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Home > News > Roller coaster season continues for Millwall
Your News Roller coaster season continues for Millwall

Millwall Rugby Clubs roller coaster season continued on Saturday with a heart-wrenching 10-5 loss to Bancroft at Victoria Park.

Needing victory to add valuable competition points following the stunning victory over Upper Clapton the previous week, the Isle of Dogs club did all the right things early in the first half.

A break by centre Matt Barker 10 minutes in, sent winger Ben Smith over in the corner to score and Millwall sensed another big win was on the cards.

Bancroft thought otherwise and hit back with a try of their own, which was duly converted into a 7-5 half time lead.

Hooker Leigh Blinman, playing against his former club, was concussed by a random Bancroft elbow on the stroke of half time, forcing an interchange and a change in game plan for the hosts.

Millwall fired up in the second half and dominated possession. For a period of 25 minutes, the home side held Bancroft inside their own 22 but struggled to convert the pressure into points.

Smith went close to grabbing his second try after a sweeping backline move however the big winger fumbled to ball over the line as he was bundled into touch, after some superb scrambling defence from Bancroft.

A penalty goal late in the half saw the visitors extend their lead to 10-5 and once again in 2008, Millwall found themselves needing a converted try to secure victory.

In the final minute after winning a scrum against the feed, Millwall spread the ball wide, moving it through no les the 5 sets of hands.

No8 Nick James caught the final pass and dived over as Millwall celebrated what they thought was a levelling score however the referee ruled a forward pass and then called time on the tough-fought battle.

The loss means Millwall need to win 3 out of as many of their remaining matches - including a last round match up with league leader Dagenham, to avoid certain relegation.

Should the win 2 out of 3, they will need other results to go their way to continue in Essex 1 next season.

Coach Dave Leftley was limited in his critism following the defeat:

"We are all just gutted"

"to come so close to an important victory and lose like that, it hurts." Said the visibly upset coach.

Millwall will need to recover from Saturdays loss quickly as an important away match to Ilford wanderers looms on the horizon next week.

Meanwhile Millwalls attempts to increase female participation in the sport are progressing well as a dozen new ladies turned out for the second try rugby session on Millwall Park on Saturday morning.

The next session is planned for 29th of March however the club is investigating running the sessions on a weekly basis due to the increased demand.

Any ladies interested in trying something different should visit or email alternatively, call Jodie on 07963833655

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