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Below-par East London end year on losing note as rivals Millwall claim derby spoils

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 December 2017

Action from the derby between Millwall and East London (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the derby between Millwall and East London (pic Tim Edwards)

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Below-par East London lost ground at the top of the London Three Essex table after going down 48-19 at local rivals Millwall in their derby on Saturday.

Action from the derby between Millwall and East London (pic Tim Edwards) Action from the derby between Millwall and East London (pic Tim Edwards)

It was a lacklustre performance by the visitors who found themselves 31-7 down at the interval, before a revival late on at least added some respectability to the score.

Millwall scored early but the maroon and blues did have their noses in front briefly in the seventh minute.

Right wing Kevin O’Donoghue sent a high kick into the space between the Millwall backs and forwards and full-back Daryl O’Brien won the chase for the bouncing ball before offloading in the tackle to outside centre Corey Griffiths who ran unopposed to the line.

Corey Griffiths added the conversion, but it proved a false dawn for East London, as 
Millwall finished with no fewer than eight tries to their name after a series of defensive errors and missed tackles cost the visitors dear.

Skipper and number eight Dan Bracken scored two second-half tries late on, following big drives from the East London forwards, with Griffiths adding one conversion.

But it proved little consolation for the Memorial Ground club, who find themselves in fourth place with 32 points after winning six and losing four of their first 10 games this season.

Director of rugby Gary Pearmain said: “We were disappointed by our overall performance and we will need to have a better second half of the season if we want to have any chance of promotion.”

East London return to action on January 13 when they welcome Upminster to West Ham.

East London: Paddy Coman; Chris Hodgson; Gary Pearmain; Matt Schofield; Florian Oger; Rob Yiannakou; Nick Parrott; Dan Bracken; Joe Kelly; Ryan Billinghurst; Alexis Merle; Ryan Exley; Corey Griffiths; Kevin O’Donoghue; Daryl O’Brien; Adrian Samuel; Alex Pearmain; Andrew Ibberson.

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