Dagenham were left empty-handed after suffering a 27-17 defeat at Regional 2 Anglia rivals Stowmarket last weekend.

Having made the trip to Suffolk, they were soon under pressure and saw the home side run in an early converted try.

Dagenham battled back but struggled to make headway in the face of difficult conditions and an abrasive defensive display from the hosts.

Possession changed hands rapidly as the conditions resulted in errors from both sides, but eventually it was Stowmarket who extended their lead when a clever kick from their scrum-half resulted in an awkward bounce, landing fortuitously for their chasing player to dive over the line.

The home side added a penalty from in front of the posts, but Dagenham threatened to hit back in the last attack of the first half, only to turn the ball over and see it moved to a Stowmarket back, who ran in from distance.

Trailing 22-0 at half-time, D's knew they needed a big effort to get back into the contest.

And they did manage to start the second half much brighter, displaying better energy on the ball and pressurising Stowmarket's defence.

After a series of penalties, the ball found centre Lewis Pruce who bounced out of a couple of tackles to score the first Dagenham try, which was converted by Tommy Cameron.

The D’s continued to attack, with Josh Groom going close to scoring after a good break before Jermaine Darkwa made the break down the left wing before offloading to Earl Gorman to run in and make it 22-12.

With belief now restored, Dagenham continued to press and after a period of stalemate, they again managed to find a score out wide

Jack Warner produced a strong carry to take him right to the line, where Jermaine Darkwa was able to pick and dot down for the try and make it a one-score game at 22-17.

But Stowmarket managed to dominate territory in the last 10 minutes and, despite some heroic defence on the line, eventually found another score as an offload out of the tackle undid the D's defence.

This also denied the visitors a losing-bonus point, which would have been some consolation, but Dagenham were left to rue the costly first half as they slumped to a seventh loss in 11 outings.

They will be keen to make amends in their final game of 2023, when they welcome second-placed Woodford to their Central Park home on Saturday.

*Barking were on the wrong end of a 56-19 scoreline against Old Brentwoods in Counties 2 Essex (South).

It meant an eighth successive defeat for the basement boys, who are set to return to action at Canvey Island on January 13.


Regional 2 Anglia: Southend Saxons 12 matches 54 points; Woodford 12-45; Eton Manor 11-43; Harlow 11-40; Thurrock 12-40; Brentwood 12-30; Holt 12-25; Stowmarket 12-25; Dagenham 11-23; Chelmsford 11-19; Saffron Walden 12-17; Norwich 12-11.

Counties 2 Essex (South): Basildon 8-35; Old Brentwoods 8-29; KX Steelers 8-23; Billericay 6-20; Canvey Island 7-20; Millwall 7-5; Barking 8-(-9)*.

*10 points deducted.