East London edge past Barking in cup thriller
- Credit: Archant
Essex Intermediate Cup quarter-final: East London 27 Barking 17
East London are through to the semi-finals of the Essex Intermediate Cup after a nervy 27-17 win at home to London Three Essex rivals Barking.
The closely fought match went into extra-time as a large crowd got behind both teams under the floodlights at Memorial Park in West Ham on Friday.
There was no quarter given in the opening exchanges, but it was the visitors who took the lead on seven minutes with a penalty kick.
Both sides continued to probe for openings and East London almost scored on 25 minutes, but lock Matt Schofield knocked on as he crossed the try line.
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The home side, though, didn’t have to wait much longer for a try as on 26 minutes, centre Will Brown took a high clearance and passed to full back Andrew Little, whose diagonal run took him past three defenders to score, but the conversion was missed.
A converted try from Barking gave them a two-point lead on 30 minutes, but East London drew level two minutes before the interval.
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A break by prop Mantas Urbonavicious, playing against his former club, created the space for scrum-half Alex Mylchreest to score, but again the conversion was missed.
Barking added a converted try on 45 minutes to lead again, but the home side levelled ten minutes later.
A penalty was kicked to the corner and from the line-out, the East London pack gathered the ball and drove over with Urbonavicious touching down, before fly-half Ryan Billinghurst converted.
Both sides continued to probe, but with defences on top there was no further score in the 80 minutes, taking the game into two extra periods of ten minutes each way.
A penalty by Billinghurst put the home side ahead on 85 minutes as they led by three points going into the second period of added time.
The lead was soon 10 points on 95 minutes when an increasingly dominant home pack created the opportunity for Schofield to score which Billinghurst converted for an unassailable lead.