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Super D's are top of the table!

PUBLISHED: 16:24 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 July 2010

Essex One Maldon 18 Dagenham 22 Dagenham claimed top spot in Essex One for the first time since September after inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Maldon in an enthralling game at Drapers Farm on Saturday. Knowing the importance of the fixtu

Essex One

Maldon 18

Dagenham 22

Dagenham claimed top spot in Essex One for the first time since September after inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Maldon in an enthralling game at Drapers Farm on Saturday.

Knowing the importance of the fixture, Dagenham produced probably their best 40 minutes of the season in the first half as the forwards fronted up, while the backs defended magnificently.

It was the visitors who struck first as West Calverley slotted over a penalty, before they extended the advantage when Billy Nelson cut through the back-line to touch down.

Calverley added the extras and the D's had a 10-point cushion.

Maldon came back hard and asked many questions of the Dagenham defence, but a huge effort meant that they restricted the hosts to a solitary penalty before the break.

Playing down the slope in the second period, the D's knew they would have to raise their game even further as Maldon started to show why they are promotion contenders.

Dagenham soaked up the pressure superbly and as the half wore on, the visitors managed to stretch their lead.

A good drive from the forwards set a base and as the ball was moved out, Paul Roberts floated a beautiful pass out to left wing Neil Davis who finished expertly.

The conversion was just wide, but the visitors held a 15-3 lead.

Maldon came back strongly and took advantage of a sloppy restart from Dagenham as they powered over for an unconverted score.

Once again though, the D's battled hard and looked to have gained the killer score when man-of-the-match Davis burst through before feeding James Roberts who sprinted home.

The conversion was added to stretch the lead but Maldon still refused to lie down and managed two more unconverted tries to make it 22-18.

The last five minutes was a nervy affair, but the D's held on and ran the clock down to claim a memorable victory.

A delighted head coach Mark Collins said: "I'm very, very pleased with the boys, it was fantastic. We held our defensive channels for 80 per cent of the game.

"There's a long way to go. We are top but only on points' difference and we have some difficult games to go, some massive games.

"It's going to be tough. The boys have the right to be there and have to earn the right to stay there."

D's host Wanstead in the Essex President's Shield quarter finals this weekend.

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