Eton Manor were unable to make it back-to-back victories after they were held by newly promoted H.A.C in the second match of the campaign at New Wilderness.

It was the visitors, who thrashed Luton 74-19 in their first game, who started brightly, and they took the lead when a well weighted grubber kick caught the Manor defence sleeping, allowing H.A.C to nip in and drive over the line.

H.A.C couldn’t maximise their advantage as the resultant conversion was missed, but they made no mistake on the 20 minute mark, when they added a further seven points to leave Manor 12-0 down.

That seemed to inspire Manor into action and they registered their first try of the afternoon when Jack Emerson fed Matt Oaks after skilfully working his way through a number of challenges, who crashed over the line. Emerson scored the resultant conversion to add a further two points.

After H.A.C had extended their advantage thanks to their third try of the afternoon, Emerson missed a golden opportunity for Manor to close the gap when he sent a penalty wide.

Having started slowly, the Wanstead club would finish the half strongly and they went in at the break just five points behind their opponents, as Nick Horton pounced on a loose ball before charging 25 meters to power over the line.

H.A.C had a player sent to the sin bin early in the second half for trying to illegally obstruct a Manor penalty and Jamie Connors’ side would take full advantage through Oaks, who converted his second try of the game following good work from both George Cosma and Misiona Evagelia.

That put Manor back on level terms and they squandered the opportunity to go ahead for the first time when Nick Sheppard’s conversion drifted wide.

The Wanstead club wouldn’t have to wait long though to take the lead for the first time, as after Cosma, Evagelia and substitute Michael Byrne had all come close following a five meter scrum, the ball was patiently worked to Emerson who forced his way over to notch Manor’s fourth.

Sheppard scored the resultant conversion to give Manor a 24-17 lead.

That was how things remained until the dying minutes, but H.A.C dramatically got back on level terms with one of the last attacks of the game thanks to a converted try, which ensured the honours were even at 24-24. Elsewhere, in the London and South East Premier Division, Chingford were condemned to back to back defeats after losing 23-28 to Brentwood.

Meanwhile, in the London 3 Essex league, Epping Upper Clapton were victorious on the opening day of the season after beating King Cross Steelers 23-30 away from home.

Epping had to do it the hard way, though, as they were 10-0 down after just seven minutes thanks to a converted try.

Dan Jones got Epping on the scoreboard with a penalty, before Joey Mbu broke downfield following a line-out and raced across the line to get the away side back on level terms. Jones then did the honours from the resultant conversion to hand Marcus Tobin’s side the lead for the first time.

Jordan Watson then got his name on the scoresheet following the re-start, before Jones scored his second conversion of the game to increase Epping’s advantage soon after.

Complacency allowed Kings Cross to mount a response almost immediately, meaning they closed the gap to five points, before two quick-fire tries from Epping’s Cam Furlong and Ollie Stokes practically sealed the win.

There was still time for the home side to add another converted try, but that effort proved to be too little too late, as Epping ran out 22-30 winners.

Head coach Tobin said: “We knew it was going to be tough against a proven opposition and whilst we still have many technical and tactical issues to resolve, it was a very positive start to the season. We will hope to see further progress against our next challengers Ilford Wanderers.”