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East London third's crowned league champions

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 April 2019

East London Rugby third XV celebrate being crowned champions (Pic: Gary Bird)

East London Rugby third XV celebrate being crowned champions (Pic: Gary Bird)

Archant

East London has its first silverware of 2018/19 after a rousing display by the third XV won them the Merit Table Five plate on Saturday.

A 48-0 victory over Wanstead thirds was a fitting end to a tough season for skipper Frank Murphy and his side.

“We trained hard for this and have had some fun which is what third team level rugby is all about,” Murphy said.

“I’m so proud of this team and thanks to everyone who came to support us.”

The game was part of Shepherd Neame Essex Merit Table Finals Day at Bancroft, where 14 games were played, with opponents and trophy decided by where you finished in your respective league and a semi-final. Each game was 30 minutes each way.

Wanstead had the better early possession and territory but solid East London defence kept them out.

Good work by number eight Ben Stern created the opening try for second row Matt Schofield on 11 minutes and fly-half Murphy converted.

Stern scored himself five minutes later, sidestepping a rushing defence, but the conversion was missed.

On 21 minutes outside centre Roger Ng added to the tally with a break from distance, with Murphy converting.

East London continued to dominate and left wing Thomas Rochette’s fine diagonal run to the left corner took him over the try line on 26 minutes as the gap grew to 24-0 at the break.

Schofield set up inside centre Ryan Exley on 35 minutes who showed great strength to get over the line, but the conversion attempt hit the upright.

Schofield fashioned a try for replacement forward Dave Gibson five minutes later and replacement scrum-half Zac Tyler converted.

Exley scored his second try on 50 minutes, converted by Tyler, who rounded off the scoring late onfollowing a good run by replacement back Billy Kelly.

East London: Sam Corbett, Ian Needham, Haidar Kamuss, James Eley, Matt Schofield, Dan Roach, John Hunter, Ben Stern, Joe Kelly, Frank Murphy, Thomas Rochette, Ryan Exley, Roger Ng, Gauthier Pons de Vincent, George Daniels, Dave Gibson, Roberto Finelli, Zac Tyler, Loris Fradin, Billy Kelly.

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