It's snow fun as East London leave bitterly cold Braintree empty-handed following loss

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:22 21 March 2018

Action from East London's match at snowy Braintree (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Action from East London's match at snowy Braintree (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

East London slipped to a 34-17 London Three Essex defeat in the proverbial game of two halves at snowy Braintree.

Action from East London's match at snowy Braintree (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Action from East London's match at snowy Braintree (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The first 40 minutes saw the home side with the driving snow at their backs, as well as a sloping pitch to their advantage.

And they cashed in to score six tries to East London’s solitary effort before the interval.

The visitors failed to cope with the icy wind in their faces early on and were 19-0 down in 12 minutes as Braintree scored three tries, two of them converted.

But on 18 minutes East London scored a try of their own when fly-half Alan Ferguson kicked a penalty towards the corner where a defender kept it in touch but saw his attempted clearance kick charged down by right wing Corey Griffiths, who won the race to touch down the loose ball under the posts.

Ferguson converted, but it was the only highlight for the visitors as Braintree ran in three more tries for a 34-7 half-time lead.

The second half was a different game as East London now had the benefit of the conditions and Braintree failed to trouble them.

On 55 minutes, following sustained pressure by the pack, Ferguson chipped a kick into the left corner where full-back Alex Pearmain gathered the ball and fed left wing Joe Kelly to score.

The conversion was missed, but the East London pack were now dominant and on 64 minutes second row Rob Yiannakou forced his way over the line but was adjudged to have been held up.

It was short respite for the hosts as three minutes later Pearmain scored in the right corner, with the conversion again missed.

East London pressed for a bonus point try their second-half play deserved and a driving maul saw number eight Dan Bracken get over with the last play of the match, but the ball was adjudged to have been held up. Skipper Bracken said: “Conditions were awful but Braintree adapted better to them in the first half. We showed a lot of pride and courage in the second half and they didn’t trouble us at all.”

East London stay in fourth spot in the table and travel to Maldon on Saturday.

East London: Hogan; Hodgson; Samuel; Yiannakou; Hill; Brown; Parrott; Bracken; Williams; Ferguson; Kelly; Exley; Billinghurst; Griffiths; Pearmain. Replacements: Ames-Reddin; Schofield; O’Brien.

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