Dagenham secured a tough 40-20 win at fourth-placed East London in their latest Counties One Essex outing at the weekend.
The visitors started quickly, applying pressure in attack, but some gritty East London defence kept them at bay, with Sam Clark coming close to an opening score after a great line off the ruck.
After a tight territorial battle, with both teams exchanging possession around the middle of the park, East London took the first points of the day with a converted penalty in front of the posts.
Dagenham struck back quickly, claiming the ball straight from the restart to enable them to progress upfield and after a couple of scrums on the East London line, Josh Cook drew two defenders and got the pass away to Jordan Calverley for the opening try, converted by Frankie Neale.
A second try soon followed as a chip kick by the East London fly-half was plucked from the air by centre Jermaine Darkwa who showed the pace to finish from halfway, with Neale again converting for a 14-3 lead.
East London refused to lie down and applied pressure of their own with some aggressive carrying, with a couple of penalties providing the territory they needed to build a few phases and find the overlap for their winger to score in the corner.
Ill-discipline continued to dog Dagenham, allowing East London territory, and the visitors found themselves with a scrum on their own try-line, but a great shove from the front row allowed Mitch Sinfield to take clean ball and set a platform for the backs.
Great vision from Tommy Cameron identified space on the blindside and two quick passes from Cameron and Neale were able to allow winger Joe Daniels to run in from the 22, beating the full-back to score under the posts.
But East London again showed their resolve to have the final say of the half as their full-back made an excellent read to intercept the ball on their try line and run the length of the pitch to score, leaving it poised at 21-15 at half-time.
Dagenham started quickly in the second half, with good phase play eventually setting Earl Gorman free down the right wing, breaking a couple of tackles to score.
However, they would again find themselves spending a prolonged period defending their own line, with some poor discipline allowing East London to keep the pressure on.
Conditions saw both sides making errors in a scrappy affair but, after earning a few penalties of their own, a good lineout set enabled Dagenham captain Nathanial Farrell to burst over the line from close range to extend his side’s lead, with a great conversion from Neale.
After a series of exchanges, East London managed to get another try on the board, with their full-back showing a good finish.
But skipper Farrell had the final say of the day, breaking through four attempted tackles with a powerful carry to score under the sticks and complete the victory.
Dagenham look to continue their form when they travel to third-placed Wanstead next Saturday.