Epping Upper Clapton picked up their first point of the season but sit bottom of London 2 North East without a win after a narrow 15-12 defeat at home to Ipswich.

A quartet of penalties from Reece Reed looked to have Clapton on their way to a narrow first success, but a seven-point try from Ipswich in the second half edged them into a lead that they managed to hold onto.

Clapton’s dominance from the scrum gave them the advantage early on, allowing the team’s half-backs to make major gains in territory.

Both Lucas Moretta and Samson Adejimi were rampant in the Clapton back row and their work led to Reed kicking in three penalties inside the first 20 minutes to hand the hosts a 9-0 advantage.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, and Ipswich pulled a try back despite Clapton having plenty of opportunities to clear their lines.

Then, on the verge of half-time, the visitors closed the gap to just one when they scored a penalty with almost the last kick of the half.

With Ipswich a man down due to a yellow card early in the second half, Reed took full advantage by adding his fourth penalty of the day and making the score 12-8 in Clapton’s favour.

The hosts suffered a yellow of their own though when Adejimi was penalised for a technical offence.

With Clapton hanging onto their lead going into the final quarter of the game, George Cook was harshly dismissed, leaving the side permanently a man down, something that Ipswich took advantage of to edge in front with a seven-point score.

Clapton’s momentum was further stunted in the dying stages when Cam Furlong was also dismissed, and despite fighting valiantly with just 13 players on the pitch for the remaining five minutes, Ipswich held on for the win.

Without a game this weekend, Clapton return to action on Saturday, October 19 away at Wanstead.