Dagenham bowed out of the Papa John’s Community Cup after going down 41-27 in their quarter-final clash at Old Alleynian’s.

OA's started the more brightly of the two sides, gaining early field position through the playmaking of their influential out-half.

The pressure eventually led to a penalty in front of the posts, which they converted, and despite some staunch Dagenham defending, Alleynian’s managed to find the gaps and scored a try near the posts to extend their lead to 10-0.

Dagenham also lost the influential Frankie Neale to injury during this period but, as shown throughout the season, they responded to the adversity and soon applied some pressure of their own.

After a number of phases, slick hands provided the space for Joe Daniels to touch down in the left corner for a try, but a counter-attack from OA’s ended with a mismatch for their winger, who went close to scoring in the corner, only to be denied by a last-ditch effort from Jordan Darkwa.

The officials decided Darkwa had infringed in the attempt, so a penalty try was awarded and a yellow card shown to Dagenham.

To further add to Dagenham’s woes, they soon lost centre Jermaine Darkwa to injury, but they had their next score when Earl Gorman picked an excellent line to go through untouched for a try under the posts.

Dagenham started to dictate phases, but an unfortunate loose ball bounced kindly for an OA’s player to scoop up and run another try in unopposed, leaving the score at 24-12 at half-time.

The visitors began the second half much more brightly, knowing the next score could be pivotal in determining the outcome of the match.

And some excellent inter-play between Tommy Cameron and Lewis Pruce set Nat Farrell free down the wing before he was hauled down by the last defender, but managed to get the offload away to the supporting Daniels to score his second of the match.

Dagenham continued to apply pressure, with a smart kicking game keeping OA’s pinned in their half, and they were eventually awarded a penalty which Cameron slotted to reduce the arrears to just four points at 24-20.

It looked like Dagenham would now push on, with OA’s starting to make enforced errors, but they were unable to capitalise on a period of possession and the hosts eventually managed to rally once more.

With the cumulative fatigue from last week's game starting to show, OA's managed to find a hole in the Dagenham defence to burst through and score, which they soon followed with another try in the corner, despite a heroic effort from Liam Power Junior.

The game certainly wasn’t over, though, and Dagenham managed to claw back another try through Lewis Pruce, bouncing through defenders to score and reduce the gap to nine points with a few minutes remaining.

As time ticked down and still needing two scores, Dagenham knew they would need to take some risks but the fine margins were not with them on this day as a cut-out pass was intercepted by an OA’s player to run in another try under the posts to add some gloss to the scoreline at the final whistle.

Despite a frustrating end, the Dagenham side will look back on the cup campaign and season overall as a success with the focus now turning to next season’s campaign in Regional Two Anglia. 

Other results: Chobham 29 Cullompton 23; Goole 17 Cockermouth 21; Loughborough 12 Harlow 61.