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Your News Millwall seal league title with a win
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04
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Millwall 17 - Old Cooperians 3

MILLWALL Rugby Club sealed their promotion to Essex Division One on Saturday (January 31) with a win over rivals Old Cooperians.

Although the team still has two games left to play, Millwall's unblemished record in Essex Division Two this term, helped by a staggering points difference of nearly 600, means the Isle of Dogs men have comfortably secured their promotion.

Millwall centre Tan Parsons said after the match: "We are absolutely delighted to be in this position it's what we set out to do at the start of the season and getting promoted is testament to all the hard work put in by our coaches, players and the many volunteers at the club.

"We will be hitting the circuit training hard as usual on Monday but right now, if you'll excuse me, we are going to celebrate."

A strong and bitterly cold easterly wind made for difficult handling conditions during Saturday's match and Old Cooperians, fighting to earn promotion alongside Millwall, played with the bit between their teeth throughout the game.

For the first ten minutes the home side kept the Londoners pinned back in their 22 with a series of tactical kicks, but not long afterwards Millwall took advantage of the breeze, using a long kick to escape from their territory. From the resulting lineout Millwall centre Louis Newton punched a hole in the Old Coops defence and offloaded deftly to his midfield partner Parsons, who cleverly switched the direction of the play from left to right and fed a scoring pass to winger Naz Mohammed.

Although the conversion was missed it took only several minutes before a traditional backline move saw Millwall's outstanding fullback Gaz Williams dive over for a try in the right corner.

Old Coops battled back in the second period, threatening Millwall's line with several close range assaults before finally settling for a penalty in front of the posts, which their kicker duly converted.

The defining moment of the game came midway through the half when Millwall's fly half James Reilly, standing in for the notably absent Dom Sutherland, fired a long miss pass to Newton. The burly midfielder took the pass cleanly and powered over the Old Coops line unchallenged before Reilly converted to leave the scoreline at 17 - 3, where it remained for the rest of the match.

This Saturday Millwall take on Essex Division One side Maldon in the quarter final of the Essex President's Shield - a match which will present their toughest challenge of the season.

"We may have won promotion but this Saturday is going to be colossal," added Parsons. "We were narrowly pipped by Maldon in a league match last year and we will be looking to exact revenge this time around. Cup games are always extremely tough and we are relishing the prospect."

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