Winning end for skipper after 29 years
East London skipper Dan Bracken scored a try and kicked a conversion to bring his 29-year career to an end in a 27-10 win over Canvey Island at the Memorial Ground in West Ham on Saturday (7 April).
It was the eighteenth try of the season for number eight Bracken, the only East London player to have completed every minute of all 18 London 3 Essex games this season.
The win secured fourth place in the league for the home side, level on 55 points with third place Braintree but with an inferior points difference.
It was the visitors who took the lead with a penalty on nine minutes before the first East London try on 19 minutes. It was set up after a charging run by second row Rob Yiannakou and then left wing Kevin O’Donoghue slipped a pass to full back Ryan Billinghurst to score. The conversion was missed.
Ten minutes later Bracken offloaded to hooker Sam Ames-Reddin who scored in the left corner. The conversion was missed and East London led went into the break 10-3 ahead.
Bracken scored his try on 61 minutes following a spell of pressure on the right flank. The conversion was missed. A break by flanker Ed Brown was finished off by O’Donoghue for the home side’s fourth and bonus point try. The conversion was missed.
It took Basildon 78 minutes to pose any threat to the home try line but they scored with a penalty try. East London weren’t done and scrum-half Will Brown kicked long over the visiting defence. He chased the ball and forced the visiting full back into a mistake near his own line. Replacement centre Joe Kelly scooped up the loose ball to score.
The try gave Bracken (pictured) the opportunity to kick the conversion from in front of the posts for the final points of East London’s season and the last of the 37-year-old’s long career.
He said: “After 29 years in club colours I’d like to thank all those people I’ve trained with and played alongside. It’s been a pleasure and an honour.”
East London 1st XV vs Canvey Island: 1. Rob Park; 2. Sam Ames-Reddin; 3. Ben Hogan; 4. Matthew Schofield; 5. Rob Yiannakou; 6. Ed Brown; 7. George Hill; 8. Dan Bracken; 9. Will Brown; 10. Alex Pearmain; 11. Kevin O’Donoghue; 12. Bill Brown; 13. Ryan Exley; 14. Corey Griffiths; 15. Ryan Billinghurst. Replacements: 16. Gary Pearmain; 17. Joe Kelly; 18. Ben Combarro.
Updated 19:37 - 22 Apr 2018 by Gary Bird