished off a spell of sustained pressure from the forwards, with fly-half Ryan Billinghurst converting.
Upminster scored a penalty on 15 minutes to narrow the gap, but home skipper Bracken almost scored again when he broke from halfway and was tackled just short of the line and the ball was lost in the offload.
The visitors made him pay with an unconverted try on 21 minutes, before East London saw centre Alexis Merle yellow carded.
The hosts were again held up over the try line on the half-hour mark, but second row Matt Schofield bundled over for a try six minutes later, before Upminster scored a converted try to lead 15-12 at the break.
Another converted try on 53 minutes opened up a 10-point gap, but East London came straight back as centre Ryan Exley showed a turn of pace to beat the defence and Billinghurst converted.
Two converted tries within five minutes made it 36-19, before home full back Sean Cooper reduced the deficit with an unconverted try.
Upminster added another converted try before hooker Sam Ames-Reddin was shown East London’s second yellow card of the game.
And although replacement scrum-half Alex Pearmain scored the home side’s final points of the afternoon, Upminster rounded off the scoring with another unconverted try at the death.
A disappointed East London director of rugby Gary Pearmain said: “Both sides did well on a heavy pitch with some good tries, but once again our discipline let us down.”
East London are next in action at home against Campion on January 27.
East London: Samuel; Ames-Reddin; Coman; Schofield; Yiannakou; Combarro; Parrott; Bracken; Brown; Billinghurst; Sauzier; Exley; Merle; O’Donoghue; Cooper. Replacements: G Pearmain; A Pearmain; Hill.