Victory ensures league title comes to Central Park!
PUBLISHED: 11:19 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 12:49 11 August 2010
Essex One Dagenham 32 Millwall 21 DAGNENHAM were crowned Essex One champions on Saturday after their 13th consecutive win of the season sealed the league title at Central Park. Before the game, the equation had been simple as D s knew a win would be enoug
DAGNENHAM were crowned Essex One champions on Saturday after their 13th consecutive win of the season sealed the league title at Central Park.
Before the game, the equation had been simple as D's knew a win would be enough, as they had a far superior points difference over second-placed Maldon.
In the end, it didn't matter as Maldon went down at Bancroft, ensuring Dagenham were champions by two points.
An electric atmosphere before the game saw the hosts roared on to the pitch, but a heavy burst of hail made playing conditions very difficult.
Dagenham adapted fairly quickly though and took the lead courtesy of Phil Crawley.
The try settled them down and shortly afterwards some good phase play saw the ball moved wide, where blindside flanker Jordan Wigham showed typical strength and power to barge his way over the line.
That made it 10-0 and D's continued to dominate territory as the forwards starved their opposition of the ball.
Although Millwall defended well, they were finally breached again when good work from Louis Stevens saw him link up with Wigham for another score.
Just before the break, Dave Purton picked up and drove over from a ruck, finally giving West Calverley a kickable opportunity, and the Dagenham fly-half made no mistake, giving the home side a 22-0 lead at the break.
The D's started the second period brightly and for the 10 ten minutes played some controlled rugby.
The forwards again drove hard at the line and Crawley popped up once more to grab his second score of the afternoon to make it 27-0.
To their credit, Millwall continued to press hard and were rewarded with a score midway through the half, after some sloppy play from the hosts.
Dagenham forced their way forward again though and it was man of the moment Crawley, who completed a fine hat-trick.
At 32-7 the game looked to be won, which is why Dagenham let their intensity slip. A string of penalties allowed Millwall to bring their dangerous runners into play and they claimed two further scores to bring the scores closer.
It mattered not though as the referees final whistle sparked mass celebrations in the home ranks.