Epping Upper Clapton extended their remarkable winning streak in the London 3 Essex division to nine games with a 52-15 away win against Braintree.

Braintree were protecting an unbeaten home record in 2018/19 but were blown away by Clapton, despite an extremely physical approach to the game.

The hosts had the windy conditions in their favour in the first half and managed to open the scoring with a try while also adding another one later in the half.

Clapton, though, registered four tries of their own in the opening period through Reece Reed, Dan Jones, Olly Stokes and Des Griggs, giving them a 24-10 advantage at the break.

The away side’s forward strength in both the loose and set plays was displayed in the second half, with Mitch Sinfield, Adam Ayres and Griggs all marauding about in open play, while the defence was exerting an enormous amount of pressure on their opponents.

Teenager Dom Merrett entered the match, replacing Reed at scrum half, and put in another excellent performance, enhancing his huge potential, and the blend of experienced heads and future prospects combined for a further four tries in the second half, including one for George Douglas and two for Jones.

Braintree rallied towards the end and managed to pull one try back, but it did little to affect the result as Clapton ran out 52-15 winners.

Clapton’s lead at the top of the division extended to 16 points after Chelmsford, their nearest pursuer, lost ahead of the two teams’ meeting.

They will host Chelmsford on Saturday, February 16 with the opportunity to further increase their lead at the summit.