East London end year on top after Billericay win
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 December 2015
Memorial Ground team lead Essex League One on points different after 10th straight win
East London made it 10 wins out of 10 in Essex League One with a 46-12 victory at Billericay to ensure they go into the new year top of the table.
The visitors took advantage of playing down the sloping pitch in the first half at Willowbrook and scored six tries.
The first was in the seventh minute when Daryl O’Brien went over in the right corner, but Kieran Oliver missed the conversion.
Six minutes later, East London won turnover ball from the Billericay pack, allowing Sean Curd to outpace the home defence and score from a kick through by O’Brien, with Oliver adding the extras this time.
With 23 minutes gone, Jono George took a pass from scrum-half Lucas Estevez, side-stepped the last defender and scored under the posts for a converted try.
Billericay pulled a try back with 11 minutes to go until half time, but the bonus-point try for East London came after 31 minutes when Curd scored his second after combining with Tommy Little.
O’Brien completed a first-half hat-trick with two tries in the closing minutes before the break, with the second a length-of-the-field interception, as East London built a 36-5 lead.
Hooker Will Masters was yellow carded for foul play early in the second half and Billericay scored a converted try, but hopes of a comeback were soon dampened as number eight Rob Herbert won turnover ball, resulting in O’Brien scoring in the right corner.
Masters returned to the fray after his 10 minutes in the sin bin, but East London then lost Oliver and replacement prop Paddy Coman to further yellow cards.
Despite being down to 13 men they scored again on 74 minutes when Curd broke the defensive line to score his third try and cap a remarkable win.
Skipper Nick Parrot was pleased to end the year in winning fashion as they remain with Braintree, but with a superior points difference.
He said: “It’s always a difficult place to come, with the sloping pitch, but we mastered the conditions in the first half and kept it tight in the second, despite some unfortunate yellow cards.”