East London make a point against leaders
PUBLISHED: 12:25 12 December 2016
Harlow 22 East London 17
Plucky East London gave London Three North East leaders Harlow a scare on their own patch and picked up a losing bonus point in a slender loss.
Both sides adapted quickly to a sticky pitch and rain and Harlow opened the scoring with a penalty on six minutes.
East London hit back to take the lead against the run of play on 12 minutes when right wing Will Brown intercepted a pass and ran 30 metres unopposed to score under the posts, for fly-half Alan Ferguson to add the conversion.
But their joy was shortlived as Harlow scored a converted try just two minutes later to move 10-7 ahead.
East London stormed back when blindside flanker Nick Parrott scored and Ferguson converted for a 14-10 lead, but the visitors saw two penalty attempts drift wide of the posts before the interval.
Harlow regained the lead on 46 minutes with an unconverted try and Ferguson missed another penalty on 58 minutes which would have given East London the upper hand once more.
But Ferguson made amends two minutes later as replacement centre Andrew Little drew a penalty, for which Harlow had a man yellow-carded, and he slotted the kick from 25 metres to make it 17-15.
East London should have made the extra man count, but second row Matt Lucas was sent to the sin bin for foul play on 64 minutes.
And it was just the boost the heavier Harlow pack needed as, with 14 minutes left, they forced their way over for a matchwinning try in the right corner.
Ferguson missed another penalty on 75 minutes but East London held on to third place in the table and coach Gary Pearmain said: “We have come to the league leaders, given them a scare, and gained a bonus point.”
East London: Pearmain; Ames-Reddin; Hodgson; Lucas; Hillyer-Riley; Parrott; Brown; Bracken; Mylchreest; Ferguson; O’Brien; George; Curd; Brown; Billinghurst. Replacements: Kelly; Little; Bannerman.
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