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Essex League Division One B: Mark Collins insists Dagenham are ready to have a go away to potential title favourites Ilford

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 September 2017

A Dagenham player does his best to get past several Bancroft opponents (pic: Graham Hodges).

A Dagenham player does his best to get past several Bancroft opponents (pic: Graham Hodges).

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Central Park club are aiming to move up the table and ensure they are in the more competitive side of the division come the end of January

Dagenham’s director of rugby Mark Collins has challenged his team to finish in the top-four of the Essex League Division One B after Saturday’s crushing victory.

The D’s romped to a big win over Pegasus Palmerians and in the process ended their run of two defeats, which did see them briefly bottom of the table after two match days.

But the 76-12 success over their Stanford-le-Hope rivals has given the Central Park club plenty of confidence going into their game with early season leaders Ilford Wanderers on Saturday.

Dagenham have nine fixtures to play before January 13, which is when the top four sides in the A and B divisions merge into one league while the rest form a separate league for the final few months of the campaign.

Collins wants his squad to be in with the big boys, he said: “If we can get everyone together and all of them available, then hopefully we can be there or there abouts.

“I want us to be competing with the top teams in the second chunk of the season because that way we are progressing.

“After being in the bottom group last year, to finish in that section which forms the stronger part of the Essex League for phase two would be a step in the right direction and it would see us improving again.”

Following the high of their big win over Pegasus, Dagenham will try not to be brought back down to earth at Ilford.

The Wanderers are top after two wins from two, although that record is slightly deceiving as one of those victories was an away walkover when Pegasus couldn’t raise a squad on September 16.

Regardless, Collins still has the recently relegated London Three North East team as his favourites to finish top in the first part of the Essex League B campaign.

What will not help out the D’s, this weekend, however, is the fact numerous players are missing for the clash.

Collins added: “We will not be at full strength on Saturday, but like we always do, we will go there and have a go.

“I would say Ilford are probably the favourites for this side of the Essex League because they have dropped down from the division above. You would expect they’ll be stronger than most, but we’ll try our best and see how the game panes out.”

Dagenham will have confidence after recording their biggest winning margin since September 2012 last Saturday.

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