Eve is at the double as London triumph

ESSEX ONE Ilford Wanderers 5 East London 17 NEWLY-PROMOTED East London kicked off their season with a nervy win over Ilford Wanderers on Saturday. The visitors started strongly, dominating possession and territory in the first 10 minutes, culminating in w

ESSEX ONE

Ilford Wanderers 5 East London 17

NEWLY-PROMOTED East London kicked off their season with a nervy win over Ilford Wanderers on Saturday.

The visitors started strongly, dominating possession and territory in the first 10 minutes, culminating in wing Dave Eve crossing the line for the first points of the match.

New fly-half Ali Gonse then slotted over the conversion from nigh on the touch-line to put the Londoners 7-0 up.

However, after this promising start, the game became stagnant as both teams struggled to play with the referee's interpretation of the new laws governing the breakdown.

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This ultimately led to a player from each team being sin-binned for technical infringements at the ruck.

London also missed a couple of penalties that would have given them a more comfortable cushion going into half time.

Midway through the second half, East London managed to ease the increasing pressure with some quick hands from the back line getting the ball shipped wide, and Eve crossed the line for a second try.

Ilford then struck back almost immediately with a series of crash balls from their bigger pack, leading to a try and Ilford's first points.

But with this inspiring a lift in their game, the men from Newham attacked with new vigour leading to winger Kenton Stanford brilliantly tip-toeing along the touch-line to score in the corner and seal the game for East London.

A special mention must go to debutant Murray MacDonald, who was deservedly named man of the match.

London continue their league campaign at local rivals Millwall this weekend.

MERIT TABLE FOUR

East London Wyverns 38 Upminster III 3

EAST LONDON'S newly-promoted second team started the season with a resounding win on Saturday.

The first-half was a fractured and ill-disciplined affair, with Upminster taking the early initiative with a penalty.

The Wyverns struggled to build momentum, and a number of scoring opportunities were spurned through poor finishing.

It was only after Edward Stockbridge was driven over, that the Wyverns started to settle.

With a 7-3 half-time lead, the hosts upped the pace in the second half in a bid to tire the large Upminster pack.

The plan started to pay dividends almost immediately with fly-half James Cherry using a quickly-taken tap-penalty to step through the Upminster defence, and set up a score for flanker Kevin Shirley.

Quick ball from sustained pressure in the Upminster twenty-two resulted in Will Myers evading his marker for a debut score.

Soon afterwards, Upminster kicked poorly out of defence and full-back John Jacobs sprinted through for a fine solo try.

The Wyverns continued to attack at every opportunity as Ricky Buckfield was driven over for their fifth try, and Cherry completed the victory after finishing off a sweeping move started by man of the match Shirley.

Dagenham III 5 East London III 5

EAST LONDON thirds endured a disappointing start to their campaign with a draw against Dagenham thirds.

After a shaky start, the forwards dominated every scrum, but could not seem to win a line-out.

Outside centre Daniel Talavera was the only try scorer, despite two inspired runs from full-back Frank Murphy which fell just short of the line.

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