East London seal a huge win over neighbours Barking to continue climbing the table
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 November 2019
East London competed a comfortable 35-12 win over district line neighbours Barking on Saturday without ever hitting top gear.
Six tries ensured victory for the home side who climbed to fifth place in London Three Essex.
Forced into their pink change shirts to avoid a colour clash, East London had the better of the early exchanges.
Second row forward Ben Stern almost opened the scoring on six minutes but was held up.
The deadlock was broken five minutes later as a break from flanker Nick Parrott set up left wing Bill Brown to slide over in the corner.
Fly-half Nick Botha, who caused Barking problems throughout, almost added a second on 17 minutes but the next score came three minutes later.
A line out in the left corner was secured by number eight Dan Bracken who dived over the line. The conversion was missed.
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Barking scored an unconverted try on 25 minutes before Bill Brown scored his second try.
A neat move from the backs resulted in Brown again scoring in the left corner, but the conversion was again missed.
There was another scare for the East Londoners on 34 minutes when right wing Kevin O'Donoghue had a kick charged down but second row Luke Staples-Preston chased to back to ensure a try wasn't conceded.
As half-time approached Botha saw a gap in the Barking defence and slipped the ball in the tackle to O'Donoghue to score in the right corner.
The conversion was missed for a 20-5 half-time lead with the bonus point for four tries secured.
Head coach Eddie Gooby rang the changes soon after the restart and there was little threat from either side until the Barking forwards were penalised on 53 minutes and Botha popped over the penalty.
East London scored again on 63 minutes as Bracken picked up at the base of a scrum and the ball was fed to Andrew Till and he motored from 30 metres out to score in the corner. Botha added the conversion from wide right.
A scrum drive managed by Bracken set up leading try scorer Will Brown to touch down, before Barking scored a consolation converted try.
Coach Gooby said: "Credit to Barking who kept going to the end and caused us some problems, but there is more we can work on training before the trip to Braintree on Saturday."