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Barking suffer narrow loss at Ilford

PUBLISHED: 14:00 23 October 2018

Action from Barking's trip to Ilford in London Three Essex (pic: Graham Rowe)

Action from Barking's trip to Ilford in London Three Essex (pic: Graham Rowe)

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Gale Street club took losing bonus point in defeat to local rivals

Barking slipped to a narrow 24-20 defeat on their trip to Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex.

The Gale Street club were returning to league action after a two-week break owing to the start of various cup competitions.

Andrew Moreland’s men had been looking to pick up where they had left off, having beaten Kings Cross Steelers 20-12 on their previous outing in the league.

Barking had met old foes Ilford many a time in the two clubs’ histories, but Saturday’s meeting was the first league encounter between the sides for several years.

In hot and balmy conditions at Wanderers’ Forest Road home, the rivals also competed for the Dick McPherson trophy in addition to league points.

The Gale Street men had a player sent to the sin bin early on for a deliberate knock-on when defending near their try line.

That gave the hosts a numerical advantage, which they made good use of to score the opening try.

Barking then missed with a penalty opportunity, before Wanderers crossed the whitewash for the second time in the match.

Moreland’s men, however, rallied with tries either side of half time to get back into contention.

Another try and a penalty then saw the Gale Street club lead for the first time, holding a 20-17 advantage as the clock ticked down.

However, a late try from Ilford saw them snatch victory at the death and leave Barking to reflect on what might have been.

After the game, Barking posted from their official Twitter account: “Well played Ilford. A great game and a tense finish to go with it.”

Wanderers director of rugby Chris Smith commented: “Technically we weren’t great in the middle of the game, not taking chances and coughing up the ball.

“In terms of heart and passion, we probably won’t put in a better performance this year.

“We put pressure on ourselves to win this game; we made hard work of it, but still took the spoils.”

It was a disappointing loss for Barking and they will hope to recover from it soon.

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