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Home > News > Millwall 13 - East London 14
Your News Millwall 13 - East London 14

MILLWALL Rugby Club played their first ever match on Millwall Park on Saturday (September 19), but lost by a single point against East London.

Following a long running campaign to be allowed to play adult matches on the park, the Isle of Dogs team christened the pitch with a fraught derby match against their rivals from West Ham.

Millwall started brightly with fly-half Dom Sutherland converting a penalty to give the hosts a 3-0 lead on the 10 minute mark.

But as the match progressed East London's dominance in the lineout and scrums gave them the lion's share of possession from which they launched a series of attacks from promising positions in Millwall's half.

An overlap opened up along the back line and East London touched down for a converted try to take the lead.

In the second half the game remained tight with neither side taking the upper hand until a crisp Millwall back line move involving centre James Reilly and fullback Karl Mitchell stretched the East London backs to breaking point with winger Ben Smith finishing clinically in the left hand corner.

Sutherland missed the conversion and shortly afterwards the East London backs breached Millwall's defences, touching down under the posts for a converted try to take the score to 14-8 in East London's favour.

Next the home team's scrum-half Brent McMillan made an incisive break, starting off a dashing move involving Sutherland and Mitchell before rounding off his own work and diving over the line in the right corner. But again Sutherland missed the tricky conversion from the sideline, leaving the score tantalisingly at 14-13 with just five minutes to play.

With less then a minute remaining a penalty was awarded to Millwall on the half-way line for holding onto the ball after the tackle, but Reilly's goal attempt drifted away to the right of the posts, leaving the visitors with hard-fought victory and the bitter taste of disappointment in Millwall mouths.

Millwall centre Tan Parsons said afterwards: "That was extremely hard to swallow - it's always gutting when you lose by a single point and we would have loved to record a win for our first ever match at Millwall Park.

"But we need to look forward and work harder than ever as a team now. There's no doubt we have the players to do extremely well in this division but we need to work on our set pieces.

"This is going to be a real test over the coming weeks because we have some tough matches coming up against the likes of Clacton and Campion and we need to grind out a win to put us back on course. It's now that we'll find out what we're really made of."

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