Dagenham moved one step closer to Twickenham with a 20-15 win at Tamworth in the last 16 of the Papa Johns Community Cup.

The opening exchanges were evenly matched, as the two unfamiliar sides contested fiercely, as Dagenham showed no signs of fatigue from the 130-mile journey and attacked well.

They were met by stern defence from the hosts, who drew first blood with a penalty, which was quickly cancelled out Dagenham's Frankie Neale after pressure exerted by the front-row at scrum time.

Dagenham continued to apply pressure at the scrum, earning a series of penalties, and Josh Cook took one quickly to find centre Lewis Pruce, who carried through two would-be tacklers to score.

The try was converted by Neale for a 10-3 lead and, after a sustained period of defence, player of the match Liam Power Junior made a great break and kicked over the last defender, only to be taken out off the ball.

Neale slotted the to extend the lead to 13-3 and D’s continued to press, with Jermaine Darkwa coming very close to scoring a superb try but just being denied.

The visitors received a yellow card for a high tackle just before half-time, but preserved their lead thanks to a few try-saving interventions from flankers Evan Westcott and Jordan Darkwa.

The second half began badly, though, with another Dagenham player receiving a card for an infringement on the try line and Tamworth pressed their advantage and managed to score a try under the posts to reduce the arrears to 13-10.

Dagenham needed composure to manage their numerical disadvantage and showed cool heads and ferocious defence over that period before eventually getting their reward as a turnover from Lewis Pruce went through the hands, with Power providing the pass to Joe Daniels to race down the left touchline to score near the posts.

Neale converted to extend the lead to 10 points, with the final 20 minutes ferociously contested around the middle of the park, with big hits made on both sides.

Dagenham were doing well to manage the tempo of the game and control possession, but Tamworth managed to turn the ball over and score out wide late on.

A missed conversion left them five points behind with a minute left and Dagenham's smothering defence managed to force one last error to confirm their win and a place in the quarter-finals on Saturday (April 22).

There was also joy for the Dagenham second team, who fought to a fantastic 54-12 victory over Runwell in the John Adler Cup.