Millwall celebrate title triumph

Millwall have sealed promotion to Essex Rugby Division One after the Isle of Dogs club secured the league title with a win at rivals Old Cooperians

Millwall sealed promotion to Essex Rugby Division One after the Isle of Dogs club secured the league title with a 17-3 win at rivals Old Cooperians on Saturday.

The outcome extended Millwall's perfect record in Essex Division Two this season and the club's staggering points difference of nearly 600 ensured they clinched the championship with two matches remaining.

Millwall centre Tan Parsons hailed the club's achievement.

He said: "We are absolutely delighted to be in this position - it's what we set out to do at the start of the season.

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"Getting promoted is testament to all the hard work put in by our coaches, players and the many volunteers at the club."

Strong winds made for difficult handling conditions during the title-deciding clash and Old Cooperians, who are bidding to earn promotion alongside Millwall, played with the bit between their teeth throughout the contest.

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The home side kept Millwall pinned back in their own 22 with a series of tactical kicks during the opening stages, but Millwall soon took advantage of the conditions to open the scoring.

A long kick downfield allowed Millwall to steal a line-out and centre Louis Newton punched a hole in the Old Coops defence before offloading to Parsons, who fed a scoring pass to winger Naz Mohammed.

Millwall missed the ensuing conversion but it took the Isle of Dogs outfit little time to extend their lead as a traditional backline move saw outstanding fullback Gaz Williams dive over for a try in the right corner.

Old Coops battled back in the second period, threatening Millwall's line with several close-range assaults before finally settling for a penalty in front of the posts, which their kicker duly converted.

But the defining moment of the game came midway through the half when Millwall fly-half James Reilly fired a long miss-pass to Newton, who took the pass cleanly and powered over unchallenged to settle the outcome and spark the celebrations.

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