East London clamber back up to third with convincing success on trip to Maldon
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 January 2019
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London Three Essex: Maldon 10 East London 29
Five tries saw East London return to third place in London Three Essex with a 29-10 win away at Maldon on Saturday.
The convincing, if not spectacular, victory was achieved despite the visitors playing for 20 minutes with only 13 players courtesy of some inconsistent refereeing decisions that affected the flow of the game for both sides.
Coach Eddie Gooby said: “We came to get five points for the win and that’s what we did.
“It wasn’t a game for the purists and not helped by some of the decisions made by the referee which affected both sides.”
East London were fast out of the traps and with just 75 seconds on the clock, they were in front from a try by hooker Lewis Bourke.
A fine diagonal run saw him avoid tacklers and go over in the left corner, but the conversion was missed.
A spectacular try on 15 minutes extended the lead as wing Nick Finch collected the ball close to the East London 22-metre line and set off along the line.
Finch released full back Max Stanyard who in turn set up scrum-half Will Brown.
Brown was tackled close to the Maldon line, but inside centre Bill Brown took the offload and ran in under the posts, with fly-half Ryan Billinghurst converting.
Maldon fought back and fine defensive work by number eight Dan Bracken kept them at bay.
The visitors then took advantage of a yellow card for Maldon when on 30 minutes from a line out, the forwards drove on and prop Mantas Urbonavicius scored for a 17-0 lead.
Maldon hit the post with a penalty and Urbonavicius was then yellow carded for the visitors.
With the extra man, Maldon scored an unconverted try for a 17-5 score at the break.
East London’s impressive forwards set up the first try of the second-half.
Second rows Matt Schofield and Luke Staples-Preston worked the opening for Finch to score in the right corner, though the conversion was missed.
Ten minutes later, Schofield was sin binned and the home side added an unconverted try.
Finch became the third East London player to receive a yellow card, this time for a high tackle, but with the very last move of the game, Bourke added his second try from a scrum on the five-metre line, with the extras added.