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Gray of sunshine as Lions centre claims a double

PUBLISHED: 16:03 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2010

FREEZING weather wasn t enough to stop Millwall Lions Under-16s from clearing another hurdle in their bid for league inclusion as they hung on to beat Wanstead 12-10 on Sunday. Centre Billy Gray scored all the points for the Lions to earn revenge for the

FREEZING weather wasn't enough to stop Millwall Lions Under-16s from clearing another hurdle in their bid for league inclusion as they hung on to beat Wanstead 12-10 on Sunday.

Centre Billy Gray scored all the points for the Lions to earn revenge for the defeat by Wanstead a week earlier that halted their winning streak at just two matches.

With snow falling heavily, it was Wanstead who warmed to their task in the opening stages and the home side took an early lead, scoring a try out wide five minutes into the match.

Pack leader David Hayward laid down the law to his players as Wanstead missed the conversion and Millwall rose to the challenge by increasing their intensity in all phases of play.

Despite atrocious conditions, the Millwall forwards fed quick ball to the backs and centre Gray took full advantage busting through some sloppy tackling to level the scores 15 minutes in.

Having opened Wanstead up once, Millwall looked to stretch the play at every opportunity, but poor handling cost the visitors as they fluffed three try-scoring opportunities.

Gray was at it again ten minutes later, breaking through on the halfway line.

The scrambling Wanstead defence eventually took him down, but Gray got a pass away and stayed alive to back up the charge, scoring under the posts following an offload from Karl Storey to give Millwall a 12-5 half-time lead.

Charlie Nagel, playing in just his second match, made a break shortly after half-time to put Millwall on the attack once again. The newcomer beat three tackles before being bundled into touch just metres from the line.

That escape briefly swung the match in Wanstead's favour, and the home side began to dominate possession and field position.

With time running out, and Millwall under heavy pressure on their own line, some superb defending from the visitors led to a loose-ball scramble inside the five-metre line.

Flanker Ricky Feeney looked to kick the ball long, but in a freakish episode Wanstead re-gathered on the full and strolled over for an easy try which brough them within kicking distance of a draw.

The conversion attempt missed and Millwall clung on for a road victory that impressed coach Chris Davis.

"That was a 100 per cent turnaround from our performance last week," said Davis

"Our forwards were sharp and committed in the rucks and overall our defence was solid, meaning we got to see a lot more ball than we did in the previous match"

"That allowed our game breakers, like Billy Gray and Jack Rowland to really get into space."

Scrum-half James Strong, forward Karl Storey and winger Jack Rowland shared the man-of-the-match plaudits for their relentless efforts in defence.

Meanwhile, the club's Try Rugby coaching session for Ladies was a rousing success last weekend as the number of women taking up the sport continues to grow.

The next session is scheduled for April 12 from 10.30am on Millwall Park near Mudchute DLR station. Anyone interested in taking part should visit www.venusrugby.com, email tryrugby@millwallrugby.com or call 07963 833 655.


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