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Home > News > Milwall 27 - Campion 17
Your News Milwall 27 - Campion 17

MILLWALL Rugby Club turned over Campion in a thrilling encounter in the semi final of the Essex President’s Shield competition yesterday evening (March 25).

Campion, currently placed second in Essex Division One - a tier above Millwall, were fancied by some as favourites ahead of the game, but the Isle of Dogs side raced to a nine point lead in the first 10 minutes and stayed in front throughout the match.

The team is now set to face Thames in the final next month, and are hoping to emulate their success of two years ago when they claimed the Essex Division Two title and the President’s Shield.

“That was awesome – we played our guts out and we’re delighted to be in the final,” said Millwall centre Tan Parsons after the game. “Our forwards played like ferocious dogs and our discipline was better than it has been. I think we deserved the win on balance. Campion have been on fire in recent weeks and to turn up and beat them is absolutely wicked.”

The match had been rescheduled because of fixture congestion and was played under floodlights at the home ground of Romford and Gidea Park.

Millwall played with a strong sideways breeze at the backs in the first period and fly half Dom Sutherland made Campion pay for some early indiscipline with three beautifully-struck penalties within the first 10 minutes. This gave his side the confidence to run and following a lineout on the Campion 22 yard line, winger Naz Mohammed turned on the pace to outsprint his opposite number. He was hauled down just a yard short of the try line by the covering defence but offloaded to Parsons who scored in the corner.

The side were enjoying the 14-point lead until some poor defensive organisation allowed the Campion fullback the space to run and attack the spaces marked by Millwall’s tight five forwards, which he did before offloading for a try in the corner.

The first division side converted and nudged over a penalty soon after, although Sutherland struck back to take the score at half time to 17 – 10.

Playing uphill and against the breeze in the second half, Millwall laboured. But the defence held firm and Millwall’s smaller pack put on a dazzling display of grit in both the loose and set pieces to deny clean ball to the Campion backs.

The defining moment of the game was when a bobbling chip from Campion’s fly half was gathered by Millwall prop James Eason. He offloaded calmly to veteran battering ram centre Louis Newton who swerved away from both his support and the covering defence, brushing off two defenders to score under the posts.

One Campion attack almost led to a try but heroic covering defence kept their powerful forwards at bay and Sutherland was able to clear his line.

The tension mounted when a Campion kick bounced awkwardly and was gathered by their replacement fullback who sidestepped two tackles and scored under Millwall’s posts.

With the score at 24 – 17, Millwall’s relief was palpable when, with just six minutes left on the clock, Sutherland slotted another penalty into the face of the breeze, putting them two scores ahead. A furious last run of play came to and end when Campion infringed at a ruck and Millwall fullback James Reilly stepped up to blast the ensuing penalty over the touchline and bring the final whistle.

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