London 2NE: Epping Upper Clapton 16 Old Cooperians 10
PUBLISHED: 16:27 02 October 2017
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Old Cooperians suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten at Epping Upper Clapton in a low-scoring affair.
The visitors made the short journey up the M11 having made several enforced changes due to injuries sustained in their previous game.
And it was the hosts who scored in the first few minutes as the ball was worked wide for a score in the corner.
The conversion was added and Coops, playing up the slope in the first half, were immediately on the back foot at 7-0 down.
The away side responded with pressure deep inside the Epping 22 thanks to clever place kicking from fly half Joe Bilton and full back Tom Morgan.
However, Coops were unable to convert this pressure into points as they came away without troubling the scorers.
This was the theme for the remainder of the half, until just before the break, when centre Barnie Moul latched on to Bilton’s kick through to score next to the posts.
Morgan added the extras as the teams went into the interval on level terms at 7-7.
In a stop-start second half, both teams failed to get going, as Coops struggled to gain any momentum.
The visitors then paid the price twice in quick succession for falling foul of the referee at the breakdown, conceding two penalties which the Epping full-back duly converted.
Coops were then reduced to 14 men as number eight Patrick Reed was harshly adjudged to have not released the ball when competing at the breakdown.
Epping made no mistake as they increased their lead to 16-7 with five minutes remaining.
The away side took the game to their hosts in the final moments, winning a penalty with the last play of the game.
Morgan stepped up to slot home and gain Coops a losing bonus point ahead a home meeting with Sudbury at St Mary’s Lane next weekend.